Missionary Dave Brown reports on his involvement with the European Leadership Forum
Over the past few years, I’ve got increasingly involved with the European Leadership Forum. For most of my ministry career I was convinced that I should concentrate on the French-speaking world, at first within Europe, and then mainly because of my work with the French student movement, I spoke at meetings in Quebec, the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan African and then North Africa (known as the Maghreb in France).
However, attending the annual ELF conferences in Poland, I realized that people were looking to France as a European country which had seen much church growth over the past few decades. In addition, France is a country with a Roman Catholic background with which they could identify.
I’ve learnt much about church revitalization through my ten years in the Paris-Cardinet church and I teach on this subject at the Geneva Bible Institute, for example. However, since 2018 I’ve led the Church Revitalisation Network of the ELF (we have a bi-lingual website in French and English: revitalisation.fr) and each year since 2016 I’ve been leading a mentoring group for several pastors across Europe as they work on bringing change to their churches.
In March this year, just before lockdown, I spent a week in Romania teaching a group of pastors at the Baptist Seminary in Bucharest at the invitation of the Dean, Daniel Fodorean. Daniel has been through this ELF programme, and now he’s taking these pastors through the process we’ve identified as a model for revitalisation.
During the last week of May, the ELF conference was held online, a huge gathering within which our network was held via Zoom and several people from Spain to the Ukraine are now signed up for year-round mentoring. Lockdown could not prevent this ministry!