Amidst all the social and political turmoil in Europe, God is moving to renew the biblical church and re-evangelize countries that have forgotten their Christian heritage.
Iâ€™d like to invite you to join me in supporting this exciting movement.
My involvement began in 2015, when the European Leadership Forum (ELF) asked Chip Zimmer and me to provide training in relational wisdom (RW) and peacemaking at their annual conference, which gathers 700 Evangelical leaders from all parts of Europe.
Our teaching was so well received that we were invited back in 2016 and 2017 to provide a plenary address and custom training for pastors, leaders of Christian organizations and college ministries, Christian counselors and evangelists. As one ministry leader wrote:
â€œYour plenary on relational leadership was one of the best teachings Iâ€™ve ever heard. Iâ€™m studying for a masters in transformational leadership and have to say in the midst of reading a lot of leadership material, relational wisdom was some of the most refreshing concepts I have heard. So important and so needed as we seek to demonstrate how the gospel transforms lives and relationships.â€
Seeing the practical relevance of our training, ELF has filmed 50+ interviews with me on a wide range of relational and peacemaking topics, which have now received over 40,000 views. We were also invited to initiate a Year Round Mentoring Program to equip a group of select leaders to teach relational wisdom in their countries. Here are some testimonies that illustrate how this training is impacting their ministries.
(From Serbia) Relational wisdom has helped me to be much better at working through conflict. For example, at a recent board meeting, one of the directors criticized my teamâ€™s work. Instead of reacting emotionally, I took time to apply what Iâ€™m learning about relational wisdom. I recognized that I was feeling angry because of his criticism. I took time to silently pray, to ask God to subdue my pride, and to imagine what would happen if I gave into my anger. This helped me to remain calm and plan how to respond with wise and gracious words. Instead of turning into an argument, the resulting discussion brought a better understanding. In the end, our team received needed encouragement and our work was actually upheld and affirmed.
(From Romania) RW training has helped me to see that the impact of communication practices is more forceful than I realized. Even though I never intended to intimidate others, I learned that even the most daring leaders in our team are afraid to disagree with me individually or in public. My annual and weekly evaluation of the leaders left several of them crippled as they could not figure out whether they have done anything good or not. As weâ€™ve started to discuss these issues, Iâ€™m finding many ways to apply RW. As Iâ€™ve grown in self-awareness and self-engagement, Iâ€™ve been able to overcome my habit of defending myself when others share ways I had hurt them. This helped me to identify and confess my sin. And by growing in other-awareness, Iâ€™m more sensitive to how my words and actions are affecting others. Most of all, I am thinking more often about how I can lead and relate to others in a way that is glorifying to God.
Seeing how God is using our training to help Christian leaders improve their relational skills and â€œget upstream of conflict,â€ we have committed to three major training events in the months ahead.
In December, Chip and I are scheduled to spend three days with the students in our Year Round Mentoring Group in Barcelona exploring ways that Christians can apply relational wisdom to the challenges they face in their countries â€¦ such as the political tensions between Spain and Catalonia.
In January, Jeff Sande, our new Director of Training and Marketing, will be traveling to the Czech Republic, to teach a full Discovering Relational Wisdom Seminar to ministry development directors from throughout Europe.
Lord willing, all three of us will be back in Poland in May to provide more custom training and mentoring at the next ELF conferences, as well as a series of seminars for pastors and ministry leaders in Romania.
We Need Your Help
Our ministry donates all of our time and pay all of our own expenses for these events. Why? Because we believe this is such a unique opportunity to strengthen the church in Europe with relational training that can enhance its ability to model and proclaim the gospel to a part of the world that has forgotten its Christian heritage.
All of the ministry work described above has been the result of your generous gifts.
Will you please continue to support our efforts to serve the church in Europe?
If you click on the link below, youâ€™ll find convenient ways that you can donate money, gift cards, vehicles, or appreciated stock or real estate.
Most of all, please join us in praying that God will use our teaching and mentoring to strengthen the relational skills of Christian leaders throughout Europe so that they can build vibrant and united churches and ministries that display the transforming power of the gospel.
Permission to distribute:Â Please feel free to download, print, or electronically share this message in its entirety for non-commercial purposes, whether with a few friends or as a staff, ministry or church devotional.
Â© 2017 Ken Sande
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