OCF’s Constitutional Purpose is to glorify God by uniting Christian officers for Biblical fellowship and outreach, equipping and encouraging them to minister effectively in the military society. This purpose is rooted in our ministry’s original 1943 Certificate of Incorporation and is the launching point for this handbook. We exist to glorify God. Our hope is that men and women will remember God’s ultimate authority over all of life as they serve within professional military roles, responsibilities, and affiliations. Whether these uniformed years are few or last over 20 years, no person can stay in uniform indefinitely. OCF challenges those who have worn the uniform to consider serving the military community for a lifetime (in ways consistent with the changing stages of life). While in uniform, we minister within the military culture, volunteering, connecting, and serving the local body of Christ wherever we are assigned. After leaving the military, we transition to new roles and jobs, but we still have the opportunity and privilege to serve those who enter the military after us!
OCF’s 1943 Certificate of Incorporation says we are to “bind together officers serving, or who have served, in the Armed Forces.” Notice the phrase “or who have served”—OCF members continue to use their abilities and gifts to serve the military community after leaving the uniform (many times this is done within their local churches). Ministry success is not dependent on where we have ministry staff, nor on how well a conference center is doing, but rather OCF ministry success is wherever two or more come together in Christ’s name within the context of the military community and service. We glorify God by getting Christians together within their local communities so that the study of the Scriptures and the prayer of the body cause men and women to minister effectively in the military society.
OCF challenges military officers to be increasingly integrated in every aspect of their lives—home, professional, recreational, and church. We are individual leaders laboring for God’s glory within the country in which He placed us, confident that a sovereign God calls us to serve in different ways and with different gifts. The Christian officer has a responsibility to do all things as unto Christ, but with the added privilege of holding a commission from the President to lead for the good of subordinates, peers, and the nation.
OCF’S VISION AND MISSION
Our organizational Vision amplifies the OCF Purpose by articulating a simple long-term result coming from our parachurch ministry: We want the military community to be positively impacted through Christ-like leaders. OCF members are found within a military culture that has unique language, customs, courtesies, clothing, housing, and assignments. It is an exclusive culture that requires an identification card for participation and access. This military community is made up of officer, enlisted, dependent, civilian, contractor, and retired personnel—all made in the image of God, valued, and with an eternal soul. Christian leaders are found within every rank and grade, so we are confident that if OCF’s members are leading and serving with a Christ-like stewardship, then there will be parts of the military community where men, women, and children thrive in the freedom to fully use their skills and abilities to leave things better than they found them (positively impacted).
Military officers have been given a stewardship from God to be servants in leadership roles. We’ll repeat that: a servant who is a leader. We have a unique opportunity to work and live among others where the good news of Jesus Christ can be shared, explained, and lived out. Our positive impact is evident in the way we lead, the policies we draft, the influence we exert, and the way we enforce rules and regulations. The indirect impact we have flows from a Biblical view requiring us to be an example and to care for every person as an image-bearer of God. We are stewards of what God has entrusted to us, and every believer is to be salt and light regarding the gospel that God made known through Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:13-16; Ephesians 3:4-12). Jesus gives His servants talents “each according to his ability. Then He went away.” We know He will return to settle accounts with us, and our goal is to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” for how we did our work (Matthew 25:14-30).
Since the military community (spoken of in our Vision) is distinct from the rest of the U.S. population, OCF’s Mission is to engage military leaders in Biblical fellowship and growth to equip them for Christ-like service at the intersection of faith, family, and profession. OCF fellowship (Bible study and prayer specifically) should result in personal Christian growth, Christ-like service, and greater obedience and submission to God’s authority and Christ’s commands. Military rank and influence are meant for effective service where many roads cross: the training of forces, their equipping, and their employment on behalf of the nation. In a similar way, God places Christian leaders at crossroads where their Christian faith informs how they fulfill roles of being single, married, parents, friends, peers, commanders, and more. Godly leadership should have a corresponding improvement of the unit or neighborhood climate where this kind of leader lives and serves (Daniel 6:4). When Christ Jesus taught about a servant’s responsibility, He said, “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more” (Luke 12:48). We are a wealthy group within a wealthy nation, and we’ve been trained for such a day as this, so you can say that much is required of us.
OCF helps develop personal spiritual growth and resilience by connecting men and women in fellowship and mentoring relationships (discipleship) that center on Scripture, engage in prayer, and allow members to live life together. Military Christians understand one another’s customs and courtesies. A regular gathering of Christian singles, couples, and families will have the effect of OCF members caring for their neighbors in housing, in exchanges, in commissaries, in their units, in garrison, in the field, at sea, and in times of peace and conflict. Men and women in OCF fellowships plant seeds and provide water for the spiritual growth God gives (1 Corinthians 3:6-9). The result will be leaders and volunteers who are changed and matured in military service, and the places where they work will be blessed by their presence, their leadership, and their fulfillment of duties.
Christ-like leaders love as they have been loved, forgive as they have been forgiven, share in suffering for the sake of others, and spend themselves for the sake of souls found within the military community.