Marcel Buchner (the Netherlands) took on the role of OM field leader in Hungary from Attila Kapocs (Hungary) in January 2019. Marcel has served with OM in Hungary for eight years and lives with his wife and children in the town of Tata. He shares about his transition into this new leadership role.
Marcel: I joined OM in 2010, doing youth work and supporting poor families through my church in Tata. By doing that, we found that lots of people don’t have a place where they can be themselves, and especially for young people, it’s a big problem because there are a lot of broken families. I was leading the OM team in Tata, and we started working on the vision of the DOCK youth community centre. But by the time we were ready to really start and run the centre, I realised God was calling me to something else. I was involved with OM leadership in Hungary and was busy thinking ahead about how we can be more effective. God really planned the route. Looking back, I see He was already busy working to take me further.
What is your vision for the future of OM Hungary?
Marcel: I think we are on a threshold to make a new step. I’m longing to see how we can think out of the box and be more visible in Hungary. How can we reach more young people, motivate them to go into missions, and help churches send youth into missions? I believe also that the church will feel renewal through this. I think once you go on a mission trip, doesn’t matter if it’s a week or two years, it changes your life.
I believe young people have the mindset that they can change the world, and that’s a God-given thing. But they should have the tools to do it the right way.
We also want to continue investing in reaching youth who are not yet believers. Through sports, arts, the youth centre, we build trusting relationships with young people and share the Gospel through that trust.
OM’s mission statement is to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached. What does this mean in Hungary?
Marcel: I think a vibrant community would be one like we read about in Acts: a community that people want to belong to, where they see God is at work, where they see real love between the people in the church. Where outsiders have to make a choice about true commitment: It’s not just a nice bunch of people, but if I go there, then I give myself completely to the Lord. A vibrant church sends people into missions and also takes care of the needy around them. That was Jesus’ heart as well when He was here on earth.
It sounds like two of your passions are mobilising youth and helping the poor. What other needs speak to your heart?
Marcel: My passion is to see churches where the members really take care of one another. Where older people are wise people who can pray for youth and listen to them. And the young people can motivate the older generation, so it’s like a well-running family. There isn’t a generation gap, but instead it’s one body of Christ, young and old.
How will your role change practically?
Marcel: A lot of my time will be in the office, which is the part I’m not really looking forward to, but I know that if this part is working well, it can be a blessing for our whole ministry. If we can work as a team, that will give us energy and freedom to do more. That’s the big change, that I am not so much on the front line but more working inside, supporting and helping.
I’m very honored and blessed by Attila, how he’s prepared me and handed over things. We are much more brothers than boss and employee. I really believe that this brotherhood will stay, and I’m happy he will become our boss (by joining OM Europe leadership), so we can keep serving together. I’m grateful for the foundation he laid down on which I can build further.