When the pressures of the military life and life in general seem overwhelming, who's your support system? Do you have a person or group that, like you, is running this most difficult of races, that you can rely on, and who in turn can depend on you when times get tough?
LTC Tom Schmidt, USA (Ret.), chats with CH(MAJ) Mark Winton, USA, on the topic of “affections for Christ.” Our affections are typically rooted in our answer to this question: “What are our heart longings for?” As CH Winton suggests, our answer ultimately shows what drives our hearts and where our affections lie.
It’s not unusual to hear people ask, “What is OCF?” or “What does OCF do?” They may wonder if OCF is a club of officers like-minded in their Christian faith, or just the local Bible study fellowship they attend.
How does a faithful walk with Jesus give life, context, and direction to the exercise of military leadership? What opportunities do I have for doing good for others’ welfare and for God’s glory?
So much of today’s culture dwells on victimhood, on wounds that seem resistant to heal. Christ-followers don’t deny the wounds but come alongside the struggling wounded to offer the salve secured by the scarred, yet now Risen Lamb’s victory over sin and death.
For His disciples, God gives direction. Develop a habit of checking your tendency to slide off the course He sets. Seek and find that direction in all parts of life: personal, family, professional, and community.
Every planner for ground tactical combat operations knows the value of seeing the area of operations from above. Looking down on the terrain, you see risks, opportunities, and new ways to achieve your objective that cannot be seen from the ground.
A particularly effective leader sees the ends amidst the overwhelming hubbub of the present. Opposition, complexity, danger, and distracting opportunities threaten to paralyze or draw the leader off course.
One simple request from a platoon leader in one small group at one location on a single evening. But when multiplied over the weeks and miles of hundreds of Christian fellowships, just consider how the Spirit might work!
We all have hitches in our giddy-up. Most are wounds within our soul: bitterness, deceit, fear, shame, guilt, and others. They hinder us; they limit us in our service with and leadership of others.
Jesus taught often through parables. Every listener could garner solid adages for life. Yet there was a special category of those Jesus taught who received the deep and rich gems that would transform them and enable them in fruitful service to the Master.
If you are a leader, perhaps you are the one God appointed to initiate and lead a local fellowship, or you may be the one leader Christ has chosen as His ambassador in a unit or staff.
Men and women of authority, education, and influence are particularly susceptible. Their gifting, potentially so helpful in service and leadership, spills over to coat the heart with ill-placed personal pride and assurance.
No, we cannot redeem this fallen world and its deathly power on our own, but the One who can has asked us to partner in His work with what we can do. He simply asks us to “take away the stone.”
We all could use a Sherpa when facing new and formidable challenges. Junior leaders and young couples with their abundance of zeal and energy, but with limited experience, particularly benefit from a seasoned guide as they break new ground in life.
Also essential for Christian leaders are the daily development of subordinates; team building for unit cohesion and performance; setting of standards of respect and performance; and seasoning the unit culture with the aroma of Christ.
Including stewardship in our leader lexicon may put our responsibility and authority in proper balance. The goal of a Christ-like leader will remain Christ’s goals; the methods, means, and accompanying perks will then better honor Christ in practice
As they Experience, Serve, and Lead at White Sulphur Springs, the EXSEL Discipleship interns are helping military members and their families realize the restoration needed in these challenging times.
We reached out to two OCF small group leaders, LTC Tom Matelski, USA, and Lt Col Jim Wamhoff, USAF, and asked them to share their insights on starting and effectively leading a small group.
The term “servant leadership” evokes a varied range of impressions as to what that really means, looks like, and how it plays out in real life. At first glance, the seemingly incongruous servant leadership concept appears especially contrary in business settings or military circles where typically bosses lead, employees serve.
Transformational leaders help people understand the purpose, objectives and values of an organization by articulating a clear and appealing vision. From both a practical and biblical perspective, transformational leadership inspires, develops and empowers followers; it also hones our leadership skills so we become better leaders.
When commissioned at an OCF bar-pinning ceremony twenty years ago, I was ready to take on the world, but acutely aware I knew little about leadership and military service! Through mistakes and the Lord’s patient refinement, I learned that the Bible is the greatest leadership manual ever written, but we must apply its timeless truths to the circumstances of our lives.
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.
As both a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and a Christian, have you ever wondered, "just what exactly are my rights to freely express my faith in Jesus Christ-even while in uniform?"
Christian leader, the narrow road of discipleship—a road the Lord travels with us—is full of unexpected, difficult turns. Prepare earnestly, lead well. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
Got fire for the Lord? Keep it burning by stoking your flame. We must tend to the fire-to the love relationship with our Lord. Anything less is abandonment. Remembering, repenting, and returning stokes that fire and results in peace and power.
There may be times when you're discouraged, when your spiritual strength and confidence may be shaken, or when you grow tired from the high spiritual operational tempo. Do not lose hope!
As Christian officers desiring to exercise biblical leadership -- faced with constant flux and in the process of growing in our capacity to lead -- how can we best prepare for our next leadership role?
Life is full of disappointments, difficulties, and distress. It comes in many ways: relational conflicts, job issues, financial concerns, illness, injury, tragedy and a host of other predicaments. It is challenging, even as a Christian, to respond positively to these trials.
God gives us the power to become rich, but it may be in terms of our riches in eternity with Christ Jesus and not in our human, earthly terms. What is important is what drives us.
If you're in your thirties, you are living in a generational, social, and professional gap by no choice of your own. This positioning brings tremendous professional and spiritual challenges; and opportunities.