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2022 Church Life, Leadership, and Planting (Advanced) Network

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    Church Leadership, Life, and Planting
Equipping Christian leaders with key values and practices for healthy church life

In the 2021 Church Life, Leadership, and Planting Network, Mike Betts and his team from Relational Mission explored the key values and practices for healthy church life as demonstrated in the New Testament. What does health and maturity look like for local churches built on these New Testament principles and practices? How do we raise communities of leaders that will last the course and carry their authority with a heart for genuine relationships and humble servanthood? How do we build churches together in a culture of mutual care, alignment of values, giving and receiving of spiritual life, and working together for the sake of mission to regions beyond, doing much more together than any could on their own?

Mike and his team have explored all of these themes and sought to put them into practice over 30 years of experience working with the Newfrontiers network of churches worldwide.  They bring a wealth of hard-earned experience, as well as biblical conviction, about what we might aspire to in seeking to build whole families of churches to a genuine New Testament pattern.  This network is for any church leader who previously participated in the 2021 Church Life, Leadership, and Planting Network.

Prior preparation will be set for all applicants.

Applicants should be involved in the senior leadership within a local church or those leading or seeking to build a network of churches. This Network explores values, principles, and practices found in the New Testament for local church life, leadership, and planting. Applicants should be leaders who have previously participated in the 2021 Church Life, Leadership, and Planting Network.

Network Leadership

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.

Maurice Nightingale is a member of the Relational Mission core team with responsibilities that include the supervision of early-stage church planting on the mainland of Europe, in particular training and coaching pioneer leaders and developing strategies for both initiating and supporting church plants. Originally from London, and following a short career as a military engineering officer, he has since been involved for over 30 years in two main areas of service: planting churches and reviving failing churches. Maurice completed a master’s degree studying philosophies of church movement succession, exploring New Testament church leadership principles and practices. Maurice is married to Rachel, with four adult children.

Network Speakers

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.

Mike Frisby is an elder at City Church Cambridge and a trustee of Relational Mission, a network of churches which is part of the global Newfrontiers family. He uses his teaching and pastoral gifts among the churches, enjoys mentoring younger leaders, and has involvement in cross-cultural training. He has a particular passion for mobilising people for world mission and has written a book for local church leaders “Reaching the Nations – From next door to worlds away”, to equip leaders to identify, recruit, send and support people called to cross-cultural mission.

Maurice Nightingale is a member of the Relational Mission core team with responsibilities that include the supervision of early-stage church planting on the mainland of Europe, in particular training and coaching pioneer leaders and developing strategies for both initiating and supporting church plants. Originally from London, and following a short career as a military engineering officer, he has since been involved for over 30 years in two main areas of service: planting churches and reviving failing churches. Maurice completed a master’s degree studying philosophies of church movement succession, exploring New Testament church leadership principles and practices. Maurice is married to Rachel, with four adult children.

Kevin Reilly, originally from the UK, was born again in May 1992 from a non-Christian background. He married Emma in 1995 and together they have 5 children, all of whom have now left home and are pursuing Jesus in different ways and places. In 1998, he went to university and trained to become a teacher and then - together with his family - he moved to London in 1999 to serve in a church plant. In 2001, he became an elder in a newly established church in East London. Emma and Kevin had both carried a long-standing call to mission in Poland since 1995 and so in 2008, they moved with their children to Gdansk, Poland where they continue to share Jesus and make disciples, in order to see the establishment of a local church there. In 2017, Kevin along with the RM Apostolic Team, established the Lighthouse Community - a community of pioneering leaders and partners, based in Central and Eastern Europe and called to: preach the Gospel and make disciples of the post-communist nations of Europe, train and equip leaders and support the establishment of new, local businesses. We currently partner with brothers and sisters in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.

Network Programme

Sunday, 22 May

Serving the body of Christ in leadership is a privilege, a joy and a blessing. It is also spiritually draining, mentally demanding, and emotionally challenging! How do we take care of ourselves so that we will last the course and finish strong? What we know we are called to do will flow from who we know we are called to be.

In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul describes the power and effectiveness of servant leadership in terms of a ‘theology of the cross,’ rather than a ‘theology of glory’ as practiced by the so-called ‘super-apostles’ in Corinth. This discussion remains extraordinarily relevant to the expression of servant leadership in today’s culture.

Monday, 23 May

Writing to the saints at Philippi, Paul calls them his brothers, his beloved, longed for, joy and crown (Phil. 4:1), not terms used in a professional relationship. Nowhere to be found are the formality and externalism which sometimes characterise the modern church. A culture of deep, genuine relationship creates the context within which godly authority is best exercised.

This session looks at the importance of creating a relational culture of genuine care, released through leaders and into the life of local churches, and gathering these leaders into community with leaders of other churches. Such relationships would be characterised by a fatherly family atmosphere and willing leadership accountability.

Tuesday, 24 May

Families share the same DNA. For churches and families of churches, this DNA is a set of agreed core values. Paul urged Timothy to ‘hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me’ (2 Tim. 1:13). How important is it to establish alignment to a set of agreed core values? How is such alignment to be maintained?

Paul longed to be with the saints in Rome so that he might impart spiritual life and that through this they would be an encouragement to one-another. This session explores the importance of imparting the life of the Spirit of God to the individual as well as to the gathered church, as ‘ministers of the New Covenant’ (2 Cor. 3:6).

Wednesday, 25 May

Having been affirmed in his apostleship by the Jerusalem apostles, all they asked Paul was that he should continue to remember the poor. Paul affirmed that this was ‘the very thing I had been eager to do all along’ (Gal 2: 10). This session is a call to incarnate the care of the poor into the very life of the local church, not as some separate specialised ministry.

‘The Great Commission is not the Great Suggestion!’ This Great Commission is the direct command of Jesus, our Commander-in-Chief, to every believer and every church. The life of every individual believer and every local church should be shaped around this commission to make disciples locally, globally and holistically.