A Call to Leadership
As a student at Fuller, Scott Engmann (MDiv '02) had big dreams. In addition to spreading the gospel, he wanted to impact the global church's ministry to the poor in a fresh way as well as engage in leadership development. Not only did his courses prepare him for ministry, he was also shaped through his broad experience outside the classroom as Fuller's All Seminary Council (ASC) president. "It felt like a leadership laboratory within a supportive community," he says of the presidency. "I thoroughly enjoyed the mentoring relationships, the student innovation and commitment, and the opportunity to learn to drive ideas within a diverse community with a variety of needs and priorities."
Those skills were put to good use after graduation, when Engmann helped establish OASIS USA: the U.S. office for an international ministry that empowers churches to effectively serve the poor in their communities. Already a presence on the global front, OASIS was beginning a branch in the U.S., and Engmann seized the opportunity to contribute his passion to its mission.
Two and a half years later, OASIS USA is flourishing. As executive director, Engmann connects pastors and mission coordinators who develop service opportunities for American young people. They send small teams worldwide to countries from Brazil to India. "Global Action Teams impact both the local congregation and the global movement of OASIS through hands-on service and reflection. People not only get to use their gifts, but explore their motivation for serving and their understanding of poverty," explains Engmann. "Oftentimes the sending church congregation here in the U.S. is also impacted, as people come back more excited about their faith and about the effect we can have."
Team participants work side-by-side with OASIS leaders in some of the neediest communities, engaging in technology training, building programs, vocational training, and educational and health initiatives. Each project that OASIS undertakes links back to the church for long-term sustainability. In Los Angeles, OASIS USA is working to establish "Net2work" computer-training facilities in urban churches, to serve as a window of career advancement and relationship building for the local church. These Net2work training centers are already "in full swing" in Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Mazatlan, says Engmann. OASIS is also currently exploring new avenues of ministry such as low-cost water treatment, additional vocational training, and expanding educational initiatives.
Engmann is using his leadership skills to impact the concept of cross-cultural ministry for young people. "I love to see them catch a vision for the poor and to see their world views open up a bit," he says. "My work involves exposing people to needs and opportunities, but then also helping them put their convictions into practice once they have had their hearts pricked by the needs."