Ollie Bennett: My Onelife Story
My story with Onelife started with a tweet.
The tweet was an invitation to a week of authentic relationship with some incredible people, and to receive high quality, biblical, character-forming leadership training.
I responded to the invitation, packed my bags and headed off for a week with a bunch of strangers at the Onelife School of Leadership. At the time, I was hungry to learn and was in a position of influence but I was a frustrated leader with an unformed style of leadership. I had a long way to go!
The week was everything it promised to be: I had a picture in my mind’s eye of what Christlike leadership looked like, I was equipped with practical tools ready to go, and had a journal full of notes. But above all I had joined a family.
The teaching and formation I have experienced through Onelife has become foundational for me – having in mind Jesus’ standard of leadership has called me higher even when the going gets tough.
Apply today for the 2019 School of Leadership
Join us for a week from 27 August – 1 September 2019 to go deeper in your character development as a leader.
High Wycombe has been my home since day one, and I’ve been living to see God’s story unfold in South Bucks ever since my journey following Jesus really kicked-off – at age thirteen, when I developed a deep conviction that I needed to begin to use my influence at school for him. Since then, I’ve been involved in leading Christian groups in schools, connecting and raising up young people who are seeking to step out in faith at school. Most recently I’ve been working in the church as a youth and worship pastor.
When I’m not occupied with that, you’ll find me at my happiest nestled in a cosy coffee shop with a journal and good podcast (although Chris has already been nurturing my taste for a good old cuppa!). I’m a big fan of the outdoors and love to climb a mountain or two with a bunch of friends. I’m also very excited about getting married to my wonderful fiancée Emily this summer and about starting our life together in sunny Watford!
It feels like an exciting time to step into the heart of the Onelife family that I’ve been part of for so many years. There is such an expectancy building as we look back on all God has done over the last decade and step into the next one. Exceptional leaders have been raised up, Onelife’s influence has grown and the Holy Spirit has been powerfully at work – but there is so much more coming that both you and I will get to be a part of!
As Church Relationship Manager, I’m excited to get to know the whole Onelife network as we partner together to see exceptional young leaders raised up to use their influence for Jesus – both where they are now and where they’ll be in the future. My role will involve visiting churches and launching our new church partnership programme, as well as training Onelife Sessions facilitators and getting stuck in with our Youthwork Learning Communities, Conferences and the School of Leadership.
I’m also particularly passionate about seeing young people released to lead well and see culture transformed in one of the most difficult places of all…their schools. Watch this space on that one.
I believe that we are in a cultural moment where leadership is coming under the microscope and we’re seeing just how high the stakes are for the character choices that key leaders must make. I believe this is also a time where God is beginning to wake up his church to the fact that we must go deeper into discipleship with Jesus in order to go wider with our influence and see culture renewed.
That’s why I’m excited that we, as Onelife, get to partner with God in raising up a generation of leaders who are deep disciples of Jesus – and who lead from that place.