36: Like-Minded, Military-Focused Ministries
Since OCF operates within the larger body of Christ’s church, our leaders in the field should be aware of like-minded parachurch ministries who are laboring nearby and should be the initiators of coordinating and supporting relationships. ACCTS, MCYM’s Club Beyond, Cru Military, Valor, Navigators, Cadence, Tun Tavern, Military Missions Network, Planting Roots, etc., are examples of non-profit Christian ministries in the military community space.
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Get to know the people and leaders of other ministries, find out what the ministry is focused on and how they do their work, and discover whether there is some way you can be a blessing to them and they to you. OCF members bear the responsibility to initiate contact, because you are the ones who have military leadership responsibility and ought to be ready to work toward a mutually beneficial Christian relationship. This doesn’t mean you have answers, it simply means you are responsible for relationship building. By reaching out in love, you can improve communication and partnership, and you can encourage others in their work. Humble contact will prevent wrong perceptions and simultaneously give OCF a good reputation in the field.
VALUE THE DIFFERENCES
Every part of Christ’s body brings a different impact within His church. OCF exists to make the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ visible and heard around the world, not to exalt or lift up the “banner” of OCF. We want to be known for getting Christians connected to the right person, group, chaplain, and church body. For example, some ministries are excellent at marriage counseling, some are particularly effective at planning high adventure events, and others are great at engaging youth. At some installations there are ministries with access to, and impact in, the barracks or dorms.
Every part of the body of Christ is needed, so the OCF leader’s job is to endeavor to know who is serving alongside them. May you be one who is known for loving fellow laborers out in the field. Jesus said many will know that we are Christ’s disciples if we love one another well (John 13:35). If you have questions, call the OCF Home Office at (800) 424-1984 to see what we know about the staff or volunteers of organizations near you.