Associate Director of Langham Preaching in Europe and the Caribbean Slavko Hadžić joined the Langham Live session this month to discuss the impact of Langham Preaching Clubs in his home region.
Slavko and his wife have two grown children: a 28-year-old daughter who is a psychologist and a 24-year-old son studying computer science. He continues to evangelise in his local church in Bosnia and Herzegovina while overseeing several Preaching Clubs in Croatia, and Slovenia.
Please continue to pray for Slavko and his family and enjoy reading about Langham’s positive impact on his life and the Balkan region.
Building Up a Church in Sarajevo
Slavko became pastor of his local church on 1st September 2003. In a region dogged by Communism, Islam and Roman Catholicism, he found it challenging to maintain and grow his congregation. Many of the young people in Bosnia emigrated to the West so increasing both church attendance and spiritual depth was demanding at times.
Slavko shared with the Langham Live group that he believed his own Biblical training and knowledge to be lacking. Oftentimes the pressures of pastoring made him leave sermon preparation to the last minute. He knew he needed to focus on quality because his church was suffering as a result.
Discovering Langham Preaching
After much prayer, Slavko and five pastors from Bosnia reached out to Langham Preaching in 2008. They had a desire to start a Preaching Club, moving through the three levels to enhance their sermons and Biblical knowledge.
The local churches noticed a difference in quality almost immediately. Slavko was elated to see numbers rise but, more importantly, that his own spiritual life was improving as a result. No longer was he delaying his sermon preparation. Now, his understanding of hermeneutics and exegesis made him appreciate God’s Word to a greater degree and that, as he said with a smile, is a huge blessing.
Expansion Throughout the Balkans
In 2023, there are multiple Preaching Clubs meeting on a regular basis throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia. Bosnia also has a Bible school and hosts five Preaching Clubs including an online Zoom gathering. Slovenia currently has two Clubs while Croatia has seven and a Bible College teaching homiletics. Over thirty pastors will receive training in the next batch of students.
This is a remarkable achievement, especially in the face of COVID and the drop in congregation sizes. Slavko shared about the difficulties of encouraging people to return to church, especially younger people. There is a spirit of religious nationalism, as what you believe mirrors the area you were raised.
The spiritual scene in Bosnia traces its roots back to the end of the 19th Century and the Ottoman Empire. Over half of the population is Muslim, a third is Orthodox, and 15% are Roman Catholic. The north of the country is relatively free of spiritual oppression while the south is predominately Islamic.
Slavko told us of a young man whose parents put him out of his home when he decided to become a Christian. As he tried to help ease tensions, Slavko was physically threatened by the young man’s father. Those who turn to Jesus can often lose their jobs and face death threats for their faith.
However, there is hope for the future.
Alongside the creation of additional Langham Preaching Clubs, there is an increase in home groups and communal Bible study.
In Slavko’s own church, he reached out to those who never returned after COVID and has been encouraged by the results. He splits his working week between evangelising and his role as Assistant Director of Langham Preaching in Europe and the Caribbean.
When Slavko spoke to us for Langham Live on Zoom, he was at a summer student camp where two young Muslim women were there to enjoy the fun. They are fully open to hearing the gospel message and he asked us to pray for them and for others.
Please pray for the following so that God may bless Slavko and his family and the work within his region:
- Pray for the Langham Preaching continental team and work in Europe and the Caribbean.
- The wife of our Regional Coordinator for the Caribbean passed away recently, pray for God’s comfort. Our Preaching Clubs coordinator is pregnant, and due in November. Pray for her pregnancy and delivery.
- We are looking for a Regional Coordinator for Eastern Europe, pray that God will bring the right person.
- From November 21 to 24 we will have European Regional consultations in Greece. We are expecting 40-50 participants, movement coordinators and board members. Pray for good meetings and planning.
- Pray for the start of new work, we are in conversation with several people from different countries in Europe.
- Pray for Ukraine and other countries that are affected by the war.
- Pray for ongoing seminars and Preaching Clubs, both in-person and online
Please do join us for the next Langham Live call at the end of August.