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Published October 1, 2018

The End of Corruption in Serbia Depends on the Leadership Development of Our Youth

Growing up in communist Serbia.

I grew up in an atheist family in Serbia when it was under communist rule. My father was a Yugoslavian diplomat and a communist leader. When I was growing up, he never encouraged us to believe in God. Everything was about our efforts.

After one of my good friends committed suicide, I started to ask questions. What is the meaning of life?

My grandmother from my mother’s side became a Christian in Croatia, and when we visited her during the summer she would tell us stories about God. But I didn’t believe in God until I was 18 years old. After one of my good friends committed suicide, I started to ask questions. What is the meaning of life? Where is she now? What will happen to me? Is death the end of everything? I went in search of the answers.

After a season of questions and being in community with other believers, I asked God to enter my life as Lord and savior when I was 19. Then God started to change my life. It was like driving a car through the fog, and then the fog disappeared. I started to understand why I’m here, the meaning of life, and that Jesus Christ is the only way and truth to God. No heart is too hard for God.

Today’s discouraged youth need role models.

Our youth need to be encouraged and reminded they have potential and are designed by God.

In my life personally, I had very few role models. Older guys were not encouraging us younger guys. They’d say, “When we were your age, we were much better than you.” That discouragement is very present in every level of society. In today’s world, we still don’t have too many role models.

Our youth need to be encouraged and reminded they have potential and are designed by God. Because of the Summit, I’m drawing closer to students, and I started to work with youth to care about them, serve them and encourage their potential. Even though someone may be coming from a hard, dysfunctional family, God can still use them to be tomorrow’s successful fruit-bearing leaders.

My grander vision over the next 10 years is to see the Summit increasingly become a tool of encouragement for young people to help them develop their potential, see their gifts and talents, and trust more in God for the future. With God’s help, they can realize they can make a difference in society. Through the Summit and other activities, we can encourage people to be role models for the next generation.

The end of corruption in Serbia depends on the leadership development of our youth.

Jesus was a servant leader. But mainstream media promotes a different style of leadership.

We are fighting corruption in Serbia. We need better leaders—servant leaders. We need to see something different, and that’s why we need the GLS.

Recently, I told my neighbor, “Your mother was a Christian, and that’s a good thing”.

He said, “No, that’s a bad thing. She told me how to be a patient, loving and caring person, and in the business community that costs me a lot.”

I said, “Maybe now you think that costs you a lot, but when you give your life to Jesus, then in the long term you will see results.”

We are fighting corruption in Serbia. We need better leaders—servant leaders. We need to see something different, and that’s why we need the GLS.

The GLS can be an inspiration and a useful tool to bring different thoughts into the minds of people. That’s why it’s such a value. People start to see leadership is about serving, not ruling.

Leaders aren’t encouraged to serve and encourage. Corruption has dissuaded many young people from becoming leaders because they’re afraid of being a part of the corrupt system. Through the GLS, we can change that and serve as an example that will motivate people to become caring, encouraging leaders.

What the future of the GLS looks like in Serbia.

The first time I attended the Summit, I heard very interesting and useful things to apply to my personal leadership style, and learned ways I could change in order to be a God-fearing leader. I was inspired by many speakers, and God spoke to me through them, saying that I should do something, not just to change myself, but also to promote the Summit in my country so other people could receive similar inspiration and encouragement.

Half of the audience are believers, and half are not connected with the church. It’s a very important atmosphere and a beautiful platform.

I have a passion for leadership development, and the Summit is one of the best things we have. We’ve been hosting it in Serbia for the last three years, and it has grown from one event to three in 2018.

Half of the audience are believers, and half are not connected with the church. It’s a very important atmosphere and a beautiful platform.

Our plan in the future is to do a GLS for university students, professors and faculty. We can use it as a tool to inspire them with two or three lectures, and then interview some role models who can inspire our youth on leadership with ethics and a Christian faith base, so they can start to see this kind of leadership is fruitful.

What keeps me going when I’m discouraged.

We as Christians are a minority in our country, and there are a lot of spiritual attacks. Sometimes in this work God entrusted me to do, I get a lot of discouragement. But that is part of following Jesus, and I’m very happy that God has been using me. It’s a great opportunity to partner with God.

When you are working and pouring yourself into people, you don’t always see the final product. But what is motivating me is when I see the lives of young people who are changed because God used me somehow. When I see someone has given their life to Jesus, or got baptized, or changed their perspective about how they’re doing their job, or developing other people, that is encouraging. It is fuel for me to never give up.

About the Author
Samuil Petrovski

Samuil Petrovski

National Director

EvanDeosko Udruzenje Studenata

Samuil Petrovski is from Belgrade, Serbia. He is the national director for EvanDeosko Udruzenje Studenata, a ministry focused on reaching students through bible studies, social events, coffee shop ministry, conferences, seminars and camps. He is also the national point leader for The Global Leadership Summit in Serbia.

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