Marian Kanuch|| needs YRM funding ::

Marian Kanuch|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

What is your ministry?

I am serving the body of Christ as a pastor in a Lutheran congregation in Zilina, Slovakia. I have been serving with my wife for 12 years. In our congregation we have four pastors. In our congregation we also have a good group of volunteers and two full time staff: a youth leader and an office administrator. I also serve as a regional leader. I oversee 22 local congregations. I lead local pastors, visit churches, provide pastoral care for pastors, and so on.


What do you hope to gain from participating?

The Year-Round Mentoring program is a great opportunity. I will have the chance to learn from people around me, to listen to how others are trying to revitalize churches, to hear where they are struggling and moving forward, and how they are managing obstacles and challenges. Spending time with other leaders is also very helpful. It will be a place for accountability and for learning from people from different backgrounds who are in different contexts.


What is your leadership role?

I am a pastor in a local congregation and a regional leader. I am focusing on church revitalization in both contexts. Our local congregation has 2,000 members. Many of them are nominal Christians, but it is an active church. The core of the church is healthy and open for fresh renewing. Our local church is pioneering in some things for the current Lutheran context in Slovakia. We are renewing worship services, using media, focusing on discipleship and small groups, and so on. I have also started discussions with 22 local pastors about church revitalization. I can facilitate this discussion because of my leadership role.


Why should someone invest in your ministry?

The church in Europe needs to be revitalized. The last year has been challenging with COVID-19. But it was a helpful year in that it moved churches to make some changes. We need to talk more seriously about church in a post COVID era. We have already started the revitalization process in our local church. We have taken some small steps and we are moving forward. COVID has been on the one hand challenging, but on the other hand helpful for revitalization.


Slavko Jovanovski|| needs YRM funding ::

Slavko Jovanovski|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
North Macedonia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

What is your ministry?

I work with an NGO. We seek to invest in people, reach them for Christ, and disciple them. We have been doing this through various sports activities, camps, and fitness programs. We do weekly Bible studies with young people and share life throughout the week. We are very closely connected with our local church and do almost everything in partnership. For many years now I have also been involved with the worldwide movement of sport ministries, serving in various ways, currently as a part of the Health and Fitness facilitation team of the European Christian Sports Union.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I expect to grow in my understanding of what the church really is about and how it should function as a body of believers with the best of its God-given capacity. I also expect to learn practical things that I can apply to my local church, and potentially to other churches as well. I expect to connect with other followers of Christ and eventually support each other mutually in the task of making our churches flourish and thrive.

What is your leadership role?

At work I am given the freedom to create and be proactive in implementing ideas about reaching and discipling the people we serve. I have been involved in the lives of more than 50 young orphans and former orphans, actively sharing life and teaching them about life and God. At church I have been part of the leadership board for more than six years now. I am responsible for the church facility, most of the administration, organization of events and Sunday gatherings, teaching the kids, facilitating the worship team, and some teaching and preaching.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I serve in my church as a deacon and, as I am studying theology, would like to be involved more with teaching and preaching in the future. The church is on my heart because Christ founded it and I want to see it flourish. A sister church that our church planted more than 15 years ago is now on the edge of decay.

Vladimir Gorbenko|| needs YRM funding ::

Vladimir Gorbenko|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

What is your ministry?

I live and serve in Zaporozhye, Ukraine. Zaporozhye is one of the three industrial centers in Ukraine with population of about 800,000. I serve as a senior pastor of a local city church that was started as a “college church” in 2002. I was part of the team of three other ministers that started this church within a Ukrainian Baptist Union denomination. I was a youth minister and then was asked to become a pastor in 2007. Today we are a church of 170 church members and about 200 people in weekly attendance. We purchased an old warehouse and renovated it into a church building.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I am hoping to grow to understand the process of church revitalization in a community of like-minded people. I would like to develop a program of church revitalization that would be relevant for churches in Eastern Europe. I am interested in developing the picture of a healthy church and working through critical issues of church revitalization and the process of leading a church through change.

What is your leadership role?

I serve as a senior pastor of Christ the Savior Baptist Church in Zaporozhye, Ukraine. I also work full time as an Academic Dean of Zaporozhye Bible Seminary. The seminary was started in 1994 by GEM missionaries and now has several bachelor and masters level programs. We have programs for full-time studies and extension programs. I also teach courses within the area of Biblical Studies, Hermeneutics, and some courses within Practical Theology. Being a senior pastor helps me to be more attentive to the needs of a local church, so even though I feel like I am sitting in two chairs, I also see benefits and am grateful for the church family and the team of ministers that support my role.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I sense a growing need for church revitalization in Ukraine and would like to be involved in mentoring existing and future leaders in this process. I would like to develop a church revitalization program that a church leadership team could use to become a healthier church.

Nixon Echavez|| needs YRM funding ::

Nixon Echavez|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Philippines

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

What is your ministry?

My ministry allows me to serve on national, continental, and global levels. As an Executive Member of the TOPIC (Pastoral Training and Church Health) Commission of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), I serve thousands of leaders under PCEC, which oversees at least 40,000 churches and 250 para-church organizations. As Europe Director for GlobalLead, I serve various ministry leaders, particularly in youth ministries, local churches, and denominational groups. As a mentor for the Lausanne Movement’s Young Leader Generation Network, I have the privilege of speaking into younger leaders’ lives and assisting them in their growth journey.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

Through the Forum’s Year-Round Mentoring program, I expect to grow in church revitalization to be in a better position to help churches in Europe and in other places, especially those experiencing plateau or decline, to bring conversion growth in the church and spiritual growth of the members. I also hope to develop connections with other ministry leaders who have the same passion for spiritual accountability and future ministry collaborations.

What is your leadership role?

I was appointed last July to be Europe Director for GlobalLead, a ministry that has trained more than 25,000 leaders in over 50 countries. We serve those in ministry through training and mentorship to position Christian leaders for multiplication. All our programs are developed based on Christ’s life and ministry to ensure that the principles we teach are transferable to any location and ministry context. We intend to minister to the heart and enhance the skills of Christian leaders globally. I currently work with volunteers in Europe who are graduates of GlobalLead programs. Once the entire family is vaccinated and travel is possible, we hope to relocate to Europe to continue our ministry.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Church revitalizers must have: a willingness to have longevity; relational patience; leadership muscle; spiritual awareness; and organizational ability. I would like to develop all these skills, particularly the first two.

Ivaylo Syarov|| forum funded ::

Ivaylo Syarov|| forum funded ::

Country:
Bulgaria

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Revitalisation

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Ivaylo Syarov is the pastor of a Baptist church.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian on December 31, 1990. After two years of struggling with spiritual questions I put my life in the hands of Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Some of the most important moments in my spiritual development include: my initiation into missionary work in small villages when I had no financial support, my training at the Logos academy, the mentorship I received from my pastor, and the religious and political challenges of being an evangelical Christian in a country that is mostly Eastern Orthodox and Sunni Muslim.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

At the Forum I hope to encounter new ideas, opportunities, and partners for the Gospel. I need to renew the vision and implementation of our ministry. I hope to meet new challenges and find solutions to our ministry problems.

What is your ministry?

I serve as a pastor in a Baptist church. I am currently working on building leaders – both in the local church and a small group of leaders in different denominations. We have had the opportunity in the last three years to start Bible study groups with people who are Catholic. My goal is to train a new generation of church leaders to continue ministry in the church. My task is to help and support the mission of the church, to equip people for ministry, and to encourage them. I have also completed my doctoral program in church history semester and will soon defend my thesis.

What are your past leadership roles?

As a board member of the Baptist Union I helped with the financial and Organisational aspects of the organization. As chairman of the New Man publishing house I helped to continue the organization’s mission of promoting biblical and historical Christianity. As a trainer of small group leaders I helped to build small Bible study groups.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am dedicated to building up the next generation of Christian leaders in Bulgaria, leaders who are theologically sound and devoted to ministry.

Daniel Fodorean|| forum funded ::

Daniel Fodorean|| forum funded ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Revitalization

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

Daniel Fodorean is an Assistant Professor at the Baptist Theological Institute of Bucharest and the pastor of Nova Vita Baptist Church in Constanta.

When did you trust Christ?

I grow up in a Christian family under the Communist regime. At 12-years-old during a church service I realized that my life cannot be saved without a Savior. I received Jesus as my Savior and from that moment I have had joy and peace in my heart. I return home and I told to my parents that I was a follower of Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I was 16-years-old, a few months after I was baptized, my pastor asked me to lead the church service. I was scared, but I lead the time of prayer. The next week, the pastor asked me to prepare a short messge for the Thursday evening service. My home church had 400 members. When I started speaking my knee trembled. But that evening brought me the confirmation that I should go to seminary to prepare for going into ministry.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I want to have a better understanding of the status of evangelicals in Europe and a better understanding of the ministry opportunities in Europe. I want to learn more about education and leadership from other theologians and leaders of Christian organizations. I want to represent my ministry, the Baptist Theological Institute of Bucharest, among leaders in Europe.

What is your ministry?

Currently, I am the teacher-pastor of Nova Vita Baptist Church, Constanta. Beyond pastoral ministry, I am an Assistant Professor of Applied Theology at Baptist Theological Institute of Bucharest, President of Antioch Center/Executive Director of European Leader Formation, and Principal of Champions for Life Primary School.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was pastor of Golgotha Baptist Church, Constanta, Romania, for almost 20 years and I served as one of the founders and the president of Constanta Baptist Association for eleven years. I served as the vice president of Constanta Baptist Association for four years.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Our mission as an organization is to help the church to be revitalizing. I am teaching applied ecclesiology courses at our seminary and my course includes this topic. I want to understand more about this topic and how others see this topic.

Emmanouil Tzamtzis|| forum funded ::

Emmanouil Tzamtzis|| forum funded ::

Country:
Greece

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Revitalization

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Emmanouil Tzamtzis is the Executive Secretary of the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches in Greece.

When did you trust Christ?

By the grace of God, I was born in a Christian family in Kavala (ancient Neapolis). I was brought up in the local church listening to the word of God. When I was around six-years-old, my sister challenged me with the Gospel. Two years later, I closed the door of my room, knelt down and prayed, asking Jesus into my life. I remember filling with joy and professing faith a few days later at a youth conference. I was eight-years-old. At the age of 14, during another church conference, I also recall the need I felt to give up everything and dedicate my whole life to God. That was another signpost in my spiritual life.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

He, in His providence, brought people into my life who stamped my life with Him. One particular group of missionaries regularly visited my city and cultivated within me the value of mission and the spread of the message of God’s grace. Other brothers stood for me as a spiritual parents and shepherded me in my path of God. The example of my parents, who for 15 years served my grandmother in my home, was another great influence on me. They showed me how to serve the needs of others and how God can transform this into a blessing for His glory.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Being at the Forum is so helpful for me because I learn and will continue to learn how to be a suffering leader, a persevering leader, a reconciling leader, and a wounded leader. It is an opportunity to grow an learn more about discipleship, as I strongly believe in multiplying the church in this way and I see the value of it in our context.

What is your ministry?

At the moment I am working for the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches in Greece, which is a fellowship of 9 churches, as Executive Secretary. Furthermore, I am serving Maroussi Church as the secretary of the elders council. I am also involved in the preaching team of my church.

What are your past leadership roles?

From the early years of my studies, I have been actively involved in student ministry as a member of the student council of the Association of Christian Evangelical Students (ETHOS-SXEF/IFES GREECE). In this ministry I remained active for three years and through that I realized the depth of God’s Word and its impact on my life.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My role in my ministry could be important for the future of the church in Greece. My role in the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches in Greece as Executive Secretary is important and challenging for the effort of homogenization of the churches, rebuilding where it is necessary, and the implementation of the mission of our fellowship. I feel that I need networking, mentoring, and to be equipped for that role to accomplish the mission that God has given to me.

Martin Pietak|| forum funded ::

Martin Pietak|| forum funded ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Education—Seminary

Forum Network:
Church Revitalisation

Ministry Focus:
Education

Martin Piętak is an assistant professor at Ostrava University and a pastor.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a Christian home and consciously decided to follow Jesus in my teenage years after I attended a Christian evangelism event.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My parents were a great inspiration through their faithfulness and loving guidance. My youth group and leaders and friends in Christ who sacrificed their time, and who showed me their passion for Christ, were also important to my developing faith. I received biblical and theological education, especially at Geistliches Rüstzentrum Krelingen in Germany, which was financed by a few great Christians from Germany who invested in my future ministry.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum has given me a broader view of ministry and the Christian life. It has helped me to focus on key areas and topics and at the same time has sparked my desire to grow continuously through study and discipline. I have also been able to supply my ministry with much needed quality literature from the Forum’s bookstore. The Forum is a great place to get insight and inspiration in new areas of ministry, to listen to good speakers, and to find good speakers who can come to speak in my local church. It offers a much needed time off from my ministry – a time devoted to personal growth in an environment of special quality and atmosphere incomparable with any other conference or event I know of.

What is your ministry?

I am serving as a pastor in a traditional local Lutheran church with 600 members, many of them nominal. It is my prayer that the congregation would reach out effectively to the nominal members with no personal relationship to Christ, and that we would learn to be more open to people from outside – to share the Gospel in a way that keeps both the truth of the Gospel as well as the love of Christ to our neighbors. On a denominational level I am serving the church as the leader of a commission for missions and as the vice-bishop. I seek to raise and inspire new leaders and missionaries. I am involved in several educational programs, either as a board member or Bible teacher.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been a youth group leader, student group leader, a youth and student pastor, and an assistant pastor. I was the leader of a program studying the university accreditation process for Ostrava University. I have led some research projects on child and youth spirituality. I have organized pastoral and educational conferences.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

By supporting me you will support a Christ-centered teaching and preaching ministry in my church and beyond. You will help refresh my theological knowledge and skills. You will give me a chance to get in touch with theologians who love God and thus enhance my church’s ministry. Those who have previously invested in my education have tremendously helped me to expand my expertise, my language skills, and my theological orientation. I hope to benefit Christ’s church in my country. I feel indebted for what I have received so far and I have a heart for supporting others in the same way I have been blessed.

Mihaela Popa|| forum funded ::

Mihaela Popa|| forum funded ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Other

Forum Network:
Church Revitalization

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Mihaela Popa is a discipleship group leader, English camp leader, and a site leader in her local church.

When did you trust Christ?

I was born in an Orthodox family. My parents never encouraged me or my sister to go to church. For them, God was something far away, only to be dealt with on Christmas and Easter. During 7th grade, I started going at the local Baptist church in Deva (a small town in the west of Romania) after my sister’s high school friend invited me to a summer camp. While at the camp I met a youth leader. He talked to me a lot about God and was very patient in answering my questions. I started asking myself questions about God and read the Bible. God started working in my heart and mind. I can’t name the exact moment when I decided to follow Jesus. It was more like a process during which God was slowly revealing Himself to me and during which I slowly started to change my life and follow Him.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The first small group I was part of at the Christian student organization in a local church in Timisoara had an important impact on my walk with God. The group leader challenged me and taught me how to take God seriously, how to pray with confidence, and how to study and apply the Bible in my own personal life. The pastors and elders at my church and& in the student organization were also of great influence. I grew a lot during my years of volunteering in the organization and in the local church. There have also been hard times (personal health issues, my father’s cancer, and two job losses due to company dissolution) during which God taught me how to trust Him more, how to humble myself, and how to be 100% dependent on Him.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I am hoping to learn from evangelical leaders across Europe. I am hoping their knowledge and experiences will help me grow and bring new perspectives to how I do and see things. I am hoping the Forum will be a great training opportunity for me so that I can afterwards serve my community better and more wisely.

What is your ministry?

I lead a discipleship group. I have been helping with the Sunday church program at my local church as a service programmer. I am also part of the site executive team at our church (the church is divided into 3 sites). We are currently in transition with the site leader position and I am acting as a temporary leader of the team. I have also been a leader or part of the organization team of various camps and events put together by the student organization where I have been a member since 2006. These include English camps, conferences, and other such events.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been a leader of two discipleship groups and I have started my third one this past autumn. For four years I was the coordinator of the discipleship department for our student organization.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

People at my church say they see potential in me and they want me to take more responsibility in the church. I am in my early 30s and almost all of our current leaders are over 40. They want to see a fresh generation involved.

Ivan Fink|| forum funded ::

Ivan Fink|| forum funded ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Student

Forum Network:
Church Revitalisation

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

Ivan Fink is a full-time student at Evangelical Theology Faculty and helps to counsel and minister to people fighting substance abuse.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my original decision to follow Christ in December of 1999, in the Teen Challenge rehab center where I was looking for a solution to my drug addiction. When I gave my life to Christ it completely changed my life. God gave me freedom and hope I had never had. He also gave meaning to my life, put faith into my heart, and granted me a new life that I enjoy living even to this day.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I was in the Teen Challenge program from 1999-2001, where I first started to read the Bible and pray. Every day we had quiet time, worship services, Bible studies, and individual lessons where we learned how to apply biblical truths practically in our lives. This helped me to understand the Bible, Christianity, and to meet God personally. Later, in 2011, I joined Evangelical Theology Faculty in Banska Bystrica, where I am a student today. This school has given me new perspectives on the church, Christianity and Christian ministry.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum provides everything necessary for my ministry. It helps me to grow and to be more efficient as a leader. It is also a place where I feel at home, among family. It is a place where I can recharge my batteries and find inspiration to grow and be more efficient in my ministry when I come back to my country. Although I study theology, I find the Forum extremely theologically nourishing, and I just feel that I grow as a church leader in general because of it.

What is your ministry?

Because of my background, I often serve people that face addictions and crises in life. I do counseling and pastoral care. Besides that, I am a preacher in the International Baptist Church of Bratislava, and I also help my pastor in Banska Bystrica with Bible studies, preaching, and so on. I am also a co-leader of the men’s group that we have in the church and part of the mission team. I am also a theology student.

What are your past leadership roles?

My past leadership roles have been different, and varied in accordance to the actual needs of the church. I was a mission team leader when we had been doing international missions in Serbia. I was also one of the leaders in our Roma mission trips, where I would be one of the speakers.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My ministry is a combination of two components: biblical truths and theoretical knowledge on one side, and life experience and understanding on the other. In my ministry I try to combine the two, so that I can understand people through love and acceptance, and then offer Christ and His Word as the ultimate solution. I have found that people accept the solution offered much more easily when I tell them how I have been in a similar situation myself.

Marian Kanuch|| forum funded ::

Marian Kanuch|| forum funded ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Revitalization

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Marian Kanuch is a pastor in Zilina, Slovakia, and a PhD student.

When did you trust Christ?

I turned to Christ at a youth conference when I was 16-years-old.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My pastor encouraged me to study Theology and I then took a summer internship at a Lutheran church in Reading, Pennsylvania, in the U.S. in 2003. I was also affected by reading Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Church.”

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Every leader needs to grow in his ministry, faith, skills, abilities, and relationships. The Forum prepares me to confront contemporary challenges and provides me with accountability. The Forum is a great opportunity for spiritual and personal growth. It is a place to grow spiritually, to connect with other leaders, to gain a deeper understanding of our faith, and to receive encouragement. It is the best tool available to me to improve my leadership skills. It is a great place to network with other believers and to form new relationships with other Christian leaders. Every year I invite other leaders from my church and my area to attend the Forum, so that they can receive excellent training. The Forum also has a great bookstore where I am able to purchase excellent books at a discounted price.

What is your ministry?

I am a Lutheran pastor in Zilina, Slovakia, to a congregation of more than 2,000 people. My responsibilities include preaching, teaching, pastoral care, and more. I am also the vice bishop for our denomination in the East district. I oversee 22 local congregations – almost 30,000 people. In May of 2018 I finished my PhD studies at the Lutheran Seminary Bratislava on the topic of “Planting New Churches as a Challenge for Lutheran Missiology.”

Zsolt Istvan Albert|| forum funded ::

Zsolt Istvan Albert|| forum funded ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Revitalization

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a Baptist family. I received the Lord when I was 15-years-old at an evangelistic meeting. I realized that I was a sinner and needed salvation.


What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I had some good American professors when I attended seminary in the city of Cluj. They were more than just professors. They were real educators and had a huge, eye-opening impact on me. Then I was alone in a quite large circle of churches with few members. My graduate studies gave me the much needed resources to face the difficulties I encountered.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope to meet new people and to learn ideas that I can implement in my ministry.

What is your ministry?

I am a pastor in six churches. Two are large, two are smaller, and two are in the Roma community. I am leading them in spiritual and administrative issues. As the vice president of our local association I oversee our youth and children’s ministries. As deputy secretary general I am our convention’s chief financial officer.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was the secretary of our local association for four years, during which time I was responsible for organizing and leading several events.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to be a useful instrument in the hands of the Lord in teaching and serving others for the advance of His Kingdom.



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