23: Member Roles Within OCF
IN THIS CHAPTER
There are three main roles an OCF member can volunteer to fill and become visible in the OCF Directory. These volunteer roles are OCF Local Leader, OCF Contact, and OCF Hospitality Home. The OCF Directory also makes OCF Coordinators visible. If someone desires to support a larger area, region, or military specialty as a Coordinator, please contact the OCF Home Office at (800) 424-1984. Finally, our OCF Council members are volunteers who serve on the OCF Council after being elected to this role.
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The Local Leader of an OCF fellowship will start, sustain, and hand off the baton of leadership for a specific OCF fellowship body. Our Local Leaders should seek to live faithfully before the face of God using all of Scripture as the guide, using passages such as Titus 1:6-9; 2:2-8 for specific insight. Here are the key tasks of a Local Leader who gladly responds to this Spirit-given opportunity:
1. Lead a military community fellowship that centers on the Scriptures and joins in prayer. Coordinate who will lead the fellowship (i.e. Bible study), but also consider who can organize childcare, food, music, social activities, etc. Advocate the use of OCF’s Pray-Discover-Obey process, asking God for wisdom as you seek the input, counsel, and advice of fellow participants. Be sure to share the workload according to the various giftings of those within the local body. Remember Paul’s words in Romans 12:7-8 about using our gifts: “if service, in … serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” Persevere through the “obey” phase of PDO, encouraging everyone to meet regularly and consistently.
2. Stay in communication with local participants (message, email, voice, personal visit, mail). Build relationships.
3. Welcome new arrivals, TDY/TAD personnel, and those who have just discovered that a ministry like OCF exists.
4. Build relationships with the chaplain(s) and the chaplain team.
5. Communicate with the OCF Home Office by sharing prayer requests, moves, rank changes, etc.
6. Notify the Member Care team when an OCF Directory update is needed by filling out a new List Me form online at ocfusa.org/list-me.
7. Promote events and conferences of the larger OCF, especially retreats and gatherings at OCF’s White Sulphur Springs (Pennsylvania) and Spring Canyon (Colorado) Conference Centers.
8. Develop an understanding of why OCF has membership, then help others think through and pray about joining OCF. Learn how OCF funds its various ministries and maintains financial integrity. Encourage the local body to participate in military ministry by worshipfully sharing a portion of their monthly offerings with OCF.
9. Help connect TDY/TAD, deploying, and PCSing personnel to OCF Local Leaders, Contacts, and Hospitality Homes.
10. Pray for, and act on, the opportunity to develop the next Local Leader, ensuring a handoff when you depart.
OCF Contacts (in the OCF Directory) are usually members who either don’t have a military community nearby, or who are not able to devote time and energy to local leadership. We hope that most OCF Contacts will desire to start a new local fellowship using the Pray-Discover-Obey process. Here are some key tasks of an OCF Contact:
1. Welcome transiting personnel, new arrivals, or those just finding out about OCF. Invite others to pray with you about starting a local Bible study and fellowship group (at which point you would be listed as a Local Leader).
2. Build relationships with the chaplain(s) and the chaplain team.
3. Become an expert on the local area so that you can help OCF members get settled and feel welcome.
4. Communicate with the OCF Home Office by sharing prayer requests, directory updates, rank changes, etc.
5. Join in OCF conferences and retreats, especially those at White Sulphur Springs and Spring Canyon.
You are the one who opens your home, and thus your lives, to strangers. We used to call this the OCF B&B Directory, but since we no longer publish a paper copy, the B&B has transitioned to this new listing. Some key things that OCF Hospitality Homes provide:
1. A bed and/or fellowship over a meal for those who are passing through, visiting, or moving into the area.
2. The opportunity for others to see Christian love in action—each of you has various giftings, and you don’t have to have a perfect home to welcome strangers in … you need the Holy Spirit dwelling within you!
3. Boundaries. Know what is acceptable to you and communicate clearly if your conscience or home will be strained or harmed by your guests. Be gracious but share honestly.
4. Send your guests out by praying for them and offering a coffee for the road. If appropriate, stay in touch.
This role is meant to bless OCF members, Local Leaders, and Contacts by coordinating OCF’s work within an area, region, country, military specialty, etc. Our Coordinators are the synchronizers, encouragers, helpers, and primary focal point for communication between OCF staff and the membership they are helping to keep connected. Coordinators are a significant part of OCF’s touch as they develop relationships among OCF laborers in the field. Some coordinators will engage ROTC officer candidates to connect the largest commissioning source with a vision for Christian service, fellowship, and resources. Coordinators can expect to:
1. Get to know the Local Leaders and Contacts, praying for them regularly, growing in friendship.
2. Find out how the different leaders and groups are doing. Visit local fellowships, cadets, and midshipmen to put a face and personality with a name, and to encourage them in their current calling.
3. Ensure the OCF Directory accurately reflects the fellowship picture in the area, region, or country.
4. Help ensure that OCF communication, announcements, and materials get to the volunteers in the field.
5. Invite members of the local OCF body to join you at an OCF conference center for a retreat or other event.
6. Be the communication point for the OCF Home Office and with the Director of Field Engagement. Notify OCF staff when there is potential harm to the OCF body resulting from an individual’s action, group issues, a change in military policy, or similar concern.
7. Handle linkups that come from the Home Office, making sure new arrivals get a personal welcome.
8. Initiate hand-offs for departing members, ensuring that the gaining OCF body knows they have someone coming their way.
9. In some cases, the Coordinator will plan, spend, and document expenses for special events.
10. When able, visit chaplain programs and appropriate military installation leaders where an OCF Memorandum has been executed. Help us be seen as a valuable non-profit organization.
11. Tell your primary OCF staff connection when there is too much to do … we want to enable lifelong service in the field and avoid burnout or weariness simply because we did not realize help was needed.
OCF’s governing board is called the OCF Council, and it is made up of regular members of the OCF. They keep OCF spiritually faithful by staying anchored in the Scriptures, they pray for and strive to keep ministry integrity, they govern using the PDO process, they hire and oversee the Executive Director, they govern strategically, and they hold fiduciary responsibility for OCF.
Here are some more facts about the OCF Council:
1. There are between 6 and 22 members on the OCF Council with terms beginning June 1. The term of service for a Council member is three years.
2. One third of the Council is elected annually.
3. Regular members may be nominated for OCF Council service. Candidates must be nominated by three regular members and complete an application package.