Emanuel Pela is a small group leader and discipleship group leader.
When did you trust Christ?
I grew up in the church, so I had all the information I needed about the Christian faith and about what Jesus had done. But in the end it did not transform me. When I was about age 14, a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to take part in a Bible study group. I joined the group and started to read the Bible and things began to make more sense. During the summer of 2015 I went to a camp with the youth from our church and the theme for the week was from Philippians 3:10. That week was the defining moment when I realized that Christ was an actual person and that I could have a personal living relationship with Him.
What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?
Having authentic Christians around me when I first started following Christ helped me with my thirst to know Jesus. Whether they knew it or not, these Christians became my mentors. With their help I began to pay forward what was given to me. I started leading small discussion groups and Bible study groups for teenagers in my home church. Seeing some of my friends engaging in a personal relationship with Jesus was a huge boost in my faith life. Being raised in a church had its benefits but also some disadvantages. A major one was that after moving to another city to attend to university, I realized that I had taken some things for granted. I had some beliefs that were not challenged and so I did not know how to answer questions that my non-Christian friends had about Christianity and the Bible. This motivated me to go back to the basics and to the truths I had told other people to believe in but had not tested myself. During my time in college I found Vox Domini Church and that is where I experienced considerable growth in my relationship with Jesus.
Why do you want to attend the Forum?
The European Leadership Forum and the Forum’s Year-Round Mentoring for Disciple Making Leaders have been the best learning experiences in my life. The sessions greatly contributed to my development as a Christian leader and discipleship group leader. Being able to have lunches with the speakers and other leaders and also meeting new people made my first time at the Forum a memorable experience.
What is your ministry?
I am currently leading my third church home group and my third discipleship group at Vox Domini Church. These two groups are contexts where I am in direct contact with students and graduates and have a chance to challenge them to walk daily with Jesus. We are also inviting non-believers to our home group, where we engage in discussions about our faith and challenge them to seek the truth for themselves.
What are your past leadership roles?
For five years while I was a student I volunteered as an event coordinator and project manager for an NGO called OSCET (Christian Student Organization in Timisoara, which is part of International Fellowship of Evangelical Students). I led Bible study groups in my hometown and Bible study meetings in my home church.
Why should someone invest in your ministry?
Along my journey as a Christian I have always wondered why people have chosen to invest in me and mentor me. I don’t really know if I have an answer, but I think it has to do with the fact that I assume responsibilities and follow them through, that I am focused on learning and becoming more mature, and that I want to help others do the same. My calling is to make disciples and help them grow. I need help to do it better than I am doing right now.