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2022 Media Communicators Network

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    Media Communicators
Equipping gifted communicators for relating biblical faith

In today's world, journalism, movies, television, and social media dominate the way we, as an increasingly global community, understand and relate to the world and each other. If Christians wish to continue making a meaningful impact upon the world, gifted communicators who want to relate biblical Christian faith to contemporary culture through these media platforms will be greatly needed.

This Network seeks to encourage and equip such existing or emerging leaders who can speak with authenticity, relevance, and integrity from within these influential cultural arenas. It will also focus on biblical foundations and models, worldview analysis of media and popular culture, and critical reflections on creative communication in contemporary media contexts.

The ELF Media Communicators Network draws upon the strategies and the resources developed within the global Lausanne Media Engagement Network, and will seek to build friendships and facilitate networking and partnership among evangelical media communicators in Europe and beyond.

Prior preparation will be set for all applicants.

Applicants should be current or potential leaders who are gifted communicators in the media (in such creative fields as journalism, movies, television, or social media), media commentators, media critics, media teachers, or media scholars. Whatever the role, the common missional vision should be the wish to relate biblical Christian faith to contemporary media in a way that is authentic, appropriate, and relevant.

Network Leadership

Lars Dahle is a theologian, educator, preacher, and apologist. Having a long previous experience in various academic leadership roles, he now works as Associate Professor in Systematic Theology and Christian Apologetics at Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication (NLA Kristiansand), where he has lectured in worldviews, ethics, and apologetics since 1991. Lars wrote his PhD on Acts 17:16-34. It is entitled An Apologetic Model Then and Now? (Open University, UK). Since 2013, he is also the Lausanne Catalyst for Media Engagement. Lars has written several academic and popular articles on apologetics, media engagement and missiology and was a co-editor of The Lausanne Movement: A Range of Perspectives (Oxford: Regnum, 2014). He is also the Founding Editor of the peer-reviewed Nordic apologetic journal Theofilos. In addition, Lars co-leads the European Leadership Forum Media Communicators Network with his wife, Margunn. Follow Lars on his blog Media Messages Matter or on his Twitter account @LarsDahle.

Margunn Serigstad Dahle is Associate Professor at Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication, NLA University College, Norway, where she has taught in the fields of communication, media, and worldviews since 1991. She was for many years Programme Director for the Communication and Worldviews Bachelor Program, which is designed to equip evangelical communicators and apologists in various fields for the contemporary Western cultural context. Especially connected to her Damaris involvement, she is a regular lecturer, speaker, and writer in various contexts in Norway and beyond. She was a co-editor of The Lausanne Movement: A Range of Perspectives (Oxford: Regnum, 2014). Margunn formerly served as Chairman of Lunde Publishing House.

Network Speakers

Lars Dahle is a theologian, educator, preacher, and apologist. Having a long previous experience in various academic leadership roles, he now works as Associate Professor in Systematic Theology and Christian Apologetics at Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication (NLA Kristiansand), where he has lectured in worldviews, ethics, and apologetics since 1991. Lars wrote his PhD on Acts 17:16-34. It is entitled An Apologetic Model Then and Now? (Open University, UK). Since 2013, he is also the Lausanne Catalyst for Media Engagement. Lars has written several academic and popular articles on apologetics, media engagement and missiology and was a co-editor of The Lausanne Movement: A Range of Perspectives (Oxford: Regnum, 2014). He is also the Founding Editor of the peer-reviewed Nordic apologetic journal Theofilos. In addition, Lars co-leads the European Leadership Forum Media Communicators Network with his wife, Margunn. Follow Lars on his blog Media Messages Matter or on his Twitter account @LarsDahle.

Per Ewert is the director of The Clapham Institute, Sweden’s leading Christian think tank and research institute. This summer, he will defend his PhD thesis about the political process which shaped Sweden into what is arguably the most secular and individualistic nation in the world. Per is the author of several books on apologetics, relations, and the role of faith in society. He also writes weekly editorials in one of Sweden's Christian dailies. He lives with wife and four children in southern Sweden.

Andrew Fellows was appointed pastor of a church in Bradford, West Yorkshire in 1988 where he served for seven years. In 1995 his family moved to the English branch of L’Abri Fellowship, where they lived and worked for 21 years. From 2011 to 2016 Andrew was the chairman of L’Abri International. Now based in Cambridge Andrew is the pastor of a newly formed church alongside his work as Director of Apologetics for Christian Heritage. He has a special interest in reaching sceptics and encouraging followers of Christ to develop the life of the mind so it includes the whole gospel to the whole world with all of its implications. Later this year IVP are publishing his book 'Smuggling Jesus Back Into the Church; How Not to be Worldly'. Andrew is married to Helen. They have four children and two grandchildren.

Alexander Fink is Director of the Institute for Faith and Science (Institut für Glaube und Wissenschaft) in Marburg, Germany (www.iguw.de). He studied physics at the universities of Bayreuth and St. Andrews (UK) and received his PhD at the Institute for Biophysics at the University of Regensburg. After having worked as an industrial product manager, he became director of SMD graduates' ministry (Akademiker-SMD, the German branch of IFES) until 2014. His passion is the dialogue of science, faith, and worldviews, and has given apologetic lectures in Germany and other European countries. Since 2008 he has been a member of the ELF Steering Committee and has co-led the Scientists Network. He is editor of the "Begründet-glauben-Podcast" (www.begruendet-glauben.org) and has produced two documentary movies "Fascinating universe" and "More than my brain" which have been recommended by a German federal media centre for use in public schools. Together with his wife, Alexander enjoys raising his two children, leading a house group in his local church in which he regularly leads services and preaches. He also is the coach of a youth soccer team.

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.

Tom Price is a lecturer at The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA) and was made an Archbishop’s Evangelist in 2019. He has experience and interest in outreach, cultural engagement, Bible teaching, and discipleship. He has degrees in Philosophy and Christian Apologetics and is currently undertaking doctoral research in theology, philosophy, and film at Aberdeen University. Tom is married to Caroline, and they are raising three children in Oxford.

Tony Rinaudo is known as “The Forest Maker.” His pioneering work on Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) since 1983 has revived millions of hectares from desolate dry ground to thriving arable land across more than twenty countries in Africa. This rehabilitation brings with it increased food security and sustainability for thousands of communities. Rinaudo’s work has earned him numerous awards and accolades including being named a 2018 Right Livelihood Laureate (often referred to as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”). As World Vision’s Principal Climate Action Advisor and Natural Resources Management Specialist, Rinaudo teaches FMNR and offers hope in God’s name to farming communities around the world.

John Stevens is the National Director of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches, a family of over 500 Bible-centred churches in the UK, a position that he has held since 2010. Prior to this, he was one of the founding pastors of City Evangelical Church Birmingham, which was planted in the centre of the UK’s 2nd largest city in 1999. He was instrumental in starting the Midlands Gospel Partnership, was the course Director of the Midlands Ministry Training Course and is a visiting lecturer at Oak Hill Theological College. John is also one of the pastors of Christchurch Market Harborough, a church he helped to plant when he took up his current role.  He was converted whilst studying law at Cambridge University, and after taking a post-graduate degree at the University of Oxford worked for 16 years as a University Lecturer, ending his career as Deputy Head of the Law School at the University of Birmingham. John is married to Ursula and they have four children aged between 12 and 7. He blogs at www.john-stevens.com on theology, church life and ministry, culture, and politics.

Sheridan Voysey is a writer, speaker and broadcaster on faith and spirituality. He is the author of eight books, including Reflect with Sheridan (Lion Hudson, 2020), The Making of Us: Who We Can Become When life Doesn’t Go as Planned (Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins, 2019), Resurrection Year: Turning Broken Dreams into New Beginnings (shortlisted for the 2014 ECPA Book of the Year Award), Resilient: Your Invitation to a Jesus-Shaped Life, and Unseen Footprints: Encountering the Divine Along the Journey of Life (winner of the 2006 Australian Christian Book of the Year). He writes for Our Daily Bread, a devotional read by 90 million people daily. Sheridan is a regular presenter of Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2’s Zoe Ball Breakfast Show (heard by 9 million people daily), and has conducted over 2000 radio interviews in his 25-year broadcast career. He speaks at conferences and events around the world, and has been featured on numerous TV and radio programs including BBC Breakfast, BBC News, Channel 5 News, Day of Discovery, 100 Huntley Street, CBC’s Tapestry, plus publications like The Times, Telegraph, and Christianity Today.

Network Programme

Sunday, 22 May

In a world of lockdowns, isolations, and limited social interaction, most of us have not spent more time at home within our four walls than we have now; and yet, despite this, most of us could not feel less at home. This seminar explores the deep-seated longing for home all humanity bears, and how it is that we can creatively engage with this desire through mainstream media in a world marred by the ongoing pandemic.

What does it take to bring Christian ideas to the public square in a way that’s winsome and credible? Our speaker, Sheridan Voysey, is a presenter of Pause for Thought, an inspirational segment on Britain’s largest broadcaster, BBC Radio 2, heard by 9 million breakfast radio listeners daily. In addition, in 2006 Sheridan and Hope Media launched Open House, a nationally-syndicated talk show aimed at engaging Australia’s ‘spiritual but not religious’ crowd. In this session, we will consider the four commitments that have driven these and other media ventures—commitments to be missional, credible, holistic, and hospitable—which can help Christian communicators of all kinds engage secular audiences.

Monday, 23 May

Why do some movies connect with us so deeply, speak to us so powerfully? It could be that movies offer some arrestingly honest reflections on the nature of humanity, the unanswered questions and important discussions of today. But is there more to it than this? This seminar will explore these questions and show you through viewing some fantastic film clips why engaging with movies is one of the most fruitful ways to go about engaging with those who need Jesus Christ. As well as giving you practical advice, full movie/film clip recommendations, and tips for those conversations and discussions.

The modern world was constructed with the self at the centre of everything, hence why this is the ‘age of the self’. It is not hard to see the benefits accruing from our exalted position. Humans are the new gods presiding over the affairs of this world. This, however, cannot disguise the fragility of the modern self—especially when it comes to a secure identity. This session explores the making of the 'ego pagan' and the dire consequences that flow from this. We will also consider ways that Christians involved with media should respond.

Tuesday, 24 May

Media coverage has helped create global awareness of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration and the importance of environmental restoration to the poor, the environment, and climate. What is our duty as Christians in caring for creation and stewarding well the earth we have been given? How can we best communicate about the church's role in environmental restoration? This is a joint session between the Media Communicators and Scientists Networks.

How did secular individualism gain such a strong influence in the West? What are the roots of this philosophy? This session will address these questions and suggest ways we as Christians can communicate a Christian worldview as a better and more sustainable alternative for both individuals and society.

Wednesday, 25 May

Tragically recent years have seen a number of leadership scandals involving sexual and spiritual abuse engulf the church in America and the United Kingdom. This has included RZIM, Acts29, Mars Hill Church, Willow Creek Community Church, Sovereign Grace Ministries and the John Smyth, Steve Timmis and Jonathan Fletcher scandals in Britain. Social media has played a significant part in rightly bringing these scandals to light, but it has also been used to vilify leaders who are innocent of wrongdoing or themselves victims of the abuse. This session will consider both the proper and improper use of social media in the context of church abuse, and how institutions and leaders can respond in a godly way respond when they are subjected to scrutiny or abuse on social media. John Stevens has helped the conservative evangelical constituency in the UK address serious cases of leadership failure and will share from his personal experiences on Twitter and Facebook.

In the final session of the Network, participants will reflect on the insights and outcomes of the week, identify take-aways, and spend time together in prayer.