Leadership Development Initiative

What is the Leadership Development Initiative?

The Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) is designed for Christian leaders who want to develop and deepen biblical convictions about leadership as it relates to disciple-making. Participants will grapple honestly with their responsibility as leaders to make disciples, while developing practical strategies for becoming more effective in disciple-making. 

The LDI consists of three components:

1.  A Week-long Retreat: The LDI begins with a week-long retreat in the Barcelona area from Saturday, 20 October - Friday, 26 October 2018.  It will include small group interaction and discussion to help deepen participants’ learning. 

2.  Webinars To further grow, deepen, and develop relationships, each Leadership Development Initiative participant will participate in two training webinars between February and May (Exact date and time TBD). The purpose of these webinars is to expand knowledge in effective leadership, offer tools for better discipleship, and answer questions relating to leadership.

3.  A Pre-Forum Conference:  Each 2018/19 LDI participant is asked to arrive at the 2019 European Leadership Forum one day early (Friday, 17 May 2019) for a special conference. This event will provide additional time for discussion, mentoring, and the sharing of resources. All costs of this Pre-Forum Conference (not the ELF) are included in the LDI fee.

Why is the LDI important?

Many European leaders are isolated, without mentors or resources to help develop their leadership gifts. The Forum is designed to create a bridge between local leaders and God’s global resources in the specific area of their gifts and callings. We have realised we cannot accomplish this vision in one week at the European Leadership Forum's annual meeting. Therefore, the LDI is one attempt to make the Forum's resources available throughout the year.

The LDI serves evangelical leaders by providing leadership mentoring and discipleship training. Its goal is to cultivate the necessary skills for effectively leading others to spiritual maturity. 

Who is leading the 2018/19 LDI?

Jim Crooks is the pastor of an independent church in Perth (Scotland). After graduating in business studies in 1981, Jim went on to work in financial and administrative roles before entering further and higher education as an Assistant Principal. He became Principal of a college in Northern Ireland in 2004 and successfully led three colleges to a merger in 2007. He became Principal of a similar college in Scotland and led four colleges to merger in 2012. For three years after his retirement from secular employment in 2012, Jim was a lecturer and co-ordinator of part-time provision at Tilsley College, a small theological college in Scotland. In addition to his pastoral ministry, Jim also teaches and preaches in Scotland and elsewhere in Europe. He works with the Church Strengthening Initiative, supporting churches and their leadership teams to make change, and is a trustee for Echoes of Service, a mission support agency supporting around 226 mission workers across the globe.

Jay Eastman was born and raised in the US, attending The Ohio State University for undergraduate and graduate school. He has degrees in English and English education. He is married to Holly and they have three lively and often lovely children. He has taught English around the world and has served in former East Berlin as an evangelist, discipler and church planting facilitator with Mission to the World (MTW) since 2001. Jay also serves as an MTW team leader and European director of ongoing education and professional development for MTW employees and partners. He also serves as a consultant with Global Training and Development, providing strategic innovation and implementation for cross-cultural ministries.

What is the fee for the 2018/19 LDI?

The fee for the 2018/19 LDI is €340.

This fee covers the 2018 retreat and the 2019 Pre-Forum Conference. But it does not include the fee for the 2019 European Leadership Forum, which LDI participants are required to attend in its entirety, or travel costs to both the retreat and the ELF.

A limited number of partial bursaries/scholarships are available to those who need them. 

What do former participants say about the LDI?

The LDI had an important impact in my life and the week I've spent in L'Abri was absolutely enlightening. I've learned that Christianity is about sharing life together and being vulnerable and that leadership is about loving people towards maturity. I already knew all of this theoretically, but the experience of seeing that happening around me made me examine my life and my way of relating to people. I had the opportunity to build strong relationships, to be mentored, and to be enriched by a multicultural environment. What a gift! It is a program that I would totally recommend to whoever wants to go deeper in his/her understanding of leadership. (Roxana Stanciu is the Executive Director of European Dignity Watch)

As a pastor, one of the most profound questions I had to answer was: can people change or not?  I am convinced that faithfulness over the years in doing what Christ did, making disciples, is the solution. LDI was a highlight for me as it strengthened my faith through great teaching on discipleship, and fellowship with dedicated people who invested their lives in discipleship. The reverberations were great in my heart, but also in building great relationships with other leaders from Europe who are an encouragement even today. (Emanuel Tundrea is a pastor and university lecturer at Emanuel University of Oradea)

How do I apply?

  1. Fill out the application form.
  2. Have a pastor or spritual mentor who knows you well submit a pastoral reference on your behalf. 

If you have questions, please contact