Name: Dominik Öttinger
Education: high school diploma in economics
1. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
I see other peoples strengths and gifts and help to support and develop them. I also recognize peoples hardships and needs and help them.
2. What was your dream job before you became a Christian ? What was your passion?
I wanted to become a police officer and lock away the people I didn’t like.
Getting to know new cultures and travel foreign countries has always been one of my passions. As a kid I used to watch documentaries and read books about foreign cultures.
3. How were you influenced by your home and your parents?
I grew up in a safe, christian environment. My parents showed me early on that God loved everyone regardless of what they have done. My parents have been voluntarily leading a christian prisoner mission organisation for 20 years which allowed me to get in contact with people that I normally might not have met. I already realized as a kid that God can change people. That influenced my life a lot. I kew that god is real.
4. When and how did you become a Christian? When did you decide to become a pastor? Was there a certain situation that made you change your mind?
I knew god is real and active today but what does that mean for me ?
I asked myself this question but didn’t find an answer for a while. I lived my life the way I wanted to . At school I was someone else than at home or at church. My older brother began to passionately burn for Jesus and I noticed that I wanted the same. At 14 I decided that I wanted to be baptized. A week later I went to a christian summer camp where I really experienced Jesus living power. For several hours I was laying on the ground crying and laughing becaus, for the first time, I really experinced his love and glory. My life changed completely. I couldn’t resist sharing this Jesus that I had experienced with other people. That’s why I started to lead and take responsability at church. I knew it was my calling to become a pastor.
5. Aren’t you afraid to lead a boring and quite exhausting life as a pastor?Renouncement, high moral standards, annoying people and even unemployment?
I think being a pastor is certainly not easy but definitely not boring. Many young christians have a very idealistic image of the church. But there are imperfect people in every church, all of us included. That’s why we have to trust in Gods grace everyday. When you make Jesus the center of everything you do and keep the fire and passion for him alive then that is a great and fulfilling service.
6. Couldn’t you build gods kingdom just as effectively as a politician or a businessman?
As a politician or a businessman you can build Gods kingdom just as effectively as a pastor. Maybe even more effectively because you may have influence in areas that a pastor doesn’t have access to.
7. What is essential to learn for an ongoing pastor?
Self discipline, time management and how to make personal time for God.
8. Many pastors dream of a big breakthrough and great church growth and are dissappointed. Some quit. Wy do yout hink that is?
There are many different reasons why pastors quit, you can’t name them all.
Three reasons that I think are quite common are the following: The pastors focus lies on people and not on God. When one focuses on people one will be easily dissappointed and become bitter. When one focuses on God it is easier to endure criticism and to know ones weaknesses but also to live more merciful through gods mercy.
The pastors focus lies on the church and not on Gods kingdom. Which means that the church is the center of everything the pastor does and says. However, Jesus tells us that we shall build his church. The pastor needs a global view on Gods church. If one doesn’t have this one will concentrate only on the problems one sees in his own church. From close up they might seem huge but when one takes a step back and sees them from a bigger, “Gods kingdom-perspective”, they look much smaller.
The pastor neglects his “secret place”. Personal time with Jesus is the most important thing a pastor needs. Without it he will burn out. You can work for Jesus without knowing him.
9. Why did you decide to study at the THS-Academy and not at a different school for theology ?
To me it was important to not only improve my theological knowledge but to really be trained in the job. I think a good education should be theoretical and practical and that is the case here.
10. What are you expecting from the next three years?
I hope to further develop my strengths and to find new gifts. I want to learn from my leaders and support them practically.
I believe that new breakthroughs will happen in my church.
11. If you imagine a typical week in 10 years – you can dream big – what would it look like?
I see myself forming young, strong Christians that go out into the world as missionaries. Missionaries that go to unreached countries, in churches, in businesses and into politics.