Lead and Let Lead
“The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” Luke 6:40
Over the past 28 years, OCI has grown from a small group of mission minded individuals to a family of supporting ministries spanning the globe. as OCI expands, a new generation of leaders is emerging. These new leaders may be young, but their passion and dedication will determine the future of self-supporting work. experienced leaders have a special undertaking to consciously mentor and encourage these fresh faces, just as Christ spent many hours talking and counseling His disciples. Through easy- to-understand stories and interaction with the public, Jesus painted a picture of the mission He called His disciples to fulfill. To the religious elite, this group of humble men was worthless, yet Jesus saw their potential
Though young OCI leaders may lack years of experience, their potential is evidenced through new projects and unique perspectives. OCI president Markus Jaudas says OCI’s goal has always been to call and encourage people to turn their abilities into the lord’s hands and to be involved in missions. in recent years, OCI has made an effort to develop new leaders by including youth in its annual leadership retreats. More established ministries have also supported young graduates from their training programs, helping to mentor and guide them in their own ministries.
Jesse Zwiker is one such graduate. currently the director of the college of Health evangelism at Wildwood in Georgia, Jesse became involved with OCI as a student at the European Bible School in Norway in 2005. after his training, Jesse worked with Jose Suazo to start Vida internacional in Honduras. as new leaders, they were blessed by the encouragement they received from more experienced leaders. However, Jesse feels potential leaders could benefit from better training with guidelines on how to start and run ministries.
Another young person who has benefitted from mentoring within OCI is Jeremy Zwiker, director of Matteson institute of World Mission in Norway. The last name isn’t a coincidence. He and Jesse are brothers, and Jeremy lists both his brother and father as influential mentors. Jeremy attended Matteson before becoming part of the staff.
In addition to the Zwiker brothers, other young leaders are expanding the self-supporting work within OCI. Daniel Seniuc studied at the Medical Missionary Training center at Herghelia institute in Romania in 2000. After finishing his training, he worked as the boys’ dean and later the assistant director. Daniel spent four years helping to start projects in Moldova and Portugal, and then returned to Herghelia in 2007 as the director of the school. Daniel says one challenge of being an inexperienced leader is the need for more counseling from experienced leaders. His goal is to expand the health work in Romania, as well as to train and mentor more young leaders like himself.
Jesse, Jeremy, and Daniel are a few of the many individuals who have benefited from the encouragement of more experienced leaders. However, there seems to be a need for more consistent and intentional mentoring. as a part of this process, Markus says it’s important to let new leaders have responsibility, allowing them to make mistakes and to learn from them. He says theoretical teaching in classes alone doesn’t have long-term results; people must be put in real situations and allowed to grow.
“We sometimes forget that, in many cases, experience is the fruit of mistakes,” Markus says, “and we want the experience and not the mistakes. Our ministries need the stability of experienced leaders and the energy, freshness, and joy of service of the younger generation. all forces need to join hands. it’s the work of Elijah to turn the heart of the fathers to the sons,* and I think OCI should be part of that fulfillment in what we do."
* Malachi 4:6
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