The 2021 European Leadership Forum programme included plenary sessions for all participants to attend each morning and evening. These sessions consisted of worship, prayer, and teaching.
Dr Peter J. Williams is the Principal and CEO of Tyndale House, Cambridge. He was educated at the University of Cambridge, where he received his MA, MPhil, and PhD in the study of ancient languages related to the Bible. After his PhD, he was on staff in the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge (1997–1998) and thereafter taught Hebrew and Old Testament as an Affiliated Lecturer in Hebrew and Aramaic at the University of Cambridge and Research Fellow in Old Testament at Tyndale House, Cambridge (1998–2003). From 2003 to 2007 he was on the faculty of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, where he became a Senior Lecturer in New Testament and Deputy Head of the School of Divinity, History, and Philosophy. Since 2007 he has been leading Tyndale House. Dr Williams is also an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity in the University of Cambridge, Chair of the International Greek New Testament Project and a member of the Translation Oversight Committee of the English Standard Version of the Bible. He assisted Dr Dirk Jongkind in Tyndale House’s production of a major edition of the Greek New Testament and his book Can We Trust the Gospels? (Crossway, 2018) has been translated into 10 languages. In 2021 he rediscovered part of the long-lost star catalogue by the Greek astronomer Hipparchus.
Once in the Promised Land, the Israelites have a constant tendency to depart from God. God repeatedly rescues them, but the people he uses are often not who you would expect. We see from the story of Ehud (Judges 3) the fairness of God’s judgement and his kindness to his people. No matter who we are, God can use us.
Jephthah was used by God to rescue his people (Judges 11). However, he ruined a victory by his rash words. Today the temptation for leaders to abuse words, whether in speech or social media, is greater than ever and can have devastating effects. We need to look at our hearts and speak for the right reasons. Jephthah stands as a warning to us precisely because of the ways he contrasts with Jesus Christ.
Samson succeeds for a while even though his motivation is wrong. Though God uses him, his habits and desires undermine his work and make his deliverance of Israel from the Philistines only partial. Sins have consequences and Samson illustrates these. We see how the integrity and motivation of leaders matters today and how only Jesus Christ is the perfect rescuer.
The book of Judges ends with stories of idolatry, sexual violence, and war. It shows us the bleak situation of society without God and matches much of what we see around us today. We look at the Bible’s most disturbing story (Judges 19) and see how it makes us long for the Good King. The book calls Christian leaders to unite and stand up in a broken world.
Pablo was a European Leadership Forum Steering Committee member for more than 10 years. He currently works as a psychiatrist at a private practice in Barcelona. He has also developed an extensive itinerant ministry as a counsellor, speaker, and Bible teacher. He served as one of the vice-presidents of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA). He filled the role of President of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (1999-2009) and Professor of Pastoral Theology at several theological institutions. His books have been published in 17 languages. His most recent works are Mad or God?: Jesus, the Healthiest Mind of All (Inter-Varsity Press, England, co-authored) and Take Care of Yourself: Survive and Thrive in Ministry (Hendrickson Publishers and DictumPress). For more information see http://www.christian-thought.org.
“They made me take care of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I neglected” (Song of Songs 1:6b). Caring for your own vineyard is not a minor issue. The wisdom of the Bible warns us that in the same way that a bottle of perfume can be spoiled by a dead fly (Eccles. 10:1), neglecting the care of yourself can bring forth major consequences. Your own life, the wellbeing of your family, and the quality of your ministry are at stake. A full life is not the same as a fruitful life, and God created us as human beings, not human doings. Therefore, the purpose of this talk is not making you work less, but helping you rest and renew yourself better.
R. Albert Mohler Jr. is the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is an esteemed authority on contemporary issues and has been recognized by such influential publications as Time and Christianity Today as a leader among American evangelicals. In addition to his presidential duties, he is a professor of Christian theology, president of the Evangelical Theological Society, and hosts two programs: “The Briefing,” a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview, and “Thinking in Public,” a series of conversations with the day’s leading thinkers. Dr. Mohler has authored numerous books, his most recent being The Gathering Storm: Secularism, Culture, and the Church, The Apostles’ Creed: Discovering Authentic Christianity in an Age of Counterfeit, The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down, and a two-volume commentary on the book of Acts.
In this talk, Dr. Mohler will unpack cultural trends that present unique and difficult challenges to Christians and the church. This post-Christian time seeks to undermine the very core of a distinctly biblical worldview, and it demands that Christianity must capitulate to the mores and ethics of this secular age. Christians, however, must remain uncompromising in their faithfulness to Christ while at the same time, engaging the culture with the gospel, the power of God for salvation.
Diane Langberg is globally recognized for her 47 years of clinical work with trauma victims. She has trained caregivers on six continents in responding to trauma and to the abuse of power. She also directs her own counseling practice in Jenkintown, PA, Diane Langberg, Ph.D. & Associates, which includes seventeen therapists with multiple specialties. Dr. Langberg’s newest book is Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church. Other books include Counseling Survivors of Sexual Abuse, On the Threshold of Hope (with accompanying workbook), In Our Lives First: Meditations for Counselors, and Suffering the Heart of God: How Trauma Destroys and Christ Restores. Dr. Langberg is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Achievements from Taylor University., the American Association of Christian Counselors Caregiver Award, The Distinguished President’s award, and the Philadelphia Council of Clergy’s Christian Service Award. She is married and has two sons and four grandchildren.
In the past few years, Evangelical churches and organisations have been rocked by revelations of abuse committed by leaders in positions of power. Why has this happened? What are some of the biggest mistakes that churches and organisations make when responding to accusations of abuse? How can we be better at listening and caring for the victims in our midst? How can leaders wisely use their leadership power? In this session, Diane Langberg, clinical psychologist and author of Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church, is interviewed by Peter Saunders, CEO of International Christian Medical Dental Association, on the issue of leadership and the abuse of power.
Diane will be interviewed by Peter Saunders, CEO of the ICMDA (International Christian Medical and Dental Association).
Kristi Mair teaches philosophy, ethics, and apologetics at Oak Hill College in London, UK, where she also provides pastoral support for female students. She holds a degree in philosophy and theology, as well as an MA in philosophy of religion and ethics. She is currently working on her PhD in the area of epistemology in philosophical theology, with a particular focus on Michael Polanyi, Esther Meek, and Augustine. Kristi worked for 8 years with a campus-based ministry in the UK (UCCF), and she continues to speak regularly at mission weeks and events across Europe. Kristi has a heart for engaging people with the message of Jesus, developing a Christian mind, and raising the next generation of apologists to live out our calling as disciples to love God and our neighbour. Kristi is the author of MORE > Truth (IVP, 2019), Co-editor of Healthy Faith (IVP, 2020), a board member and speaker for Chrysolis, and an itinerant SOLAS Associate Speaker.
Do you have friends who find your faith as bland and as uninteresting as watching paint dry? Do they glaze over when you mention Jesus and try to steer the conversation away from Him? How can we share the goodness of the gospel with those who are apathetic without becoming apathetic ourselves? In this plenary session, we will seek to understand our apathetic friends and explore how we can practically engage them with the gospel during this pandemic and beyond.
Mike Betts leads Relational Mission, a network of churches which is part of the global Newfrontiers family. He is the author of From the Inside Out, Relational Mission: A Way of Life, and The Prayers of Many. Mike is passionate about the church enjoying her inheritance in Christ, involving church planting, gospel expansion, corporate prayer, and seeing the next generation grow into all that God has for them. Mike is married to Sue, and they live in Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK. He is part of the eldership team at Lowestoft Community Church, which he, Sue, and a number of others planted over 30 years ago. At that time Mike and Sue sought help and advice from Terry Virgo, who had begun to serve emerging churches. Terry’s work and relationships with churches became the start of Newfrontiers. In 2011, Terry handed over responsibility for Newfrontiers to a number of his spiritual sons, and Mike began to lead the network that is now Relational Mission. Relational Mission works predominantly in the UK and mainland Europe but with growing connections across the world. Its network includes some 70 churches of which 30 are church plant and pioneering situations.
Many of us will have been part of churches for years, but could we identify the markers of what makes a healthy church...healthy? Mike will be taking us on a journey through the book of Acts, taking snapshots to see what God’s church looks like and covering six key areas he believes are vital to seeing churches thrive today.