Starting an ROTC Ministry

Officers' Christian Fellowship (OCF) of the USA was formed in 1943, in the midst of World War II. God has used OCF powerfully for His purposes ever since, in peace and in war. Today, we are Christians in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces who are united by our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We are committed to living out our faith in the military society.

OCF, Valor & ROTC

In its ministry to ROTC units and schools, OCF has partnered with the Valor movement, which began as a hybrid between Campus Crusade for Christ’s Military Ministry and their Campus Ministry.

Together we seek to:

  1. Acquaint cadets and midshipmen with the existence of a vibrant network of Christians committed to successfully integrating their Christian faith with their profession;
  2. Develop a vision for ministry within the military beginning with ones own ROTC unit and other units at the same school;
  3. Give training and experience in basic OCF ministry endeavors such as small group Bible studies.

Getting an ROTC OCF Started

Starting a fellowship is really not difficult, but it can be somewhat scary for those who have never had the experience. The following guidelines can help you think through the process.

  1. Read the following OCF material.
    Of particular help will be OCF For a Lifetime (PDF document) and the OCF leader reference material. Also, these resources are useful:
    > Leading Effective Small Groups
    > Family Conferences
    > Bible Study Step by Step Guide
    > Bible Studies
    Daily Devotionals
  2. Contact the OCF office.
    Our toll-free number is 1-800-424-1984, and someone there will be eager to talk with you, answer your questions and offer some starter ideas. Ask for Member Services.
  3. Pray about the next steps.
    With some basic ideas of how the ministry could look, ask God to give you an understanding of how the ministry should look. Try to find at least one other person with whom to pray.
  4. Find at least one other person.
    Perhaps you know of other Christian cadets, midshipmen or officers. Share your vision with them and seek out some who will share that vision with you. If you have no clue as to where to start, check out some of the other Christian groups on campus and inquire as to whether there is are cadets or midshipmen in them. Your goal is not to steal anyone from another group but to begin to build your own network of Christians with a vision for ministry in the military society.
  5. Determine your program.
    If you've prayed, as mentioned in step three, you should be aware of the needs that could be addressed, the opportunities that present themselves and the resources at your disposal. Design a program that fits within the broad OCF ministry parameters and that uniquely fits your situation. Some of the basic program elements used by others include:
    > a prayer group,
    > a weekly Bible study,
    > a monthly special meeting with a speaker sharing how to integrate Christian faith and military life,
    > weekly studies with a special speaker each month.
  6. Advertise your meetings. 
    Inform appropriate superiors of your plan and ask how you might get the word out. If you desire, we can provide you with attractive promotional material to give to your ROTC cadre. Don't rely solely on mass promotion—personally inform and invite others.
  7. Undergird your plan in regular prayer.
    Continue to keep the effort in prayer. Find some personal prayer partners who will encourage and pray for and with you.
  8. Inform the OCF home office.
    Call or write us and tell us about your ministry plan and time table. We can announce this and invite people to pray for you. By letting us help get the word out, other people may be able to provide resources for your effort.
  9. Do it!
    Sometimes this is the hardest step because it involves putting it all on the line. Do your part well and then simply trust God. If things are slow or sparse in the beginning, don't give up. Do your work professionally and allow God to grow it.
  10. Use the other national OCF resources.
    There are benefits to being a member of a larger organization—both individually and as a fellowship. Take advantage of them. They include:
    > Link-ups with others around the world
    > Rocky Mountain High --a fun summer outdoor Christian leadership lab (view the RMH video-needs Quicktime Player)
    > Free OCF articles on issues dealing with being a Christian in the military
    > A supportive, helpful voice on the other end of a toll-free phone call (1-800-424-1984).
  11. Visit the Valor web site for additional information.

Final Thoughts

Congratulations on making it this far! While there should be a sense of responsibility for leading a local ministry and handling the Word of God, I hope that there is also a sense of excitement. The Apostle Paul apparently felt the same way. Listen to the advice he gives:

"And who is equal to such a task? Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers. Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart, but we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us" (2 Corinthians 2:16-4:7). There is joy in serving Jesus!

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