Saturday, October 19, 2013

Making your Orthodox Christian Fellowship chapter work

Church-affiliated groups are tricky to pull off. Even highly motivated Christians struggle to keep organizations afloat (e.g. recent OISM attendance). That said, we lose MANY of our youth after high school (over 60%) and OCF can be invaluable resource in maintaining ties to the Church not to mention as an evangelical tool. I keep up with lots of OCFs over Facebook and they range from moribund to very, very chatty.

If you're a parent (or a Godparent most certainly) of a child in high school or in college, push them to find the nearest OCF. Even if it's connected to another school in the same town, keeping them connected to the Church is your duty. Otherwise, when they marry or shack up with someone and have children that they never take to Church, you can point to this as yet another missed opportunity to save them from apostasy.

(OCF) - My first year as student leader of the OCF Chapter at MTSU, myself and a few friends met a couple of times a semester in my house. Three years later, we were meeting twice a week (once on campus and once our local parish) with anywhere from 10-30 students at each meeting. A few times, we even had as many as 40 students at a meeting!

Looking back on that experience, I can assure you it wasn't quick or easy to help our chapter grow so much. Along the way, I had to learn a lot about college life, campus ministry, and my own strengths & weaknesses as a leader.

The two aspects of our chapter structure that engaged students with the most success were consistency and diversity.


We didn't see a huge growth in our OCF chapter until the other students and I in our emerging group committed to meeting every week at the same time and the same place. It took some time before many students could get consistent at this, and sometimes I would be the only person to show up. The key change happened when we made that commitment not to cancel a meeting just because a few core members couldn't come.

Because we met every week, students who knew about us soon began to think of Thursday nights as "OCF night," whether or not they came to our meetings. Because students were able to mentally dedicate that evening to OCF, many could plan ahead and leave that evening open so they could visit a meeting. Slowly but surely, our chapter grew...
Complete article here.

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