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Church Life, Leadership, and Planting Advanced Network

2021 European Church Life, Leadership, and Planting Advanced Network

In the 2020 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 2020 Church Life, Leadership, and Planting Network.

Prior preparation will be set for all applicants.


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 a soon to be published book on corporate prayer.  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.



Angela Kemm grew up in South Africa, where she pioneered work in the townships of Cape Town and saw God do wonderful things to lift the heads of the poor and oppressed. She now lives in Cambridge and serves churches in Relational Mission and elsewhere in ways that advance the Kingdom wherever they are.


Stef Liston is part of the team that leads Relational Mission, overseeing training and UK church planting. He lives in London with his wife, Davina, and two out of three of their children, with the eldest away at University. Stef is one of the pastors at Revelation Church, London and is involved in a number of church plants in Europe and Asia. He has authored three books – Just Like Us, He Was and Is and Is to Come, and When Two Become One.


Maurice Nightingale, originally from London, joined the Newfrontiers network and completed a master’s degree studying philosophies of church movement succession after being drawn to explore simple New Testament patterned local church and church leadership principles and practices,. Following a short career as a military engineering officer, Maurice has since been involved for over 25 years in two main areas of service; planting churches and rescuing failing churches.  He recently handed over senior leadership of Hope Church Ipswich in the UK and remains a member of the eldership team there. He also serves alongside Mike Betts as a member of the Relational Mission core team. His current responsibilities include the supervision of early-stage church planting on the mainland of Europe, including training and coaching pioneer leaders and developing strategies for both initiating and supporting church plants. Maurice is married, with four children.



Day 1

Healthy Church Leadership: Ministry for the Long Haul

Stef Liston

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.


Healthy Church Leadership: Servant Hearted Leadership

Maurice Nightingale

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.

Day 2

Healthy Church Leadership: Relationship and Authority

Mike Betts

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.


Healthy Church Culture: Creating an Atmosphere of Care

Maurice Nightingale

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.

Day 3

Healthy Church Culture: Alignment of Values

Stef Liston

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?


Healthy Church Culture: Catalysing Spiritual Life

Mike Betts      

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).

Day 4

Healthy Church Culture: Gathering up Mission to Regions Beyond

Stef Liston

‘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.


Healthy Church Culture: Empowering the Poor

Angela Kemm

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.

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