24: OCF Volunteers Who Participate

IN THIS CHAPTER

The various seasons of life bring about different abilities and capacities to volunteer within OCF and within your local church. This chapter gives ideas for some of the many ways you can volunteer to serve the military community and OCF by using your gifts, time, talent, and treasure.

TIME, TALENTS, GIFTS, RESOURCES

When you became a member of OCF, you signed (either by hand or digitally) our Statement of Participation, in which you said you support the purpose of OCF and would “participate actively and prayerfully in the ministry of OCF with my time, talents, spiritual gifts, and financial resources.” Amen, thank you! Participation helps keep what God says through Peter in mind, “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace … ” (1 Peter 4:7-10). 

Whether you have been an OCF member for a week or for several decades, there is always room for you to volunteer using your various skills and to host whomever God brings your way. Paul said, “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:1-2). Your willingness to be a steward leader means that you try to reach out with a warm welcome to new arrivals, that you invite guests to your home for a meal, or that maybe you loan your car to someone who needs a way to get to church or Bible study when you cannot pick them up. Your desire that men and women know Christ as Lord, enjoy the study of Scripture, and mature in faith is made visible by every expression of your care for others.

SEASONS OF LIFE AND CAPACITY

Local Leaders fill the most critical role for a healthy OCF fellowship to become established and to thrive. Local Leaders give of their time, energy, and gifts at the local level. They initiate regular Pray-Discover- Obey gatherings, and they have the local body on their mind throughout the week. Since they know God controls any “success,” they organize, coordinate, push, and prod, and yet they rest in Christ for the outcome. Local Leaders sometimes have tough days when no one shows up for Bible study, or they go through spiritual dry spells and hard times. These trials help Local Leaders develop a deep understanding that the success of the ministry is dependent on God and not on them. The leader serves the body by getting men, women, and children together to pray, study the Bible, enjoy meals, play, and have adventures together.

In some seasons of life and at certain assignments, it is not possible to be a Local Leader. Busy and tough seasons are real, as are times when you are unable to organize and stir up a local OCF fellowship. If that is the case, then you may be willing to be visible in the OCF Directory as an OCF Contact. The OCF Contact role can become a transition role if God brings another like-minded person into the local area. We love having OCF Contacts around the world so that no person is left alone in a hotel room without an opportunity to be invited to coffee, a meal, to church, or some other event.

The people who act as the glue, the encouragers, and the helpers to Local Leaders and Contacts are called Coordinators. Our ministry avoids establishing rigid hierarchical relationships, because we are a volunteer organization. It is wonderful when members have fellow laborers who will give help, encouragement, and accountability, since every hand, foot, eye, nose, and ear are needed, each one of us filling a role made possible by our heavenly Father. (See previous Chapter 23, “OCF Roles,” for more details.)

VOLUNTEERS IN MANY PLACES

There are other ways for you to grow as an OCF participant—give us a call at (800) 424-1984 to talk about options. Here are a few thoughts about how to use your gifts and abilities to grow the OCF fellowship:

1. OCF staff often require technology, social media, web design, editing, and database help.

2. OCF Conference Centers need maintenance, cleaning, mechanical, and physical labor help.

3. Outdoor programs at our two conference centers require volunteer mentors and supervisors.

4. ROTC, OCS/OTS, and Academy cadets and midshipmen need mentors and coaches for encouragement and growth in spiritual wisdom. You may be able to do this virtually.

5. New officers and new believers need Christian mentors willing to meet with them regularly.

6. Traveling OCF members are blessed by Hospitality Homes where they find a bed and/or food.