Slovenia is a beautiful country where the Alpine mountains sweep down to the Adriatic coast. It is a green and fertile land that became independent in 1991 following the 10-day war. European Baptist Federation (EBF) has two member Unions in the nation, The Union of Baptist Churches in the Republic of Slovenia and the Evangelical Christian Church of Slovenia.
Recently, General Secretary Alan Donaldson was invited to attend the Synod of the Evangelical Christian Church of Slovenia (ECCS).“I was immediately struck by the number of young adults who had gathered for the annual Synod,” said Alan.
This is a young union that has grown in the last few years through church planting. Currently, there are 6 established churches and 2 church plants. President Zvonko Turinski guided the Synod in prayer for the leadership of EBF and for the leaders in each of their churches. He reported that one of the blessings of the pandemic was a retreat with ministers and their spouses where they learned to open up to one another and receive prayer, healing and restoration from one another. They believe the new, deeper fellowship that they now have will be a great foundation for further development.
A strategic plan was agreed by the Synod delegates which included the formation of teams to develop children, youth, student and new leader ministries. Alongside these practical steps, the synod has begun to explore the culture of the ECCS which will include their current key characteristics of church planting, unity, support for pastors and the centrality of family evangelism.
The Synod was also excited to be able to see and purchase the first Study Bible to be available in the Slovenian language.
Many challenges remain in Slovenia. Although the land is fruitful and there is the freedom to proclaim the good news, the local Christians find that their testimony falls on deaf ears.
The negative impact of Covid-19 means that many believers have not yet returned to church worship and the number of those available to serve are few.
General Secretary Alan Donaldson was really encouraged to see the wisdom and unity of the church leaders, their desire to grow together and to expand the reach of the churches. He said, “I pray that the ECCS would be able to establish a firm foundation in the coming years that would lead to sustained church growth and continued church planting in the nation.”