Lord willing, Corlette and I will be flying to Wisla, Poland, this week to participate for a second time in the European Leadership Form. This conference gathers 700 evangelical leaders from around Europe to provide fellowship, encouragement and training to inspire and equip them “to renew the biblical church and re-evangelize Europe.”
As I reported last year in Battleground Europe, this is no easy task, because Christians in Europe are engaged in daily battles, both personally and corporately. Here are just a few of the challenges I learned about last year:
- Paul is the pastor of a church and a professor at a seminary in Central Europe … yet he was struggling to forgive a former elder who turned on him three years ago (all names are changed).
- Anna works with refugee teenagers who pass through her country on the way to Western Europe; she is pursuing training in relational wisdom so she can build a truly cohesive team and deepen their capacity for empathy and compassion for the frightened people they serve.
- Marcus was grieved by the jealousies and judgments that divide evangelical pastors in his Eastern European country; he hopes RW will help him to be a voice for humility, repentance, and reconciliation among his peers.
- Dania loves to share the gospel with university students through her campus ministry … yet she felt like a hypocrite because she had little desire to be reconciled with her estranged sister … until she began studying our biblical peacemaking resources.
- Peter and his wife form one of five related teams of missionaries who work within 100 miles of one another in the same country; they seldom got together because of unresolved differences, however. Peter was hoping that he could use RW to rebuild genuine unity so they could support one another in their work.
Interest in relational wisdom was so strong last year that ELF’s leadership has invited us to do even more teaching this year. Our schedule will include a full Discovering RW Seminar, a plenary address (here is the handout) and eight workshops for their Counselors Network, Disciple-Making Network, and Leaders of Christian Organizations Network.
We will also be mentoring people during many of our meals and participating in a variety of panel discussions and film projects. It will be the busiest six days of teaching and mentoring Corlette and I have ever done … and we can hardly wait for it to begin!
ELF asks all of their speakers to donate their time and pay all of their own travel and lodging expenses for this event, which is no small amount. Wanting to see the gospel cover Europe once more, RW360’s Board of Directors sees this as a worthwhile kingdom investment … but we are able to make it only because of the generous gifts you have made to this ministry. Thank you so very much!
I encourage you to learn more about the variety of speakers and presentations through the 2016 Form Brochure. Then please pray along these lines from May 20-26:
- That God would grant travel mercies to all those who plan to attend, meet all their financial needs, guard their health, and lift family and ministry responsibilities from their shoulders while they come away for refreshment and equipping.
- That God would graciously orchestrate thousands of personal conversations to provide encouraging fellowship, opportunities to share burdens and stories of God’s provision, and time to pray for one another.
- That all of the speakers would be continually sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit as he guides us to bring just the right words to encourage, edify and inspire all those who will join us in Wisla.
- That God would give Corlette and me a special measure of humility and empathy as we engage people during casual conversations, mentoring appointments, and teaching sessions.
- That our ears and hearts would be always open to learn from the wisdom and experience of those we meet, and to honor them for the faithful and sacrificial service they have given to renew the church in Europe.
- That our teaching on relational wisdom would prove to be relevant and practical, and that those who receive it would be able to take it back to their families, churches and ministries and use it to strengthen relationships, build unity in the body of Christ, and model and proclaim the transforming power of the gospel.
Thank you for your prayers. I look forward to reporting back to you on how God answers them and uses this exciting conference to extend his kingdom throughout Europe!
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© 2016 Ken Sande
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