The fourth annual youth leadership forum in Ukraine, titled LeaderShip, was held May 28-29, 2021, in Vinnitsa. The event drew more than 200 participants from all over the country for moments of worship, reflection, and discussion on spiritual leadership.
The 2021 theme, LeaderShip 360°, sought to create greater awareness about the topic of leadership in the participants’ minds. “The idea was to motivate young people to serve in their communities and to inspire them to become dedicated leaders wherever leadership is especially needed — at school, at work, and home,” organizers said.
Among the speakers this year was pastor and teacher Konstantin Kampen, education director of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ukraine. Kampen holds a doctoral degree in leadership, and his favorite activity in leadership is strategic planning. “The influence of a leader directly depends on his or her inner sense of contentment, values, and relationship with God,” Kampen reminded the young people.
Another speaker, Sergei Antonyuk, pastor and director of the Western Media Center of the Nadiya TV channel, discussed practical leadership issues, leading the youth to reflect on the examples of biblical leaders. Evgeniy Alekhin, a youth pastor and head of the youth ministry department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ukraine, also took part in the forum. “You need to assess the potential of your strengths,” Alekhine told participants.
Alexander Tkachenko, the youth pastor of the Zhytomyr region, spoke about the growth of the leader in crisis situations, namely, how life’s troubles can strengthen and harden the leader. Another youth pastor of the Vinnitsa region, Vladislav Mikula, discussed sexual purity and responsibility.
During the forum, participants and speakers discussed how to set goals and achieve them, shared experiences, learned how to plan their time well, and talked about leadership in different areas of life.
Participants highlighted the positive atmosphere of the event and how blessed they felt during the lectures, discussions, and activities.
“These were God-blessed days,” participant Yulia Stakhova said. “Listening to the speakers, I received answers to my prayers. I felt extremely inspired and just got a lot of new knowledge, for which I am eternally grateful to the speakers and to God,” she added.
Denis Abubakirov, one of the forum organizers and the youth leader of the Adventist Church in Podolia, said that as organizers, they understood that strong leaders exert a powerful influence on society. “Over the past four years, we have set ourselves the goal of strengthening youth leadership, because everyone will benefit from it,” Abubakirov said. “Our deep desire is that the youth in whose potential we believe can be the driving force behind the changes in their environment,” he added. “It is our deep desire that young people, in whose potential we believe, can be the driving force behind change in their environment.… We received a lot of good feedback from the forum participants that the presentations and workshops were very practical and inspirational. And we thank the Lord for that.”
The forum ended with an evening of praise and worship to God. Each participant was presented with a small gift that also serves as a reminder about next year’s planned encounter at the same venue.