The long transition from Communism, the exodus of over four million immigrants to Western Europe after our country joined EU in 2007, a mix of old traditional and new postmodern beliefs coexisting in Romanian society faces churches with new challenges. There is a need in local churches as well as in new church planting initiatives for mature equipped leaders and formal training in a theological seminary is often not possible. MLI church-based Leadership Development program follows the Bible Education by Extension (BEE) curriculum, a comprehensive program tested in the training of Christian leaders in Eastern Europe since the 80’s and further developed and designed for training in local churches ever since. Students meet regularly in small training groups under the leadership of the local pastor. MLI provides the study materials, assists local leaders, men and women throughout the year and regularly brings participants together for intensive training, retreats and exchange conferences. In 2007, we started this program at pastor Eugen Groza’s initiative.
Men and women receive training in nine regional centers in Romania and one in Serbia. The program continues with six intensive training sessions for men and women in May and October every year and one special training conference for church leaders from the south of Romania in the spring. Approximately fifty pastors and their spouses come together every September for MLI’s Annual Pastors’ Retreat for a great time of teaching, fellowship, spiritual and physical refreshment and celebrating God’s goodness.
A great value of the program lies in fostering formation and multiplication of leadership at the local church level in a relational and practical application context.