Daniel Pavlinak|| needs forum funding ::

Daniel Pavlinak|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic
Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization
Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders
Ministry Focus:
Discipleship
Daniel Pavlinak serves with In-Life, an organization that disciples university students in Czech Republic and Slovakia.
When did you trust Christ?
I was born into a Christian home with both parents active in ministry. I heard many stories of people coming to Christ and my parents were very clear in their guidance. I put my trust in Jesus as a young child. I understood I needed to be forgiven by God, that He loved me and sent His son Jesus to die for my sins. After realizing this, I asked Jesus to become my Lord and Savior.
What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?
When I was about 12, my rebellion against God began. I was not well accepted at school, so I found older friends and started drinking with them. The pressure of living two lives was slowly becoming unbearable. When I was 14, I agreed to study the Bible one-on-one with a young man volunteering in the ministry of my parents. I also started going to Christian student meetings and saw people who had real joy in their lives. God led me into reading the Bible, and I started studying and praying, asking God to show me a way to happiness and meaning. I also started playing the guitar and I played the songs I knew best – Christian hymns. God used all of this to change my heart and I decided to follow Him fully. I have been personally discipled which has had a tremendous impact on my life. I have been led not only to have a deeper understanding of God’s word but have also inspired by the example of other people’s lives. They were not afraid to get involved in my life and to help me to see God’s guidance and help.
Why do you want to attend the Forum?
I expect to be encouraged by biblical teaching and discover spiritual patterns in Jesus’ ministry. I think getting to know people from different ministries around Europe and spending some time in discussion will help me understand our culture deeper and thus communicate the Gospel in a relevant way. I also hope to develop relationships with other Christian leaders to be able to serve each other in partnerships in the future.
What is your ministry?
I currently serve full-time with In-Life, helping young men to know Jesus Christ and grow in their newly found faith. I lead the student’s core group. Within this group we primarily organize evangelism events, but the goal is also to help these students grow into future leaders.
What are your past leadership roles?
During the last year of university, I led the local student ministry of In-Life. I also became a manager of a small team at the Sony DADC company. I also led worship teams for multiple events.
Why should someone invest in your ministry?
God is a personal God who wants a very personal relationship with each of us. However, our society concentrates more on doing things, rather than on building relationships. We try to grasp relationships in the same way we grasp business models and academic frameworks. But relationships are messy, as people are. I believe we, the church, have adopted the “doing” mindset and very few people receive Christ in Europe. Change can only begin through our relationships with Christ. By accepting God’s love, we are safe enough to step into relationships and “get dirty” with others’ lives.
Sarka Konickova|| needs forum funding ::

Sarka Konickova|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

Sarka Konickova is responsible for project development of Christianity Explored courses in Czech Republic.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in an unbelieving family. My adolescence was a complicated time because my parents got divorced and my mother started suffering from a serious mental disorder. I was glad that I could leave our house to start studying at university and live my own life. In the second year of my Ph.D. studies my mother received the diagnosis that she might die. Around that same time my cousin’s husband got seriously ill as well. Due to all this my father came back to our town into what was a difficult social situation. I thought all of this would be the collapse of our family, and I didn’t feel prepared to stay alone with my cousin and her two small girls. Because I couldn’t do anything I started working too much, and I couldn’t finish all the loads of work that I had promised to do. I got ill, but in the same time, thanks to the recommendation of my best friend, Alzbeta, I started to attend a basic course on Christianity. For the first time I admitted that Jesus could be on my side.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I began to attend Christian festivals and conferences and I had to confess my sins and forgive my parents for not really caring about me when I was growing up. At one festival, I felt the presence of God. It was an absolutely amazing and life-changing experience. Alzbeta’s family is for me the model of a true believer’s. She and her parents helped me to resolve my family problems and recommended to me the church where I was eventually baptized and became a member. At the beginning of my time in church, I was involved in preparing programs as a member and I became one of the youth group leaders. Moreover, I attended a year-long program for the youth leaders in our church. I truly believe that it was God’s miracle that I could live a normal life, and I am thankful for His leading even when I was not a believer. He healed my soul.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

At the Forum I feel supported, energized, and refilled by the Holy Spirit. I highly appreciate the biblical teaching here. The quality is at a really high level and I am looking forward to applying it in my life and at my job. I also appreciate all the experienced mentors who answered my questions regarding organizational development and fundraising.

What is your ministry?

I am responsible for project development of Christianity Explored courses in Czech Republic. My main task is to contact pastors and inform them about these courses, which are not well known in Czech Republic, and to provide training for leaders of Christianity Explored groups. I am also responsible for the marketing processes in our organization. I also lead Christianity Explored and Discipleship Explored groups myself.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was involved in the student organization AIESEC, where I was responsible for talent management. As a volunteer I have been to Malaysia, where I was responsible for HIV education at university and secondary schools. I was a volunteer at a Christian festival called United.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I feel that my vocation is to work with young people, and I think I could do a lot by trying to change our educational system to provide more high-quality services. I would love to give back all His love, which He had for me, and help to grow a new young generation of believers. The Forum is one of the best events in our region and I always wish to learn from the best.

Samuel Rusnok|| needs forum funding ::

Samuel Rusnok|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Education—Seminary

Forum Network:
Youth Ministry Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Samuel Rusnok is a youth group leader in Czech Republic.

When did you trust Christ?

The first time I heard about Jesus was when I was 8 years old. When I learned about Jesus, my sin, and my need for reconciliation with God, I gave my life to Jesus. This was the beginning of my faith journey.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I was part of a youth group that pushed me closer to living with Jesus. This group was very important for me. Later I became a youth group leader and took on more responsibility. More recently I started to study theology in Bratislava, which has helped me to grow so much.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope I will see new ways of doing ministry among young people and that I will meet new people with similar situations in life.

What is your ministry?

I am a youth group leader. I also lead a Bible study for younger boys. I create the topics for our meetings. I see the importance in spending time with younger people and I try to lead them and help them with a life of faith.

What are your past leadership roles?

I am a youth group leader and member of the youth department in our church.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Ministry with young people is the future of the church. I want to do it better and bring new ideas to our communities.

Daniel Jurco|| needs forum funding ::

Daniel Jurco|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Other

Forum Network:
Youth Ministry Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Daniel Jurco is a regional youth leader in the Czech Republic.

When did you trust Christ?

I gave my life to Jesus when I was 12. I couldn’t sleep at night because I was afraid I or a loved one would not wake up in the morning. I shared this with my mother, we prayed, and she led me to Christ.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My father is a pastor, so serving in the church was always a part of my life and I couldn’t imagine living without it. At one point, I started questioning why I was doing this even though I served on a youth group team. After some time, the youth leader stepped down and his position needed to be filled. That was my time to start growing and I became the main youth group leader. The ministry pushes me to grow and learn.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Through the European Leadership Forum, I hope to learn something new, to grow in Jesus, to be inspired by other believers who have known the Lord longer, and to develop the skills I need to do His will better.

What is your ministry?

I lead the youth group in my local church. This is a group of high school students, from about age 15-19. We are trying to be a mission-oriented youth group. We are organizing English camps, outreach weekend retreats, and outreach Friday evenings.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been a youth group leader for the past three years. Prior to being the leader, I was part of the youth leadership team for several years. I recently started a position as Regional Youth Leader for my church denomination.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I’m hungry! I want to serve the best I can, so I need information on how to be a better leader.

Zdenek Blazek|| needs forum funding ::

Zdenek Blazek|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
University Students

Zdenek Blazek is Regional Director for Integrity Life, an organization that ministers to and disciple’s university students in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

When did you trust Christ?

I accepted Christ in November of 1995.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

At a conference for students, I received full assurance of my salvation in Christ and decided to commit my life entirely to Him—no matter the cost. I began sharing the gospel with my roommates and served in student ministry. This was a difficult time because I lost many friends, as well as my job. Later, my team began organizing lectures and projects for students around the country. I began working with the Integrity Life ministry in 1999 with the ability to teach and serve others through the national and international ministry.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum gives a wonderful opportunity to gain refreshing ideas, and receive important resources, such as training manuals and books. I have been able to meet people who work in similar ministries. The Forum enables me to meet strong and gifted Christian leaders and plan steps for changing Central Europe for Christ.

What is your ministry?

I am a Regional Director for Integrity Life. Our ministry is focused on university students. Our main goal is sharing the gospel in every university town in Czech Republic and Slovakia (and, we hope, across more of Europe in the future). In the last few years, we have started a new ministry with university alumni. This is a church planting movement with young professionals and their families. Integrity Life’s ministry is very organic and we can see the fruits. We are seeing newly born Christians and making new disciples every year.

What are your past leadership roles?

Before I was involved with Integrity Life I led Bible studies and helped organize lectures for students on apologetic topics.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Most university students in the Czech Republic—90% of students—have no background in Christianity. Some are interested in spiritual things. They claim they are atheists, but they are still looking. Only 5%-10% of students say they believe in God, but they have no personal relationship with Him. Only 3%-5% say they know Christians who are trustworthy. 95% do not know any trustworthy Christians. This is my context. Our ministry is growing now. Many students are like me—people who were saved from an atheistic background. After being saved, they serve in churches and work as Christians in businesses. Investing in students here has the potential to change the Czech Republic forever.

Jana Mackova|| needs forum funding ::

Jana Mackova|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Organizational Development

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Jana Mackova is the Operational Director for the Czech Evangelical Association.

When did you trust Christ?

As a child who grew up in church, my relationship with God was formed step by step. I made my conscious decision to follow Jesus at youth camp when I was a teenager. I was baptized and became a member of the church. God guided me through my childhood. I see my relationship with God as a lifelong process of asking God, from time to time, to go deeper or to choose the path of my relationship with Him.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The first defining moment was my decision to follow Christ and join my church’s youth group afterwards. A second defining moment was my ministry as a youth leader and missionary among students. A third defining moment was studying practical theology through TCM International Institute. A fourth defining moment was having Christian friends with whom I could discuss God’s Word and model my own practical faith.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Through the Forum I hope to be encouraged and have the opportunity to learn new things. I hope to be able to share my own experiences with other participants and learn from the experiences of others.

What is your ministry?

I have been employed as an operational director of Czech Evangelical Association since January of 2020. My job and ministry are to lead the progress of the organization, to be an event manager for conferences, and to help churches for their growth, communication, and public outreach. I have also been teaching teenagers the Bible for the last year.

What are your past leadership roles?

Originally, I was a youth group leader and missionary among students. I served as an elder for 12 years in my church and for almost eight years had responsibility for economic affairs.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to serve God effectively to my full potential. I want to excel in ministry with the goal of seeing more people trust God. I also long to grow personally in my relationship with Him.

Zaneta Dvorackova|| needs forum funding ::

Zaneta Dvorackova|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Zaneta Dvorackova is the Deputy Director for Prison Fellowship Czech Republic.

When did you trust Christ?

When I was a teenager, I met Christians who invited me to attend a youth group. I attended the youth group for two years before I decided to give my life to Jesus. When I was 17, I was baptized and started to serve in the local church.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I was deciding which university should I attend, God led me to go to Evangelical Biblical Seminary in Prague. Three years at this seminary were key in my spiritual life and in my direction for life. I studied theology and counseling. Another key moment in my life was when my husband decided to step into ministry as a pastor. Since then we have been serving among many people (kids, youth, adults, older people, and imprisoned people and their families). We have a heart for lost people, and we are praying that God may use us to spread the Gospel and gain people for Him.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum is a place of encouragement and personal spiritual development. The Forum is unique in its atmosphere and depth and gives you time to recharge. I hope to return to gain new information, inspiration, and encouragement for my future ministry.

What is your ministry?

I am the Deputy Director of Prison Fellowship Czech Republic. I serve families and especially children of incarcerated parents. I coordinate special projects for them, including an Angel Tree program at Christmas, a Day with My Child program during the year, and summer camps for the children of incarcerated parents. All projects are designed to support families, to help strengthen their bonds during incarceration, and to help them survive the time of separation and help with reunion after the incarcerated parent is released. We bring them God’s Word and show them God’s love, which can change their lives.

What are your past leadership roles?

I led a youth group for almost 10 years. I have been the leader of a home group in our church for women.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to grow in the Lord and to be more useful for His work. I want to improve my leadership skills.

Lukas Juhascik|| needs forum funding ::

Lukas Juhascik|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Other

Forum Network:
Youth Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Lukas Juhascik is a disciple making youth leader in the Czech Republic.

When did you trust Christ?

I was raised as a Christian. My personal decision to follow Jesus was with my mom at the age of 5. However, the encounter with God that completely changed my life was at the age of 13 during prayer with my friend.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Some of the most important moments in my Christian life include being baptized with the Holy Spirit, learning to spend time in personal Bible study, spending time in weekly prayer and worship meetings with a few close friends, learning from and being mentored by family and ministry leaders, and going through times of personal trials and pain.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope to grow in my knowledge of God and in how to live by His Spirit. I hope to learn from inspirational teaching and to receive ministry skills and new connections with other Christian leaders from Czech Republic and other Eastern European countries.

What is your ministry?

My goal is to make disciples through preaching the Gospel and teaching God’s word. We have built a community where young people can experience an encounter with God and recognize His calling for their lives

What are your past leadership roles?

Since the age of 16 I have been part of the team of leaders in youth ministry in my local church. Since the age of 23 I have been the main youth leader.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am a young leader and would like to avoid unnecessary mistakes. I would like to increase my vision and thinking about ministry. I am sure the European Leadership Forum will be of great help in shaping my future ministry.

Jan Brtnicek|| needs forum funding ::

Jan Brtnicek|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Education—University

Forum Network:
Youth Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Jan Brtnicek is a youth leader in the Czech Republic.

When did you trust Christ?

My parents were struggling with alcohol and my older brother with drugs. My brother accepted Jesus and Jesus cleansed and saved him. Then my brother told me about Jesus. I could see what Jesus did in my brother’s life. It took about two years, but I finally decided to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The overall defining moment of my Christian life was at a Slovak Christian festival called CampFest, which is arranged by Youth for Christ Slovakia. I worked as a volunteer there for several years, first starting in sanitary facilities, then in the kitchen. I learned a lot about God the Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and myself during these weeks each year. Modern worship, expanding my personal relationship with Jesus, spending time in prayer, practically working together to prepare the festival, meeting great Christians, all of it was so awesome. God was really showing me His love and mercy and that I was missing a lot when I was not with Him. It was the most important place where my faith grew and where others impacted me.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum was recommended to me by our deputy bishop of my church. I am a student of theology and I am preparing to be a pastor in our church. Since I am going to be leader, I need to learn to be a good leader. I am leading the youth group in our church and helping to lead the all youth groups in our denomination. I would like to learn to be more responsible and to use better my time. I believe that taking part in the Forum will help me to be a better leader now and in future. I am expecting to receive great inspiration for my ministry.

What is your ministry?

I am studying for my master’s degree in theology and preparing to be a pastor. The main part of my ministry now is in our local church in Bohumín. I have been the youth pastor there for 2 years now. I lead worship once a month. I play organ accompanying the Sunday service twice a month. I also take care of the money in our local church and I am one of the presbyters (elders).

What are your past leadership roles?

One of my past leadership roles was in the Christian festival CampFest mentioned earlier. I was the leader of one team of Czech and Slovak kitchen volunteers. I was also a coordinator of European Volunteering Service in an NGO for nearly three years.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to serve God the best I can, now as youth leader and as a pastor in the future. I believe that I can learn a great deal from the European Leadership Forum.

Lukas Bayer|| needs forum funding ::

Lukas Bayer|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Other

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Lukas Bayer serves as a youth group leader in Czech Republic.

When did you trust Christ?

I did not grow up in a Christian family, but my friend attended a youth group in a nearby church and invited me to attend with him. Through that youth group, I got to know a little bit about Christianity, but I didn’t believe it. One night I started to think about the creation of the world. I concluded it is irrational to think the universe came into existence by chance or that it was created by many gods. The only plausible possibility seemed to be that the world was created by one God and that that God is worthy to be followed. I decided I would pray to the God I learned about in youth group to see if that religion worked. God answered my prayers and freed me from addiction, which confirmed to me that Christianity was the true religion. At that time, I didn’t understand Jesus ́significance. Then I attended an English Camp. During an event called Labyrinth we had to visit a few stations and complete some tasks there. At one station there were Bible verses we had to read and think about. These verses were about Jesus, His sacrifice for our sins, and so on. During that event I felt God ́s presence and understood the significance of Jesus and His sacrifice.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The thing that changed my Christian life most was studying at the University of Mateja Bela in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, and being in constant fellowship with other Christians. This helped to shape my theology and my conduct in life. I also had many opportunities to serve in this school; my preaching improved and I developed leadership skills by leading small groups and worship. Two other events changed my life and helped me grow. First, while traveling by train I talked with a friend who asked me if I read my Bible regularly. I answered that I only read it sometimes. We talked about that topic for a little longer and that day I decided to read the Word every day. That brief conversation had lasting results. A second major moment was when I broke up with my girlfriend who I thought I would marry. I felt awful. I had doubts about myself and was confused. However, God used this to show me He has everything firmly in His hands. He knew that this breakup would happen, and it was in His plan from the beginning. I learned He always has everything under control, from the entire universe down to the details of my life. Therefore, I can trust Him in every situation.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum will help me become a better preacher and ministry leader. More importantly, I think that participating in the Forum will help me in the future as I prepare to become a pastor.

What is your ministry?

I am the pastor of our youth group of 20-30 people, most of whom are university students. At times young professionals visit and we also invite high school students. Most are born-again believers, but at this moment there are three people who are not born again who attend the youth group.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was one of the team members that served in children’s ministry in our church.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to continue to serve in my current youth group, but I hope to become the pastor of a church. I have much to learn. Since I study theology, I have a foundation, but I believe I could use more practical training.

Stepan Rucki|| needs YRM funding ::

Stepan Rucki|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Apologetics

Ministry Focus:
Scientists

What is your ministry?

For 18 years I have been the president (and one of the founders) of the Christian Fellowship for Health Service Workers – organizing many conferences for Czech doctors and nurses together with ICMDA and HCFI representatives. I personally have held many lectures on topics like the Christian view on alternative medicine, and ethical issues like sanctity of life, assisted reproduction, homosexuality etc. I am the author of the books like Alternative Medicine: Help, or Danger? and Is Anyone Among You Sick? (in Czech). I also spoke regularly on popular topics (ethics, evolution/creation, biblical truths) at the youth camps (e.g. X-camp in Smilovice).

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I would like to grow in my skills for writing and speaking on the topic of science and faith.

What is your leadership role?

At present I am working as the head of the pediatric department in community hospital (Trinec), participating in postgraduate specialization training of young physicians. Some years ago, I did scientific research in pediatric hypertension (PhD thesis on childhood ambulatory blood pressure monitoring at the Charles University in Prague). I have co-authored two books for the pediatricians: Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Pediatrics and Cardiologic Minimum for Practicing Pediatricians.

Ester Pucalkova|| needs YRM funding ::

Ester Pucalkova|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Children and/or Youth

Ministry Focus:
Women in Leadership

What is your ministry?

I am a leader of a youth group in Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic. We are trying to connect new people through alpha courses, special events, and regular meetings. I am a member of the “department for youth groups” in our church, focusing on the South Moravia region in the Czech Republic to provide connection, teaching, and encouragement for other youth group leaders in this region.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

My ministry can affect young Christians from the entire Czech Republic. As students and temporal members of our youth group, young people can see, experience, and learn new things which they can later apply in their own ministry or work in churches and in their future lives. Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic, with a large group of people who know only a little about Jesus Christ. With our youth group, we would like to focus on young people at universities and start some missionary activities there. I want to learn how to build permanent relationships, how to stand near to someone in trouble, how to do Bible study more effectively and how to involve in it other people, how to build up future leaders, and how to work with single women.

What is your leadership role?

For 10 years, I was a leader of services for children in the local church. In addition, was a member of a Czech team that organised English camps in our church for 9 years.

Adrzej Molin|| needs YRM funding ::

Adrzej Molin|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Children and/or Youth

Ministry Focus:
Apologetics

What is your ministry?

I lead a student bible group. I also enjoy engagin people and sharing the good news of the gospel with them.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I am interested in apologetics because I think being a Christian is not only matter of faith but also thinking, and that faith is and should be based (also) on rational thinking. I would like to get to know more how we can defend our Christian faith in today’s world.

What is your leadership role?

I am a second leader of the Czech IFES student group at my university, Ostrava. I also play the piano for my church worship band.

Nik Lica|| needs YRM funding ::

Nik Lica|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Ministry Focus:
Pastoral Growth

What is your ministry?

I am a pastor of Karlovy Vary Baptist Church. We are a very small church, so I am responsible for many tasks, including preaching, teaching, and pastoral counselling. My passion for ministry is to see the church grow both spiritually and numerically.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I am a pastor who loves the church. I want to see it grow. I have been involved in full-time ministry since 1999. I hope to lead my church and other churches through the revitalisation process. I also need assistance, advice, encouragement, and mentoring. I want to learn how to bring health to the church. I want to be able to find joy in ministry, while keeping it fresh and avoiding burnout. I want to learn how to do mission and evangelism and discipleship. I want to learn how to implement new habits that will refresh my physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I need help in learning how to grow our church step by step.

What is your leadership role?

I was the pastor of a Baptist church in Vikyrovice for 11 years. I have been the pastor of my current church for the last 10 years.

Ivo Sterba|| needs forum funding ::

Ivo Sterba|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Ivo Sterba is an elder and youth pastor.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian back in early 1990s when I was in high school. I was invited to a weekend retreat where I heard the Gospel message proclaimed for the very first time. I repented of my sins and accepted Jesus right then and there. I started attending the local youth group in my hometown.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One of the defining moments in my Christian life was with a youth pastor from a church in Český Těšín. This youth leader inspired me a lot as a leader and a true and humble servant of Christ. Thanks to him I started to study, understand, and come to know the meanings of Biblical texts. I learned new ways of reaching out to young people with the Gospel. I learned to grow in faith. He recommended different books, conferences, and training programs to me.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope to meet with people who have experience with revitalizing churches. I am part of an aging church, so revitalizing our church is part of my ministry. I would like to learn how to proceed. I want to learn new ways of how to reach out to young people and gain new inspiration for the ministry. The Forum will also be a great chance for networking. I would also like to make use of the mentoring program that the Forum offers.

What is your ministry?

I am trying to revitalize the church and to reach out to young people in Bohumín through summer English camps and other youth activities. I also lead a bi-monthly small group in our church focused on evangelism. Furthermore, I want to develop relationships and build bridges with our non-believing friends who also have children and who we meet at different events for kids in our hometown.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was a youth group leader in the 1990s in our church. A few years back I took up youth ministry doing various outreach activities like playing softball with kids, watching English movies, running English camps, and leading an Alpha course.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am from a small church and haven’t had many opportunities to attend a conferences and trainings like this before. I take it as a great opportunity for me to learn, grow in faith, and further develop my ministry.

Sigita Linkyte|| needs forum funding ::

Sigita Linkyte|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Sigita Linkyte is a youth minister in her local church.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my decision to follow Jesus when I was 16-year-old. The church that my family attended started Alpha courses for young people and I was invited to join them. I learned so much about Jesus and the Bible and why they are the truth. During a weekend away with my group from the course, I was convicted by the Holy Spirit. I realized that I need Him as my savior. I had committed so many sins, but I knew that He would still forgive me and that He still loved me. This changed me. I wanted to get to know Jesus better and help others to get to know Him also.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One of my closest friends died not long after I decided to follow Jesus. It caused me so much pain. But I felt that Jesus was always near me and that He was now my closest friend. Without Him I would have been completely crushed. Another important moment was when I had to move to another city to study. I was alone and away from my family and friends. But God was faithful and never left me. He comforted me and brought peace to my heart. After a couple of weeks in my new city I found a group of Christians from various churches who gathered once in a week to share about their lives and to worship God. This had great impact on me. I found that other Christians could be like family members even if I had just met them. While studying I had a mentor (from the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students organization). She helped me to deepen and strengthen my faith. Together we read a book written by John Stott called Contemporary Christian. And now I am serving in my local church as the youth minister. By studying God’s Word with children and teenagers, by seeing how they grow in faith, I also understand more of who God is. It is also a big challenge for me to serve them and lead them. But with prayer and by studying God’s Word I find that He is faithful.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum has really blessed me with the fellowship and encouragement I have received there. The time spent in the presence of God has shown me what I am doing wrong as a leader and how I should change that. But step by step I am willing to change and entrust to God what I am doing.

What is your ministry?

Once in a week our youth group gathers together to study the Bible, share our insights, and to worship and pray together. I also meet personally with some of the girls to study the Bible together. I mentor them and disciple them so that they will be mature Christians who can serve others and serve themselves.

What are your past leadership roles?

In addition to the youth group, I organize events like worship nights. I serve youth in our church’s summer camp.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Our city is a big mission field. We are a small church, but we want to reach people outside of it. I am young and I believe that I can lead the youth in our church and reach teens outside of the church. I find it easy to make new connections, to get to know a person better and lead them to the Christ.

Petra Ratkovics|| needs forum funding ::

Petra Ratkovics|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Education—University

Forum Network:
Theologians

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

Petra Ratkovics is a speaker and PhD student.

When did you trust Christ?

After a few years of Bible class in primary school, I went to my church’s summer camp for the first time. During the camp, I became close with members of the youth group and we chatted every night. I was amazed to see their love for God and for each other, and to hear their testimonies really got to my heart. I had heard of salvation and the meaning of the cross, but I never really understood it. But then one evening after worship the preacher spoke of Calvary and Jesus’s love. For the first time I understood God’s great love for me. I decided to follow and trust Him.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My parents divorced shortly after my conversion. That event made me depend on the only sure thing in my life: Jesus. After starting my university studies, I discovered more of the freedom I have in Christ. I got to know more believers from different walks of life. While writing my first research paper I was faced with questions about my trust in God and His plan for me; after a long struggle, I found a deeper and more mature trust in Jesus.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum is a great opportunity to connect with other academics and to understand and see more of the academic life. The Forum also deepens my relationship with God through Bible teaching and through Christian community. The Forum has opened up a number of opportunities I was previously unaware of. I have made meaningful connections with others and it has strengthened my devotion to Christ and to God’s supreme authority. It has also provided me with useful materials that I will almost certainly use in my future ministry.

What is your ministry?

I give lectures on different topics related to apologetics and Christianity. For example, I have given talks about the reliability of the Old Testament, the reliability of the New Testament, and on homosexuality. I am also a PhD student at Karoli Gaspar University, studying the book of Jeremiah and the Greek Jeremiah-text (Septuagint). Currently I am working as a TA for one of my professors and as a substitute for another professor. I am also writing a paper that will hopefully benefit the theology students and other students. I lead a youth group and a small group.

What are your past leadership roles?

For the last 5-8 years, I have been leading small groups at various conferences and camps. I have been leading a youth group for two years. I spent the last year in a church working as an assistant pastor.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

If I see God’s calling, I’m driven. I want to give my best and all that I am. I would return or pass on any investment in me to others.

Daniel Bolek|| needs forum funding ::

Daniel Bolek|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Science and Technology

Forum Network:
Evangelism

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Daniel Bolek is the leader his church’s youth group and an IT developer.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up surrounded by Christians who lived their lives according to Scripture. This was a very important gift that helped me to make my own decision to follow Christ. During my childhood, I had many opportunities to hear the testimonies of people who had totally submitted their lives to Christ and who were radically changed. This gave me food for thought as a young boy. I was constantly asking myself, “Who is this Jesus, that in his name there are so many miracles happening – sick people are healed, broken lives of alcohol and drug addicts are changed, and those who suffer mentally or physically have hope and joy in their lives?” I did not understand it, but I knew that I needed to have Jesus in my heart as well. At the age of 14, I decided to submit my life to Jesus during an evangelical conference held in our church.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One of the most defining moments of my Christian walk was a gift from God, a miracle, which happened to me during a youth conference held in one of our neighboring churches. I was very sick on that day (sore throat and rhinitis), but I decided to go on conference anyway. I was very moved by a preaching and during the pastor’s final prayer, I re-submitted my life to Christ and I said to Jesus, “I don’t need anything else, but just You!” In that moment, my sore throat and rhinitis was gone. I didn’t ask God for it; it was a gift. I was so shocked that I went to the bathroom, where I cried and gave glory to God. However, the story did not end there. In the following days and weeks, I realized that I was also set free from my addiction, which I had been fighting for two years prior to the conference.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

As we are building new generation of youth group from scratch in the second largest city of Czech Republic, it brings many challenges to us and raises the need of solid skills related to this ministry. God has sent the Forum into my life at exactly the right time. I am building a new youth group from scratch, so it is important to start with a good, healthy foundation. The Forum connects me with other youth leaders in Europe and those relationships will be very fruitful for our ministries. I have the opportunity to speak with many interesting and gifted Christians who serve the Lord in many areas. This is so encouraging! The Forum is a unique opportunity to build a new generation of European leaders and I am thankful to be a part of it.

What is your ministry?

My main ministry is youth leadership. I lead the youth group of my church in Brno, the second largest city in Czech Republic, where I moved during my studies. We are building a new generation youth group in our church from scratch.

What are your past leadership roles?

During my final year of high school and first two years university studies, I was a youth leader in our local church in a small town. There were five people in our leadership team and our youth group consisted of approx. 20 young people.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I see the ministry of youth leadership as very important one. There are many challenges and I strongly appreciate when someone is willing to invest in the training and mentoring of young people who will be the future leaders of our churches.

Petr Boldis|| needs forum funding ::

Petr Boldis|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Discipleship

Petr Boldis is a deacon and discipleship group leader in his local church.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian in 2000 during after a showing on the Jesus film in Czech Republic. After the movie, I met with some American missionaries who led me to accept Jesus Christ as my savior. They also helped me take the first few steps of following Jesus after I became a Christian.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Firstly, the testimony and discipleship I was provided by the missionaries who led me to the Lord were invaluable. They helped me take my first baby steps in the Christian faith. Secondly, I have experienced challenging times when God has been my only hope and when he has purified my internal motives. Finally, participating in different ministries in the church has helped me to learn and grow.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum provides me with encouragement in my ministry. I am able to learn new things and network with other Christians from my country and in my field of ministry. The Forum allows me to experience growth.

What is your ministry?

I am currently a deacon in my local church. I help shepherd and serve those who are in the church community and their families. Approximately 200 people attend our church. Many come from challenging life backgrounds and they are not able to easily cope with typical life situations. Many come from dysfunctional homes or backgrounds. Others have experienced difficult life situations such as long-term illnesses or deaths in their immediate family. One of the challenges I see is how to help people in difficult life circumstances. I also lead discipleship groups for men ages 20-45.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was previously the youth group leader for my church. I was responsible for leading, mentoring, discipling, and teaching the Bible to the young people of my church.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am constantly growing and helping other spiritual leaders to grow. Our church wants to serve other Christians and make disciples who multiply.

Olexandr Tarasenko|| needs forum funding ::

Olexandr Tarasenko|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Theologians

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Olexandr Tarasenko is a pastor, missionary, writer, and doctoral student.

When did you trust Christ?

I first read the New Testament and Psalms in 1989. One year later, I confessed my sins and was baptized in a small Baptist community in Ukraine.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My missions work on the building site of our church and the growth of our small Baptist community here in Karlovy Vary has been defining in my Christian walk. My study of theology in Russia and the birth of our first baby after 14 years of marriage and prayer also impacted my faith greatly.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Every rural pastor or scholar needs to receive encouragement by hearing others’ experience and wisdom. I would like to hear how other leaders have seen fruit in their ministry.

What is your ministry?

I am the pastor of a small Baptist community for Russian-speaking emigrants in Czech Republic, and an author of two monographs and many articles in popular Christian magazines. Besides this I am a doctoral student in the theology program at Charles University in Prague.

What are your past leadership roles?

I currently am a pastor, but I also serve Christ and others as a missionary, writer, and student.

Milos Poborsky|| needs forum funding ::

Milos Poborsky|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Education—Seminary

Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

Milos Poborsky is the leader of Evangelical Theological Seminary and the board chair of Czech Alpha.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian in the spring of 1992 after reading the Bible on my own for three years. At the time of my decision I was attending a course to learn about the basics of Christianity. During this course, I submitted my life to Jesus Christ. I was then baptized and became a member of a Christian fellowship in Prague.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My first ministry was as a home group leader. I was deeply influenced by my pastor Mojmir Kallus, who led our church during those days. I can name a lot of other Czech church leaders who contributed into my life. Thanks to his leading, in 1996 I became an elder and, in 1998, the pastor of our church. I left the church in 2017 to become the director of the Evangelical Theological Seminary. From an international perspective, I was influenced by Derek Prince, who I met once personally at a conference in 1994, and also by his books. Later, I was influenced by Alan Vincent, whom I translated at various conferences.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope to be inspired by other leaders. I also hope to meet other Christians who are working in similar ministries across Europe so that we can learn from each other and partner with each other. Theological education in our country suffers. After 1989, there were four similar seminaries established. Today only two of these four exist. I strongly believe in need of local evangelical seminaries. I need inspiration for how I might develop this more fully in Czech Republic.

What is your ministry?

As director, I lead the Evangelical Theological Seminary, which educates in three main areas: theology, pastoral care, and social care. Our seminary currently has about 60 students. As Czech Alpha board chair, I oversee the development of Alpha and related courses in Czech Republic. The Czech Alpha network has around 1,500 lay course leaders and helpers in local courses.

What are your past leadership roles?

I became a church elder in 1996. I was a pastor from 1998-2017. I have been in my current role since 2017.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Evangelical Theological Seminary prepares leaders for next generation churches. I strongly believe this is something worth investing in. Alpha tries to evangelize our nation, strengthen Czech church, and thus transform our society. As this was a leading motive of my past ministry on both local (as pastor) and national levels, I believe that there might be other people of a similar passion

Nick Lica|| needs forum funding ::

Nick Lica|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Nick Lica is the pastor of a Baptist church in Czech Republic.

When did you trust Christ?

I was raised in a Christian family and attended church all of my life growing up. I read the Bible from my first class in school. My mother influenced me spiritually and impacted my life. I developed my relationship with Jesus through my adolescence, and when I was 18 years old I confessed Jesus as my Lord and Savior and was baptized. My only wish in life was to serve God.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Some of the defining moments in my life include: three years of Bible college in Olomouc, where my faith in God was formed for ministry; 10 years of theological study at TCM Haus Edelweiss Austria; personal Bible study; and relationships with mentors and friends.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I want to attend the Forum to be encouraged, to develop my skills and experience, to learn practical ways to revitalize churches, and to receive practical tools.

What is your ministry?

I am a pastor of Karlovy Vary Baptist Church. We are a very small church, so I am responsible for many tasks, including preaching, teaching, and pastoral counseling. My passion for ministry is to see the church grow both spiritually and numerically.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was the pastor of a Baptist church in Vikyrovice for 11 years. I have been the pastor of my current church since 2010.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am a pastor who loves the church. I want to see it grow. I have been involved in full-time ministry since 1999. I hope to lead my church and other churches through the revitalization process.

Petr Lupton|| needs forum funding ::

Petr Lupton|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Education—Childhood and Adolescent

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counsellors

Ministry Focus:
Counselling

Petr Lupton is involved in men’s ministry, pre-marital counselling, and leading a small group.

When did you trust Christ?

I accepted Jesus in the summer of 2004 at English Camp. I was 15 years old and it was my first contact with Christians. I was deeply touched by the testimonies of the team leaders from the Czech Republic and the USA. I dedicated myself to Christ at camp and was baptized 9 months later.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The most defining moment of my walk with Christ is probably my decision to study theology. Throughout my studies I saw myself grow closer to Christ in incredible ways. I was constantly amazed by my theological studies and was blessed to have the opportunity to learn so much about God and his love. Another moment was when I volunteered at the Ashburnham Christian Conference Center in England for a summer. It was a valuable growing experience for me to be challenged and mentored by others who share my passion for Christ. My pastor and mentor have also played significant roles in my walk with Christ and have been a continuous encouragement with my faith.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum is a great place for me to learn how to be more effective in my ministry. I am starting to work with men and also my and I are doing pre-marital counselling for couples, and I would like to learn more about these area, so that I can help others.

What is your ministry?

I work with men, especially in the area of moral purity. My ministry is based on the book The Purity War by Jim Cecy, who is also my mentor. I meet with men on regular basis in small groups or one-on-one meetings and I try to help them in their struggles with purity. I also organize seminars on the topics of moral purity, similar to what Jim Cecy does. Besides that, I have been responsible for teaching a small group that is hoping to plant a church in the future.

What are your past leadership roles?

Previously I was a theology student. I also helped with youth group, leading Bible classes, visiting rehabilitation centers for the elderly, and visiting rehabilitation centers for those who have been imprisoned. In addition, I preached in various churches and was involved in a leadership team for an English Camp.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My vision is to someday train other people in theology and how to use it in their lives, especially in the Czech Republic. It is the second most atheistic country in Europe so there is also great potential for the gospel to be spread. Being able to connect with Christian leaders from other countries will provide me with “fresh” perspectives on leadership. It would be a great opportunity to gain wisdom and knowledge of leaders from all over the world in order to help me in my ministry in the Czech Republic.

Michal Bares|| needs forum funding ::

Michal Bares|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Church Planting

When did you trust Christ?

I worked for a Christian company in Prague. My boss was a Christian and he told me about Christianity. After listening to him talk, I realized that I wanted to be a Christian as well, but I did not know how to become one. At this time, my wife and I were studying at university and she attended a Christian student ministry meeting. Because of that we were visited by Christians who told us about Jesus and what He had done for us. I began to read the New Testament and attended a Bible study on the Gospel of John. Finally I accepted Jesus into my heart after attending an Integrity Life meeting.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I began serving in student ministry. I joined a discipleship group and started attending a prayer meeting. I started to teach some Bible studies myself. Then I accepted an offer to be a full time, one year staff member in a university student ministry. A growing desire for church planting led me to Lighthouse Church, which has a focus on planting healthy new churches. I accepted an offer to work in that church, first for half a year, and later for three years, preparing to be a church planter in a new church plant. I have seen the most growth in myself when I have taken responsibility and undergone discipleship.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I want to participate in the Forum so that I can take a brief step back to plan for ministry and pray, so that I can be inspired and encouraged.

What is your ministry?

I am responsible for events and management in the local church and help with our church planting network. I develop missional communities and make disciples and small groups.

What are your past leadership roles?

I worked in student ministry for one year in Prague. We planned ministry, made disciples who made other disciples, evangelized, shared the Gospel with university students, and hosted English camps and winter camps for new students which were in contact with us. I was involved in preparing student conferences and student weekends.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to help make new leaders and encourage those who are leading, but to do that I need training myself.

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