The Student Newspaper of Westminster Christian Academy

The Wildcat Roar

The Student Newspaper of Westminster Christian Academy

The Wildcat Roar

The Student Newspaper of Westminster Christian Academy

The Wildcat Roar

The Ottolini Effect

The Ottolini brothers, their toils and trevails, their success.
Gideon Schwamb
Steven Ottolini stands teaching his Freshmen New Testament class.

As many students and adults may know, having a full-time job is a lot of work. A teacher’s job is especially difficult, as they must spend hours preparing lessons, all day teaching lessons, and then even more time grading. The education profession can be extremely taxing, both mentally and physically, requiring hours of working and reworking whatever project you’re toiling on. A pastor’s job is fairly similar: hours writing and preparing a sermon and then preaching it to a crowded church. 

This is why David Ottolini, the Director of Spiritual LIfe, and his brother Steven Ottolini, Upper School Bible Teacher, are such unique figures, as they are both teachers and preachers. 


Steven Ottolini is the full-time senior pastor at New Covenant Church and started working full-time at Westminster this year. He does a lot of planning for his two jobs, and he has to plan each separately.


”I sorta have shouldered both, with God’s grace,” said Steven. He described his daily routine of arriving at Westminster early, teaching all day, staying after school to help students, then going to New Covenant church, where he stays until dinner, then coming home to eat and put his kids to bed, and then working on either lesson plans or sermon plans before finally resting. Because of his busy schedule, he is often unable to work on both a class and a Sunday service on the same day, requiring him to plan entire days in the span of a few hours.


Steven was a pastor before he joined the education profession, and his brother was a teacher before him. He knew what he was getting into, he knew how much time and effort was necessary for the task, so why would he choose to become a teacher?


“I wasn’t looking for a full-time teaching job when I first came. […] I saw this as an opportunity to invest in future leaders of our church,” said Steven. He was initially just a temporary substitute for a teacher last year, but felt called to teach full-time. He found an open Bible position and officially joined the Westminster faculty.


This is similar to David Ottolini’s story. He worked in Zambia as a college student, where he taught at a community school. He loved being able to connect with students and give them direction in life. He also saw the potential to shape future Christian leaders, and decided he would go into seminary and become a youth pastor. 


“Being a youth pastor is kinda where the joy of teaching came about,” said David. “When the job came open here and I applied for it, it came with teaching.”

He was drawn to Westminster by the opportunity to minister to students, then became a bible teacher as a result of that. He was willing to take on the workload of being a teacher to meet his goal of being a youth pastor.


All this is great and all, but there has to be some ancient, lost-to-time method that led to these men having incredible work ethics, right? Some technique, unknown to the rest of the world? Well, no actually.


David gave insight into how God impacted his work life. Instead of seeing work as separate from his family and spiritual life, instead he sees it “as an opportunity to worship God. I get to participate in kingly work, for the glory of Jesus. If you can shift your mindset towards [work] being worship of God, it begins to be more of a refreshment to do,” said Ottolini.


Steven gave a similar response. He agreed that without God’s help, he would not be able to shoulder all these responsibilities. But he also described how helpful the church has been in his work, as they have deemed him “bivocational.” 


“Bivocational is something that is also contributing to what the church is doing. The leadership of the church and the people have been very receptive to teaching bible and teaching psychology [at Westminster] because they know that the mission of the school is to discipline our people for kingdom service,” said Steven to 800News. 


New Covenant Church supports Steven’s decision to work full-time at two locations because he is doing God’s work: teaching and inspiring the students of Westminster to be better Christian leaders. 


“When I look at [students], I’m already anticipating: […] These are future leaders who are going to serve and do great things for the Lord and His kingdom,” said Steven.


That’s their real motivation: bringing God’s light to future generations. They feel the love of God in their lives, and they spread that love to their students. These brothers share an incredible love of both people and God, and they show those qualities in their everyday lives. The Ottolini brothers aren’t discouraged or unhappy with their daily workload, they approach each day as a new way to serve God. 


But being a youth pastor is not the only way to feel strengthened by Him. All vocations, no matter how physically or mentally taxing, when done well, bring glory to God. Even if you feel like God is in no way present in your job, remember Colossians 3:23-24: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

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