“This is the third year we attend these conferences. We caught the essence, the catalytic role BIG plays within… it is a place we feel welcomed; as we heard in the movie we saw the other evening: we are home, here!” This is what Marcel Remes from Simleul Silvaniei told us to be the reason for him and for his collaborators to come to Sovata in October 19-23rd where BIG Impact foundation organized the third Conference from the series of BIG 5, this time having the theme entitled: “Discipleship as a lifestyle”. For Mitel Sc?rl?tescu from Craiova, things are as clear as possible: “As a Church, we are attached to BIG values and this context BIG is putting together helps our team develop and also helps us to implement these values in our own church” and Nicolai Dodu from Chisinau, Republic of Moldova hesitates no second to add: “It is the second time we attend one of BIG conferences wishing to grow more and have an impact in discipleship process.” These are some of the thoughts of few of the 270 participants from Romania and Republic of Moldova, who made for Sovata become one of the hottest places of the Kingdom, for almost a week. In here, under the glamour’s fire of the Kingdom, visions were baked, high quality information was passed on, models and ministry experiences were shared, values and fundamental practices were adopted and, most important, it became a place where people associated themselves to God’s dream for discipling nations.
As beautiful as it were, to spend the time sharing this dream together, this intimate desire of God for mankind, BIG5.2 meant not only a short time event but it meant to be a course launched through this conference held in Sovata with the intention to be further processed during one year period of time within the local church setting. A Romanian team of 25 people has been established to created and prepare for presentation this course. Then, the participants were called to a one year commitment to further apply and contextualize the course in follow up regional centers.
Beyond the detailed elaboration of the theoretical base, a special attention was given to how these messages were communicated, considering the principles of experiential learning. From this point of view, BIG5.2 was the best conference organized out of the BIG5 cycle. This is because not only for the high quality information presented (standard to BIG events) but also through the creative ways of communication used by the conference facilitators along with the emphasis placed on reflection and application.
Asked about his impression about the conference, Gigi Neac?u from Târgovi?te has shared: “It is easy to find a proper word: phenomenal. And I have reasons to say it this way: I have observed here a special symbiosis between substantial information (enriching information), the way this information was presented: warmly and yet disciplined, the honest and spiritual worship and helpful practical workshops (based on relationships). I liked all of it but I want to underline that the manner used to present this subject of discipleship, I have never met it before: that was the cornerstone of the conference.”
We acknowledge that what is most difficult: implementing the discipleship process, back home is a desire all participants has to work on. But different from other conferences, this one offered on site assistance and a gradual application process within the context of the local church. Each participating team has to complete six projects and work on the thoroughness concepts within the regional centers, together with other church representatives. This huge task rests on our shoulders but if we distribute it wisely among passionate churches for the same dream, devoted to the same vision, we believe that a network of churches with global impact will further be developed to influence our communities, our nation and the entire world, transforming people and their culture.