March 28, 2014

OCI Leadership Retreat 2014


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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.”