OCI Leadership Retreat 2014
BY JANELL HULLQUIST
More than 200 mission-minded Seventh-day Adventists gathered at Uchee Pines Institute in Alabama from Monday through Sabbath, March 10-16, for the annual OCI Leadership Retreat. Offering united prayer, uplifting spiritual talks, practical seminars, and mission reports, Outpost Centers International (OCI) organizes this event to encourage and strengthen supporting ministries globally. With a vision to see supporting ministries thrive in every country of the world, OCI currently has more than 100 member ministries working alongside the Adventist church.
Leaders, workers, students, and supporters from at least 30 of these ministries were represented at the OCI Retreat. Guest speakers for the week-long event held in mid-March included Mike Ryan, general vice president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; Lael Caesar, associate editor of the Adventist Review; Cheryl Doss, director of the Institute of World Mission; and Alistair Huong, executive director of AudioVerse; as well as various Adventist business people and ministry leaders.
The retreat's theme, "One Thing," held a double meaning: first, that as Christians in ministry, our focus must be on Christ. Speakers like Huong and Caesar urged attendees to draw nearer to Jesus, challenging them to accept His righteousness. Sitting first at the feet of Jesus makes it possible to do His work. As Jesus said to Martha in Luke 10:42, "One thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
The second meaning of the theme is a call to focus; setting clear priorities in our daily work help us be more efficient and effective for the Lord. Speakers shared how having a clear vision, mission, and strategic plan are key tools to help keep ministries on track. They also provided useful resources for building a cohesive team, communicating a clear message, and banishing mental fog.
As one body in Christ, Elder Ryan encouraged attendees to work hand in hand with church leaders to bring light to the world. He fittingly stated that each church member needs a job and that lay people opened the fields of fastest church growth. The overall message of the OCI Retreat supported Elder Ryan’s declaration, inspiring young and old to faithfully serve the Lord.
“The OCI Leadership Retreat was a great inspiration to me,” said Julia Telfer, a student at Wildwood College of Health Evangelism. “The lessons I learned from my interaction with [ministry leaders] I will always remember and take with me as I endeavor to serve the Lord where He calls me.”
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