News and Articles
3 June 2016
In May 2016 a band from Above Bar Church led sung worship at the European Leadership Forum (ELF) in Wisla, Poland.
What is the European Leadership Forum?
The European Leadership Forum aims to serve and equip Christian Leaders to renew the biblical church and re-evangelise Europe.
They seek to achieve this by identifying, uniting, mentoring, and resourcing evangelical leaders so they can:
- Present the gospel confidently, lovingly, and persuasively.
- Share and implement the best strategies for reaching their own countries for Christ.
- Develop their gifts and abilities in their unique vocations and callings.
- Mentor the next generation of evangelical leaders.
- Lead their churches or other organisations faithfully and with godly wisdom.
- Plant new churches and renew local churches.
Leading sung worship
When we arrived, the stage had been put up, the sound system was blasting out a worship CD, and the spot lights made the venue look impressive. But I became very insecure when we started practising as it dawned on me, ‘There are over 700 gifted leaders here from 45 nations. What do I have to offer?’
But then I reasoned with my soul, ‘Why am I here?’ Two reasons: (1) to use my gifts to glorify God, and, (2) to bless others. Well, God has given me the gifts I have! Yes, my voice isn’t the greatest and I’m not the best pianist in the hotel (there was a grand piano in the bar area and numerous people were playing beautifully during breaks), but I’m going to do my best and let God take care of the rest. I led four sessions and it was wonderful to see Tom James and Chris Matheson lead two meetings each.
There was a rich buffet of biblical teaching, which included John Piper doing four sessions on Philippians. The greatest challenge for many was his last talk about prayer: 'the greatest thing Christians can give to Europe is something that Christians can’t give to Europe – an encounter with God. So prayer needs to be the VISIBLE ENGINE of you, your family, and your ministry.'
There is a growing sense of hope on the continent of what God is doing. Yes, the task is enormous, but God is melting cold hearts and raising up a generation of leaders who are sacrificial, faith-filled, and gospel-centred.
On the final evening, we heard about a youth ministry in Czech republic that were in contact with 10,000 young people in 16 schools during Autumn 2014 and saw four commitments to Christ (praise God for these four!). In Spring 2016, again they worked with 10,000 young people in 16 schools, proclaiming the same message and yet saw 290 young people respond.
The difference was threefold:
- They rejected the lie that the field was not ripe for harvesting and that Europeans are not spiritually hungry.
- They asked people in a clearer manner if they wanted to accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
- The Holy Spirit was moving in a mysterious and magnificent way.
Want to be involved?
ELF is underwritten by a generous band of Americans who have a heart for Europe. Also, many volunteers fly over to facilitate the conference (running the bookshop, ensuring the seminars are recorded, etc.). Most volunteers are over 50 and want to go on a mission trip, but don’t want to sleep on bunk beds in dormitories! If you would like to help, visit www.euroleadership.org/volunteer.
This is a great way of building God’s kingdom.
I think this was the best ELF I’ve been to regarding quality of speakers, band logistics, and general atmosphere. We count it a privilege to be involved with such a fruitful and significant ministry.