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2024 Church Life, Leadership, and Planting (Advanced) Network

  • Image
    two hands holding a bunch of fresh grapes
Equipping Christian leaders with key values and practices for healthy church life

In the Church Life, Leadership, and Planting (Advanced) Network, Maurice Nightingale and his team from Relational Mission will explore 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?

Maurice 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. Prior preparation will be set for all applicants.

What Network Participants Are Saying

  • "ELF is a challenging conference. It's not just about great teachings. It also challenges me to apply those things in my work and life… It has been great to get to know many leaders around Europe. There has been mutual encouragement. I want to continue the process to grow as a leader and get new resources to develop our ministry for God's glory!" 
    - Marko Mitronen, pastor, Finland 
  • "I came into the Forum with hurt and was a little disillusioned about continuing in ministry. Through the encouragement of new friends, the prayers of fellow ministers, and new connections through networking, the Lord has answered my questions. I am now returning home with a fresh vision and energy to continue on in the calling God has placed on my heart."
    - Noah Johnson, church planter, Slovakia

Applicants should be involved in 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 Church Life, Leadership, and Planting Network.

Network Leadership

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… Read more
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.… Read more

Network Speakers

Mike Betts is one of the leaders of Relational Mission, a family of churches itself part of the wider Newfrontiers group. Mike is the author of From the Inside Out, Relational Mission: A Way of Life, The Prayers… Read more

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… Read more

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… Read more

Kevin Reilly is originally from the UK and 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… Read more

Vlada Stojanovic was born and raised in Nis, Serbia, where he graduated in mechanical engineering. He spent 4 years in the UK training in missions and receiving his education in theology and leadership, at the same time working in local churches. Currently, he is finishing his master’s degree in… Read more

Cornelly van Belle grew up on a farm in the Netherlands. As a child she experienced a call from God among the cows to explain the Word of God to people. Cornelly is married to Arjan and they have four young children. Two years ago she moved with her family to Reeuwijk to help rebuild the church… Read more

Network Programme

Sunday, 26 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.

"Servant-hearted" leadership is a term that is often heard among church leaders. At one end of the spectrum of leadership styles in the world, we have autocratic, domineering, high-profile leadership that carries overriding authority in all matters. We think then about a tribe leader, a sovereign king or a prince-of-a-business CEO. At the other end of the spectrum, we have overly democratic consensual leadership models that give more room to opinion than they do to genuine gifting or spiritual maturity. Jesus is the great champion, the great leader, the head of the church, the one whose leadership we would all wish to follow and to which we would all be conformed. But what does it mean in our daily leadership practice when Jesus says, “But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant”?

Monday, 27 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.

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?

Tuesday, 28 May

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).

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 family atmosphere and willing leadership accountability.

God sent his Son to save people, and that these people would be given the right to be called children of God and be included in his household, his family. The culture and atmosphere of our community as a church should be that of a family. Businesses work hard and produce things; loving and healthy families are very fruitful and multiply. Spiritual fathers and mothers create the atmosphere of care in the church family.

Wednesday, 29 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.