What should be the focus of a nearly 78-year-old ministry to the military, against a backdrop of societal and cultural change, as well as a global pandemic? The answer to this question is one Council President COL Ric Schumacher, USA (Ret.), and OCF Executive Director couple Col Scott and Christie Fisher, USAF (Ret.), have prayerfully considered since assuming their respective roles on 1 June 2020.
As it turns out, the answer isn’t a new one, and it can be found in OCF’s founding document from 1943—Biblical Relationship. Scott says the renewed effort of OCF should be “to connect more deeply with our members and to facilitate two-way communication from and to them, so they can effectively impact the military community as Christlike leaders.”
Ric echoed that sentiment: “We needed to intensively focus on infrastructure during the capital campaign, and now we need the same intensive focus on our members.”
The hope for widespread, reciprocal interactions among all OCF members is centered primarily on its local leaders, the boots-on-the-ground leaders in military communities who facilitate OCF small-group fellowships. This focus—specifically bolstering our support structure, training, and sustained relationship with them—is at the core of OCF’s upcoming five-year plan, called Strategic Framework 2.0.
“This framework reflects the intense focus on connecting with members in terms of short- and long-term efforts,” said Ric.
The ministry wants these lay leaders to feel that they are known, appreciated, and vital to its objective of a military community positively impacted by Christlike leaders.
“Without lay leaders stepping up, the mission of OCF fails,” said LTC Colin Wooten, USA (Ret.), Director of Field Operations. “OCF is member-led and minimal in staff by design. This is absolutely vital, because members are able to go throughout the military society where staff can’t go.”
“OCF’s mission and vision remain unchanged; OCF remains member-led, focused on our dual calling to the nation and our Lord, and committed to lifetime fellowship with one another,” said Scott.
Key to successfully casting a vision of OCFers who stay engaged with each other is “building an infrastructure for regional coordinators and area coordinators who ‘love on and shepherd’ the leaders of local OCF ministry,’ ” Colin said.