ADVERTISING
 
Wednesday, May 24   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Freedoms
Should all religious groups in your country be legal?




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



#2016ELF
 

ELF 2016: Christians called to “unity in love and a life of fearlessness”

More than 700 participants at the European Leadership Forum conference in Poland. Networks, seminaries and plenary sessions gave biblical perspectives on current issues. John Piper: “Prayer is central, the world does not need more Christians with powerless ministries”.

AUTHOR Joel Forster , Evangelical Focus WISLA (POLAND) 02 JUNE 2016 16:12 h GMT+1
john piper, european leadership forum, 2016 John Piper in one of the 2016 European Leadership Forum plenary sessions. / FOCL

More than 700 participants from across Europe took part in the 2016 European Leadership Forum conference (21-26 May) in Wisla, Poland.



Experienced leaders in many areas led dozens of sessions in a very rich programme which aimed to “promote, unify and strengthen evangelical Christianity in Europe; and provide biblical, intellectual, and spiritual resources to feed and encourage Christian leaders.”



 



Discussions in groups during one of the networks. / FOCL



 



JOHN PIPER ON PHILIPPIANS



Theologian and author John Piper led the Bible expositions in the mornings, speaking from the letter to the Philippians. “Every part of creation, every star and every human being in the world displays God’s glory”, Piper said, “God even exalted Christ for the Father’s glory”.



“All over the Bible, God is ultimately committed to the glory of God”. This is “a stumbling block for many”, he admitted, and quoted the opinions of people like Oprah Winfrey or Brad Pitt and others who see the God of Biblical Christianity as an “egomaniac.”



But the reality, Piper argued from the teaching of the apostle Paul, is that God’s glory is the answer to what people need. Not pointing to Him stops mission: “If you glorify yourself, you distract people from what can satisfy their souls.”



“Christ is magnified in you when he is more precious and more satisfying than all what life can offer and all that death can take”, the theologian said. “Christ will be most magnified in Europe when Europe is most satisfied in Him.”



To live a “life worthy of the gospel”, as the apostle Paul described it, means to “have unity in love for the cause of the gospel; and a life of fearlessness, even when the odds are against you in Europe.”



 



PEOPLE ARE DESPERATE FOR LOVE AND AUTHENTICITY



“Europe is not impressed”, he continued, “and doesn’t care about Christian organisations, about our buildings or congresses”, Piper said. “What is impressive is when Christians give their life for others. People want to know if we care for one another, the world is aching for love.”



He also called for a a life of real humility, in which Christians leaders look for the interest of others (“the family, health, reputation, education, success, happiness, salvation... of others”) as much as for their own.



 



John Piper preached from Philippians. / FOCL



“To count others more significant than ourselves is to stop assessing whether someone deserves your ministry. You regard them as deserving. We are counted righteous because of Christ.” The model to follow is Jesus: “Christ loved me, died for me, forgave me, justified me… when He owed me nothing.”



 



JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH



In a following session, Piper argued that justification by faith alone is central to Biblical Christianity. The theologian described “five distortions” which threaten the understanding of this doctrine: “The blurring of the line between the evangelical understanding and the Roman Catholic teaching; the claim that the doctrine of imputation is not biblical; the ‘new perspective’ on Paul; merging faith and the fruit of faith in obedience; and the redefinition of righteousness, only seen as a virtue”.



“The Reformation is not over”, Piper said. “We need to preach Catholics justification through faith alone. If you focus on thousands of things you have in common with them, and do not touch on this difference, then how will they meet Jesus?”



 



“IS PRAYER CENTRAL IN YOUR FAMILY AND MINISTRY?”



Piper spoke about the need of prayer in his last session. “Prayer is the visible engine that drives the work. Is prayer central in your life, your family and ministry?” he challenged the ELF participants. “Prayer is the means by which God gives us supernatural help. Without it, we cannot accomplish anything of what the letter  to the Philippians calls us to do.”



 



Participants in a coffe break. / FOCL



“The world does not need more Christians with powerless ministries”, Piper continued. Success is not measured in numbers, he added_ “In the USA you can build a church of 30,000 without God. It’s easy!”



“Prayer speaks volumes of the nature of God”, Piper suggested, and added: “Paul makes the success of his ministry dependant of the prayers of new believers.”



Prayer brings a peace which “reasoning” cannot bring, and depending on Him in everything “makes Christ look magnificent. This is why your family and you ministry exist.” So, “how can we make prayer peripheral?”



 



NETWORKS: PREACHING, SCIENCE, YOUTH, MEDIA….



Every day, the plenary sessions in the mornings (which included times of worship) were followed by 16 simultaneous networks. Each participant had chosen to be in the two daily workshops related to his area of ministry: Academic Leaders, Apologetics, Bible Teachers and Preachers, Church Planters, Counsellors, Disciple-Making Leaders, Evangelism, Leaders of Christian Organisations, Marriage and Family, Media Communicators, Mission Leaders, Organisational Development and Fundraising, Politics and Society, Scientists, Theologians and Youth Ministry Leaders.



 



Dozens of speakers share from their experience in seminaries. / FOCL

After lunch, a wide variety of seminaries were offered in which all kind of topics were addressed. Some of them were: “How to keep a growing church theologically solid”, “The effects of ISIS on Europe”, “Understanding and evaluating the Roman Catholic view of Mary”, “The four theological mistakes that evangelicals are making today”, “Grace-filled sex”, “What kids need most from their Dad – especially if he is in ministry” or “Media engagement in youth ministry: The Disney universe as a case of study”.



A bookstore and special off-programme meetings and discussions made the whole programme even richer. The main hall of the hotel was a meeting point in the evenings, while many used free time to enjoy the good weather walking nearby the river.



As in other editions, the Forum Expo booth was a place in which ministries and participants could connect (Evangelical Focus had one of the stands). 



 



THE GOSPEL IN NOWADAYS' EUROPE



Every day closed with an evening session on burning social issues. These were led by Terry Virgo (“Paul’s aim and method in ministry”), Stefan Gustavsson (on the gender debate), Ken Sande (“Life, family, ministry and witnessing are all about relationships”) and Dave Patty (“Seeing what Jesus sees: two views of Europe”).



An open discussion about the case of the Bodnariu family, in Norway, was another interesting highlight one of the nights (an article about this discusssion will be published soon).



 



Many volunteers made the conference possible. / FOCL



 



SHARING CONTENTS



During the conference, participants accessed their outlines and connected with other participants through a special mobile app. Many also used the social media to share their impressions using the #2016ELF hashtag



















MORE INFORMATION



You can read the brochure of the 2016 ELF conference or visit the ELF website



All sessions were recorded and will be available at the Forum of Christian Leaders (FOCL) website. Follow the FOCL on Facebook and Twitter



Listen to an interview with European Leadership Forum Director Greg Pritchard here



More pictures of the this year's conference:


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - ELF 2016: Christians called to “unity in love and a life of fearlessness”
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 
Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict

Shira Sorko-Ram, pastor and journalist in Israel, shares her views and a historical and biblical context on the latest events.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ” Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ”

Evangelical Focus asked the well-known Pentecostal pastor about his “open” approach to Roman Catholicism. Traettino defended his position about ecumenism during the Italian Evangelical Alliance 2016 assembly (8-9 April, Rome).

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA

Influence in society, evangelical identity and projects in Europe. An interview with Thomas Bucher, secretary general of the European Evangelical Alliance.

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch

Author and international speaker Dr Pablo Martínez discusses the main challenges in Europe nowadays and hopes Evangelical Focus will be a useful tool to help build bridges between churches and society.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
The Bible in Spain’s history The Bible in Spain’s history

An exhibition in the region of Galicia shows the impact of the Bible despite many obstacles. Photos: Marina Acuña.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country ‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country

Bilbao hosted the Spanish Evangelical Alliance's annual meeting (assembly). Politicians, professors and evangelical representatives shared views on social reconciliation. The theme was also analysed from a theological perspective and in workshops. 

 
WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues

A selection of pictures of World Press Photo 2017.

 
The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi spoke about how the biblical worldview shaped the West. 300 professionals attended annual GBG meeting on faith and work in Cullera (Spain). Photos: J.P. Serrano, S. Vera.

 
Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016 Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016

Around 1,000 young Christian leaders from 150 countries are participating in the 2016 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering, to reflect on global mission.

 
“Spain, we pray for you” “Spain, we pray for you”

Hundreds of evangelical Christians from many denominations marched in Madrid (Spain) to pray for their city, the authorities and asking God to bring hope to its society. Many gathered in other cities on June, 11.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Mangalwadi: Education and the Reformation Mangalwadi: Education and the Reformation

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi talks about how a renwed view of the Bible changed education systems in Europe.

 
What role does the Church have in Europe? What role does the Church have in Europe?

Evi Rodemann (Germany) talks about the unique contributions to society that only the Church can make. 

 
Students in Europe: “We are present” Students in Europe: “We are present”

A summary video of the IFES Europe conference which brought together 1,700 students from many countries in Aschaffenburg (Germany) to reflect on God's mission in society.

 
What does the story of Job teach us about suffering? What does the story of Job teach us about suffering?

By Jelena Sivulka, psychologist and Director of Hana's Hope.

 
Proverbs 31 Proverbs 31

A powerful video recites Proverbs 31:10-31, from the Bible. Produced by World Relief. 

 
You-To live-How? You-To live-How?

The Roldan Camacho are a Spanish couple with deafness. They tell us how the whole family experiences everyday life through sign language. A video report by Gabriela Pérez.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.