Planning Guide

The following is provided for planning consideration in preparation of an OCF Spiritually Smart Spouse or Family conference. Host responsibilities and considerations:

  • Commit the conference to prayer
  • Secure Facilities
  • Determine and arrange for child care needs
  • Publicize to target audience
  • Decide on registration procedure and materials
  • Reproduce, assemble and distribute conference materials
  • Arrange financing for the conference, travel, and lodging of speakers

Local Leadership Conference Planning Team

  • Event coordinator: Work closely with the OCF Outreach Staff Representative to oversee and coordinate the conference.
  • Publicity leader: Work with the chapel staff and organizations (OCF, PWOC, PMOC, local churches, etc.), base paper, wives clubs, family support groups, and others to get the word out.
  • Conference Prayer Team leader: Develop a prayer team and pray about every aspect, planning, execution and the results. The conference will not succeed and effectively minister to needs without prayer.
  • Registration: Receive registrations, assemble/distribute materials to attendees, and provide nametags.
  • Children: Arrange for childcare or children’s program, and register children.
  • Refreshments: Procure refreshments as appropriate.

Financing the Conference

Our primary concern is to help families encountering military deployment to thrive spiritually and to reunite stronger than ever. It costs OCF $1,200 to $1,500 to present a conference (including travel, lodging, and materials).

We ask that hosting installations contribute to help defray our cost and to help make it possible to continue this outreach.

  • Childcare
  • Food for participants
  • Other incidental costs

NOTE: Any contributions should be made payable to OCF and designated for the Family Outreach ministry.

Groups may fund conferences in several ways:

  • Post/Base appropriated funds
  • Chaplain’s funds
  • Locally provided private funds

OCF is willing to financially assist in travel and lodging if installation cannot afford such expense.

Conference funding alternatives

  • Volunteers for childcare requirements
  • Host the speaking team in private homes rather than hotels or base lodging
  • Food donations from local businesses

Countdown to Conference

Prayer: Cover the entire conference with prayer from beginning to end!

2-3 months prior (or earlier)

  • Meet with installation chaplain and garner support.
  • Determine available funding.
  • Identify principle installation point of contact for the conference.
  • Identify local OCF leader as point of contact for OCF Family Outreach representative coordination.
  • Establish conference date with OCF Family Outreach representative.
  • Schedule conference facility.
  • Select contact person for interested attendees. Provide name and contact information to OCF Family Outreach representative for publication in Command magazine, OCF web site, etc.

6 weeks prior

  • Coordinate travel arrangements with speakers.
  • Finalize topics and conference format with team.
  • Determine meal/refreshment plan.
  • Design publicity materials:
    Bulletin inserts and announcements
    Email Press release

2 – 4 weeks prior

  • Determine support requirements for speakers: projector, computer, sound system, podium, etc.
  • Continue publicity: Chapels Area OCF Bible studies and other Christian groups Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC) All military units Family support groups
  • Finalize childcare plans.
  • Identify lodging arrangements.

1 – 2 weeks prior

  • Focus on publicity, especially personal invitations.
  • Encourage registration
  • Prepare handout materials for reproduction.

Week of:

  • Confirm facilities arrangement and layout
  • Reproduce and assemble handouts
  • Gather registration material
  • Prepare nametags for those registered
  • Purchase refreshments

Immediately after the conference

Each attendee goes home with personal follow-up materials: book, pamphlet, suggested study plan, Scripture focus cards or assignment sheet.

Within one week after the conference

  • Follow up with offered Bible studies, PWOC meeting invitations, one-on-one mentoring as needed.
  • Send conference article/short summary to OCF Family Outreach representative and include photographs.

Publications Available

We also track good books on the family. Have a recommendation for the OCF Spouse Spiritually Smart reading list? Send it to us.

A Lasting Promise: A Christian Guide to Fighting for Your Marriage. Scott Stanley, Daniel Trathen, Savanna McCain, and Milt Bryan; Jossey-Bass, 2002.

Connecting: Healing for Ourselves and Our Relationships. Larry Crabb, Thomas Nelson, 1997.

Family: The Forming Center, A Vision of the Role of Family in Spiritual Formation. Marjorie J. Thompson, Upper Room Books, 1996.

Peacemaking for Families: A Biblical Guide to Managing Conflict in Your Home. Ken Sande, a Focus on the Family book, Tyndale House, 2002.

The Family: A Christian Perspective on the Contemporary Home. Jack & Judith Balswick, Baker Academic, 1999.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. John M. Gottman and Nan Silver, Three Rivers Press, 1999.