Monthly Ministry Focus
What is the Monthly Ministry Focus?
Our desire is to help meet the needs of our members, offer hope and encouragement, and explore Christian world views and perspectives. Each month, OCF will feature a ministry focus that will be used to shape and guide ministry messaging and communications to that end, along with providing links to articles or resources each month. The ministry focus is intended to be broad, yet relevant to the military society while also carrying spiritual significance and speaking to the foundational pillars and mission of OCF.
Who am I? Who does God say I am? And how does this affect how I live out my faith in my military career? During this month, let’s build on our foundation and remind ourselves of who God created us to be. See John 1:1-5.
- Strong Tower: Human nature strives to be known and accepted. Our own profession, the military, has provided identity to many who are searching.
- So You’ve Been Passed Over: A young officer lives and breathes service culture, often putting the military before self and family. After all, isn’t that what is expected of a successful officer?
- Thoughts for Young Officers: There’s a great deal of talk about “servant leadership” in the military today, but few Christian officers are actually practicing it as the Lord prescribed.
An excerpt from John Maxwell’s Leadership Bible: “The earth belongs to the Lord, not to humankind. Therefore, leaders should never act as if they own the place. While we can feel confident of our mission, we must remember we are stewards, not owners.” See Psalm 104.
- How do you see others? Steward leadership means taking care of those with whom one works.
- Stewards of God’s Image: I have come to appreciate how my identity as a woman plays a part in my mission and ministry focus. We are all called to serve God in this life so that we might enjoy even closer union with Him in the next.
- Giving God’s Way: The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn reveals three things you need to believe if you are to give the way God wants you to give.
Change can be exciting yet difficult. Though it’s a way of life in the military, some people absolutely dread it. How we handle transition can speak volumes either positively or negatively. Read the book of Nehemiah and see how he and others dealt with transitions of their time.
- Building a RAFT: When PCSing, the most common strategies teens use with one another involve simple avoidance, picking a fight to create distance so it’s easier to leave, disconnecting through moodiness or hyperactivity, or adopting the “It’s all cool” act. This is why we need to build a RAFT.
- The Effects of Transition: Those who have laced up boots or buttoned an Armed Forces uniform in service to our nation know all-too-well the difficult and tough terrain of the transitional military life they lead.
- Upcoming Transition Strategies conference: You’ve been serving your country, and are now preparing to transition from military service to a new season in life. And perhaps that desire is to move from career success to the significance of serving God as a faithful Kingdom finisher. Ever wonder what’s next ahead—and how to go about getting there? Join us 21-23 April at White Sulphur Springs. Register now or get more information
As we celebrate Easter with excitement that “He is Risen,” how can we ensure we don’t lose enthusiasm as we deal with the everyday ups-and-downs of life? What does it mean to be a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) and how can we best grow and build our faith to maturity?
- Lost Shoes: Not only are we unable to get into heaven by ourselves, we also don’t have the proper attire—righteousness, a sinless life. It’s as if there’s a door in heaven with a sign that says, “No righteousness, no entrance.”
- God’s Restoration for the Wounded Soldier: Jesus allowed me to be saved from my battlefield wounds—alive only by the grace of God—and return to live my life again. I now know He was always there, remaining with me through all my recovery and rehabilitation that continues even today.
- Celebrating the Empty Tomb: This is the core of the Christian faith: Jesus’ death and resurrection. And because He rose again, those of us who believe and put our trust in Him, even though we die, will be raised to eternal life with Him.
Prayer is vital in the life of a Christ follower. OCF recognizes and teaches the essentials of Pray, Discover, Obey. Take a look at the book of Daniel for wonderful examples.
- Persist in Prayer: Prayer is an essential discipline for any Christian who desires to know Almighty God better. And yet, despite its beautifully simple nature, prayer is not easy to cultivate in the life of a believer.
- Fulfilling a key godly responsibility: As Christian officers and leaders, an active and consistent prayer life is essential to our relationship with God and others. We need to grasp and apply that fact for our effectiveness in leadership style and philosophy.
- Engaging in Prayer: From its inception, OCF has emphasized the importance of praying members and of local fellowships that recognize their dependence upon prayer. We appreciate your continued prayer support for OCF, for its mission to the military society, and for our military men and women.
In Matthew 20:20-28 Jesus teaches that we lead by serving and serve by leading. Paul uses Jesus’ example as he reminds his audience to be like-minded in service.
- Putting the ‘serve’ into your military service: If we commissioned officers and Christian military leaders truly showed our troops that we didn’t come “to be served but to serve,” they would follow us-willingly and ably, to every place, circumstance, and challenge imaginable.
- Fellowship through ‘practical action’: Christian fellowship is the linking of lives with one another as the Body of Christ. It goes beyond like-minded people pursuing common interests, although that is definitely an aspect of Officers’ Christian Fellowship’s 350-plus small groups and its conference center ministry.
- Your chapel—an opportunity for outreach and service: Chaplains often walk a lonely road, with little support from the organization they serve, infrequent interaction with their denomination, and a lack of understanding from their congregations.
No one knows better than those who have served or who are serving in the military what freedom really means. As Christians, our ultimate freedom is in Christ alone who rescued us from eternal death. This month, explore what it means to have freedom in Christ. See 2 Cor. 3:12-18.
- The Ultimate Freedom of an Uncaged Eagle: My struggle to excel and become one of the best officers in the Air Force exceeded thirteen years. Ten of those were spent doing everything possible to be counted among the top fighter pilots in the operational commands. I fought against racial attitudes, misperceptions, and ingrained stereotypical views of African-Americans.
- Allow God to heal the hidden wounds: Sometimes we take on a role to fulfill a military mission, take care of others, manage or please. Yet, we can end up hiding wounded parts of ourselves that God values and sees. I didn’t know that emotional trauma has the same effect as physical trauma.
- 9 Important Tools for the Christian Officer’s Toolbox: Recently, there have been many examples of Christians in the military coming under fire for their religious beliefs.
Not just your spouse, children, parents, or siblings, but what does it mean to belong to a family of believers? See Hebrews 2:10-12.
- Military Families Must have a Support System: When a military family chooses to be part of the military community, there are a number of challenges they will face—from frequent moves and long separations, to missed family activities and careers put on hold.
- Community as Taught by Minions: If you enjoy animated films or have little ones, you have probably seen the Minions movie that followed the popular “Despicable Me”—a story of a super villain and his minions finding a family—and “Despicable Me 2” movies.
- The Profound Power of Parental Blessing: There are certain moments in a lifetime you never forget. For me, the memories of formally giving a father’s blessing to my children in person continues to give me joy as I recall each event.
Do we suffer well? It’s a question that needs considering. Romans 5:3-4 (NIV) states, “…we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Faith believes it; Hope anticipates it; Patience waits for it.
- Communicating hope beyond suffering: Authentic leadership deals with life’s real issues of pain, trauma and suffering while pointing beyond to a life in Christ. As Paul reminds us, our present trials are but a means to an end; particularly for the Christian leader, hope is the final reality of life.
- Welcome to the desert: Man was not made for the desert. But perhaps the desert was made for man. Remember, you are never alone, regardless of how lonely and desperate your personal circumstances seem. Your loving Father is there for you.
- Worrying or waiting? Life in general is complicated. Life in the military is extremely difficult and challenging and carries with it an increasing amount of angst with the operations tempo, separations, threats to life and limb, and the increasing challenges from within our own nation.
Fellowship is a vital part of the Christian’s walk and involves partnership in the Gospel and with other believers. John speaks to this in 1 John 1:5-10 and John 13:34.
- Fellowship in love, faith, encouragement: If you want the best example of fellowship, we have to look no further than God, who is the author and definer of fellowship.
- Fellowship through practical action: OCF has provided transitory military Christians with two static places—Spring Canyon in Colorado and White Sulphur Springs in Pennsylvania—for abundant opportunities of Christ-centered fellowship, programs and fun. The ideal end result: being equipped to reach others for Christ throughout the military society—and form lifetime friendships.
- Community as taught by Minions: Just like the silly banana-eating Minions, each of us was created with an innate desire to belong to a community in fellowship. It’s not just a group of people with similar interests, but a body of believers united for a common purpose.
Gratitude cultivates generosity. We have so much to be thankful for. What a great time to praise the Lord and give others a reason to get to know our great God! Thanksgiving begins with thanks-living.
- The wonder of worship: How much more must be the feelings of gratitude in the hearts of those who actually are redeemed by the Lamb’s sacrifice, not as an accident of fate, but by the deliberate offering of Himself for the world.
- The Greengrass Twins: Being content now involves being thankful, and constant in prayer in every circumstance. It involves training my mind not to complain, but to ponder what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. I’m finished wasting my years looking for green grass somewhere else. I have only to look at the ground under my feet!
- A cannonball life in a toe-testing world: The life of a military wife is an adventure I had never anticipated. A home-bodied introvert by nature, the idea of moving around frequently and having to develop new relationships is way outside my comfort zone.
December: Servant Leader
The leader’s job is to sacrifice; God’s job is to promote (John Maxwell’s Leadership Bible). As we celebrate the birth of The One who came to serve, let’s study all the ways we can lead by putting others first. See Mark 10:45.