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2022 Media Communicators Network

Detailed information about this Network's 2022 sessions is not yet available but will be posted in the future. Please review the session information from last year further below for a look at the high quality of instructors, teaching, and content available in this 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 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.

Tony Watkins is a speaker, writer, and researcher on media and the Bible. He works alongside several organisations including Damaris Norway and the Lausanne Media Engagement Network (as Network Coordinator). He is doing doctoral research on the relationship between the biblical prophets and today’s media and is an adjunct lecturer at Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communications, Norway. Tony has written, or co-written, several books including Focus: The Art and Soul of Cinema and Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan’s Guide to Philip Pullman. Tony and his family are involved in Above Bar Church, Southampton.

2021 Network Programme

Detailed information about this Network's 2022 sessions is not yet available but will be posted in the future. Please review the information from last year for a look at the high quality of instructors, teaching, and content available in this network:

Andy Bannister is the director of Solas, an evangelism and training ministry based in Scotland. Andy holds a PhD in Islamic studies and is an adjunct professor at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto. Andy is the author of several books including An Oral-Formulaic Study of the Qur’an; The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist; and his latest book, Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?, an accessible engagement with this absolutely crucial question. When not traveling, speaking, or writing, Andy is a keen hiker, mountain climber, and photographer. He is married to Astrid; they have two children, Caitriona and Christopher. See more at www.solas-cpc.org.

James Cary has been writing situation comedy for BBC TV for nearly twenty years (Miranda, Bluestone 42) and BBC Radio (Think the Unthinkable, Hut 33). He has also written books including The Sacred Art of Joking and Death by Civilisation, and runs two podcasts (Sitcom Geeks, Cooper & Cary Have Words). James is a member of the House of Laity of the General Synod for the Church of England for the Diocese of Bath & Wells and a member of the Archbishops’ Council. James often writes about the interaction between church, faith, culture and politics, and his heroes include GK Chesterton, CS Lewis, William Wilberforce, and PG Wodehouse.

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.

Paul Glader is an associate professor of journalism, media, and entrepreneurship at The King’s College in New York City, where he also directs the McCandlish Phillips Journalism Institute. He serves as executive director of The Media Project, a non-profit news platform and training program for international journalists and executive editor of its ReligionUnplugged.com site. Glader is also the founder and CEO of a startup called VettNews. An award-winning journalist, Glader spent 10 years as a staff writer at The Wall Street Journal, covering a variety of beats including technology, health & science, travel, metals & mining, and finance. His research and writing interests include the startup economy/technology innovation, journalism ethics and history/the new journalists, urban planning/transportation, Europe/Germany/Scandinavia, parenthood/fatherhood, creativity in leadership, and media entrepreneurship. He enjoys surfing, reading, and traveling with his wife and two daughters.

Luke Greenwood is British by birth, grew up in Brazil, and now lives in Wroclaw, Poland, with his wife Ania and their two children. He serves as the European Director for Steiger, a mission dedicated to reaching the Global Youth Culture for Jesus. His focus and prayer is to raise up a movement with dynamic missionary teams reaching secular culture in every major European city. Luke wrote a book called Global Youth Culture: The Spiritual Hunger of the Largest Unreached Culture Today, which came out in 2019.

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.

Randy Newman is the Senior Fellow for Apologetics and Evangelism at The C. S. Lewis Institute in the Washington, DC area. He has taught at several evangelical seminaries and is currently an adjunct faculty at Reformed Theological Seminary and Patrick Henry College. After serving for over 30 years with Campus Crusade for Christ, he established Connection Points, a ministry to help Christians engage people’s hearts the way Jesus did. He has written several books, including the award winning Questioning Evangelism, and numerous articles about evangelism and other ways our lives intertwine with God’s creation. He and his wife Pam live in Annandale, VA and have three grown sons, two delightful daughters-in-law, and two stunningly adorable granddaughters. Randy's website is Connection Points.

Daniel Strange is college director and tutor in culture, religion, and public theology at Oak Hill College, London. He is also a faculty and board member of Crosslands, an in-context theological training initiative created by Oak Hill and Acts 29, and serves as a Trustee of Tyndale House, Cambridge. Dr Strange is a Contributing Editor for Themelios and serves as an elder at East Finchley Baptist Church, which is part of the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches (FIEC). His book, Their Rock is Not Like Our Rock: A Theology of Religions (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015), received an Award of Merit for Theology/Ethics in the Christianity Today 2016 Book Awards. His most recent book is Plugged In: Connecting Your Faith with What You Watch, Read, and Play (London: Good Book, 2019).

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. 

We are surrounded by persuasive stories from popular culture, where happiness is portrayed as the good life. Such media stories usually emphasize pleasure, image, possessions, experiences, and personal worldview explorations. These key values reflect that consumerism, materialism, and individualism are influential idols in our contemporary Western culture. At the same time, the media stories also express real longings for true identity, real community, deep joy, and authentic freedom.
This session will explore how we may respond appropriately to these strong idols and deep longings from the perspective of a holistic biblical worldview. Such a response has significant implications for our communication and our everyday life as Christ’s disciples and witnesses. Case studies from popular media stories will be included in the session.

The current urban population, connected by consumerism, social media, and the entertainment industry, forms the largest global youth culture ever to exist. It spans the globe, sharing the same values, listening to the same music, watching the same movies, and sharing the same posts. They do not look to the church for answers but believe it to be a dead and empty tradition of the past. But God’s heart is broken for this lost generation and we need to make the message of his love accessible to them. In this session we want to spark a discussion on how to start missional, evangelistic, and discipling movements in secularised cities, sent from the local church.

As Christians how do we get analytical and apologetic traction with our contemporary culture(s)? In this session, and using specific examples, we will outline the 'subversive fulfilment' framework for cultural engagement, spotlighting the tool of the 'magnetic points' put forward by the Dutch Reformed missiologist J.H. Bavinck. 

How can we effectively and powerfully use digital media as a platform for the gospel? Andy Bannister will share some key lessons that the Solas team have learnt from Short Answers, their popular series of videos tackling common questions about the Christian faith, that have been viewed, downloaded, and shared almost two million times. Andy will explain how and why the Solas team developed Short Answers, what’s worked, what’s failed, what they’d do differently if they started again from scratch — as well as some of their plans for continuing to use digital media to reach people who might otherwise not step across the door of a church.

The gospel never changes but our audiences do—in seemingly limitless ways. How to proclaim good news, so people actually hear it, has always been a challenge for God’s people. For starters, evangelism needs to be more dialogical and conversational and less confrontational and presentational. This seminar flows out of decades of evangelistic ministry and extensive research about how people are actually coming to faith today.

How does Christ affect the stories we tell through the media and the way we tell them to the Church and the wider unbelieving world? Where are the boundaries? And how do we respond to those who draw the boundaries in different places? BBC Sitcom writer James Cary (Miranda, Milton Jones, Bluestone 42) explains, along with some tales of life at the front line of the secular comedy world.

Religion Unplugged is an award-winning non-profit news organization, funded by TheMediaProject.org. It serves as an online news magazine, publishing original reporting of high quality that is public service by nature and focused on religion reporting. The site also publishes some reported opinion and commentary on religion. Its lean staff of editors in New York City welcome pitches and stories on religion from contributors—young and veteran journalists—around the world. This session in the network introduces the vision of Religion Unplugged and explores some fascinating case studies.