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Plenary Sessions

The European Leadership Forum programme includes plenary sessions for all participants to attend each morning and evening. These sessions consist of worship, prayer, and teaching. The speakers for this year's plenaries are listed below. For information about last year's plenary sessions, please see 2023 ELF Plenaries.

Morning Plenaries

Rene Breuel

René Breuel was born in São Paulo, Brazil and has lived in Rome, Italy for the past 13 years, where he serves as the Founding Pastor of Hopera, a church in Rome’s university neighborhood. He holds a Master of Studies in Creative Writing from Oxford University in the UK, a Master of Divinity from Regent College in Vancouver, Canada, a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Fundação Getúlio Vargas, in São Paulo, Brazil, and has completed additional studies at Universität Mannheim in Germany. He has written for the Washington Post, Times Literary Supplement, Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, Evangelical Focus, and Protestante Digital. He is the author of The Paradox of Happiness and a forthcoming Redeemer City to City publication about how churches can grow in cultural awareness and spiritual maturity. René is married to Sarah Breuel, the Executive Director of Revive Europe, and a member of the Lausanne Movement’s international board of directors. They have two teenage boys.

Evening Plenaries

John Dickson

John Dickson’s story is eclectic. Starting out as a professional singer-songwriter, he now works as an author, speaker, historian, and media presenter. He was the Founding Director of the Centre for Public Christianity (2007-17). He has published over 20 books, two of which became television documentaries, with a third, For the Love of God: How the Church is Better and Worse Than You Ever Imagined, released in Australian cinemas in June 2018. John has held a variety of teaching and research positions before moving to Wheaton College, including in the Ancient History Department at Macquarie University (2002-2015), the Hebrew, Jewish, and Biblical Studies Department at Sydney University (2011-2021), Ridley College Melbourne (2019-2022), and the Faculty of Classics at the University of Oxford (2015-2023). A busy public speaker, he lives in Wheaton, Illinois, with his wife Elizabeth and the youngest of their three children.

Roland Werner

Roland Werner is a professor of theology, Bible translator, author, and church-planter in Marburg, a quaint medieval university town in the middle of Germany. He holds a African and Semitic linguistics and a Ph.D. in theology. With his wife Elke he has served in many countries, including Egypt and Sudan. As chair of Lausanne Germany, it is his desire to inspire the church for evangelism.

Sharon Dirckx

Sharon Dirckx is a freelance speaker and author and an adjunct lecturer at OCCA The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. Originally from a scientific background, she has a PhD in brain imaging from the University of Cambridge. Sharon speaks and lectures on science and theology, ‘mind and soul’, and the problem of evil. She has appeared on several BBC programmes in the UK including Radio 2 Good Morning Sunday and Radio 4 Beyond Belief. Sharon is also author of an award-winning book on suffering, entitled Why?: Looking at God, evil and personal suffering (2013), as well as a book on human consciousness and identity, entitled, Am I just my brain? (2019). Sharon was a contributor to best-selling author Lee Strobel’s latest book and subsequent documentary, The Case for Heaven (2021). Her next book on natural disasters, Broken Planet, was released in February 2023.

Dave Patty

Dave Patty has been involved in training youth leaders and leading national and international youth movements in Europe for over 30 years. He serves as the president of Josiah Venture. He is also a founding member of Global Youth Initiative, which mobilizes and equips youth ministry trainers in over 60 countries of the world. Dave is an ordained pastor with a BA in theology and a MA in education. He has also done graduate work in leadership development at Harvard University. For the past 27 years he has lived in the Czech Republic, and he spent the 10 years before that in Germany. Dave is married to Connie and has three grown children, Tyler, Caleb, and Claire.