In the Spring of 2020, Romanian CEO Ruben Marian found himself, like so many business leaders across the world, facing the most challenging year of his professional life. As the pandemic loomed, Ruben faced making painful cutbacks and layoffs at the construction and agricultural services company he and his wife, Oana, founded nearly 15 years ago. Instead of letting this situation bring them to despair, Ruben and Oana saw an opportunity to both care for their employees and illustrate their faith in Christ in the workplace:

In times of crisis, we want to return to the essential things that define us. Our goal was to contribute to a change in the business environment through integrity and character. To achieve this goal, we focused last year on the health of our organization, our colleagues, and their families.

Ruben Marian

For Ruben, this approach was simply an extension of his mission to equip Christians in the marketplace to become a catalyst for transformation within their communities. Before attending the Haggai Leader Experience (HLE) in 2017, Ruben was active in his church and as a ministry volunteer, but his spiritual life remained separate from his work life. Ruben credits the HLE with changing his perspective:

“Before, I saw business and the marketplace as being ‘secular’ and the church ministry as ‘sacred.’ Now I believe that we are called to be ambassadors for Christ in every living moment, with every breath. Today, a good professional in the marketplace has more influence than a good preacher at the pulpit. People want to see the Gospel message applied to their workplace too, not only in church and home.”

After experiencing the HLE, Ruben helped found Leaders Guild, a community of Romanian Christians with marketplace careers.

“I saw a need for a community of leaders where each person can be honest, vulnerable, and share from their own experiences with other leaders. Community is the best context for growth in personal, business, and spiritual life.”

What began as three friends meeting for breakfast and Bible study has grown to two communities with more than 50 leaders in each and plans to expand into two additional cities in 2021. The Leaders Guild conducts Bible studies, leadership development retreats, and mentorship programs, all with the singular goal of helping Christian leaders become “salt and light” in the marketplace.

“Before the HLE I believed that my value came from my performance, and I lived a very busy life trying to perform in business and ministry. I was very tired and not clear about my exact role in the God’s Kingdom. God changed my idea about my value and identity, my heart, my mind, my vision regarding life, and my role in His Kingdom.”