Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and your plans will succeed.
President/Founder, The Timothy Group
Courage, resourcefulness, passion and a call to duty are the elements that stand out to me with our assignment on the OCF capital campaign. From Generals to soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and the Coast Guard, every individual on the Campaign team accepted their assignments and put their shoulder to the plow. I learned many new terms and realized a “Target of Opportunity” was a donor waiting to give to the campaign. From General Fister, to many other OCF team members and campaign volunteers, we say thanks! You thought The Timothy Group was serving and teaching you. You mentored us as well! If God be for us who can be against us, the book tells it all!
Reverend Rurel Ausley
Lead Pastor, Crosspoint United Methodist Church
As a lead pastor, I am always struggling with some area of leadership needs. I always need to grow. Finding a leadership book filled with practical applications instead of theory can be hard to do. Anyone facing leadership challenges, uncertainties, and an unknown future will find this book filled with practical, helpful, biblical leadership principles drawn from the life of a Christian military officer, Lieutenant General, Retired Bruce Fister who led in the volunteer world!
William E Brown, PhD
Senior Fellow for Worldview and Culture
The Colson Center for Christian Worldview
General Bruce Fister’s book, Growing and Building: Faith, Prayer and Leadership, is a fascinating story of substantive changes and growth of Officer’s Christian Fellowship (OCF) under his leadership. General Fister does not recount his own success but the contributions of others and the faithfulness of God in the remarkable advances in the organization. When OCF faced unique challenges at the close of the twentieth century, the recently retired Lieutenant General was presented with the opportunity to lead the equipping ministry formed during World War II. While leadership should be no problem for a successful flag officer, Fister found the responsibilities of leading a Christian non-profit ministry to present challenges that tested his experience and faith. It seemed every step forward was met with resistance and a slide back, triggering discouragement and uncertainty. As he began to work organizing the ministry and raising millions of dollars for a new conference center and other expansions, he confronted a new battle: cancer.
The story of the subsequent successes of OCF under his leadership is motivating and faith-affirming. But Fister is clear: the true hero of all that happened is God. Drawing from the Scriptures God’s words of promise and provision, Fister gains strength to stand firm when others doubted. He describes the leadership principles of Moses, Nehemiah and other biblical characters who were driven by their faith to serve God’s purpose and God’s people. Fister also explains numerous leadership principles derived from others that helped inform him along the way.
While Growing and Building will be a must read for everyone associated with OCF, any leader will profit greatly from the examples, stories, and principles in this beautiful narrative of how God uses a person who wants to make a difference in the lives of others.
Honorable John Scott Redd
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy, Retired
First Director, National Counterterrorism Center
Founding Commander, U.S. FIFTH Fleet
General Bruce Fister has written a book which not only tells an important story but also lays out foundational principles of leadership and faith which apply far beyond the specifics of this account.
On the surface, this is the record of a landmark effort to grow the ministry of the Officers Christian Fellowship (OCF). OCF is a unique ministry which, since WW II, has equipped thousands of military officers to lead with character and integrity. It has also supported and blessed their families, including mine, in the midst of the demanding challenges and sacrifices of military life.
The story within the story amounts to a graduate course in godly leadership. As a three-star general, Bruce is no stranger to leadership. He led the aviation component of the nation’s most action oriented force, the Joint Special
Operations Command, in key national level operations. Now, faced with a very different environment, he demonstrates through numerous specific
examples how biblical leadership principles are universally applicable.
At the deepest level, this book is a testimony to God’s unwavering faithfulness to His children and the blessings of persevering faith in the face of difficulties.
Written in a humble and engaging style, Growing and Building is highly recommended for leaders and followers of all ages.
General Carl W. Stiner
U.S. Army, Retired
Former Commander in Chief, U.S. Special Operations Command
Coauthor (with Tom Clancy and Tony Koltz) of Shadow Warriors
Other than the Bible, this book, “The Growing and Building Story”, is the most compelling and comprehensive account of what is possible and can be accomplished through faith, prayer, and leadership of dedicated people. It is amazing what has already been accomplished by the blessings of God through the Officers’ Christian Fellowship efforts, and the good that will be realized for present and future generations. This book is a must read. It is replete with examples for living our lives.
Colonel Richard Toliver
USAF, Retired, Author, Motivational Speaker & Publisher
Second Generation, Tuskegee Airman
Lieutenant General Fister has done a masterful job in establishing a marvelous roadmap for anyone faced with a difficult task in any discipline or profession. Throughout the book, he provided great historical and personal examples of God’s grace that enables the willing “laborer” to courageously and faithfully persevere, regardless of how steep the mountain. This book has tremendous value for anyone aspiring to become a professional in the military, Christian ministries, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, or other endeavors. Growing and Building – Faith, Prayer, and Leadership also serves as a powerful inspiration to those well along in their personal or professional lives.
Major General Jerry E. White
USAF, Retired, PhD.
International President Emeritus, The Navigators
Lieutenant General Bruce Fister masterfully combines lessons from his senior command positions in Air Force Special Operations and his leadership of the Officers Christian Fellowship. He demonstrates how God leads in both realms and shows how a spiritual leader thinks and acts in those contrasting environments.
As a lifelong member of OCF, I relished seeing the faith of past leaders and the strains of setting a new course for new times. He honors the past and openly shares the struggle of spiritual and collaborative leadership in a volunteer organization. As leader of The Navigators in a time of great change, I related profoundly with the challenging dynamics that one finds in organizations with decades of history and deeply felt ownership by spiritual shareholders. He describes the decisions and debates in a way that gives God the honor, but still shows the humanity of all of us in coming to God-honoring decisions and directions. His principles apply to all Christians who lead in any enterprise – military or civilian. I strongly commend this book to all who are involved in volunteer spiritual organizations.
Sarah Hemingway Horner
Member, Military Wife Officers’ Christian Fellowship
General Bruce Fister’s Growing and Building book takes us on a journey of adventure well beyond our dreams. OCF’s Growing and Building Campaign did seem like a mountain of a dream, insurmountable at times, but through this multi-faceted challenge Bruce recounts how beautifully the Lord led step by step. Sometimes everything fell into place, and other times things seemingly fell apart. Sometimes the body of Christ amazed everyone with an uncanny unity, and other times leading fellow believers felt like herding cats.
Doing God’s work, even with His mighty power, still takes a lot of hard teamwork by a lot of dedicated people. And in God’s order of things, He chooses a man to lead, a man who knows very well of his utter dependence on the Lord. This is Bruce Fister. Throughout this campaign Bruce kept his focus on seeking what God wanted. Following example after example of great biblical leaders, he gleaned discernment for each detail of the campaign. Balancing believing God for a big vision, yet staying on budget for good stewardship, Bruce chose his team well, listened to facts, figures, counsel, and corrections, and today stands amazed at what God has done. With agonizing setbacks and unexpected miracles along the way, this is a wonderful read and a huge
encouragement that our God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. Bruce encourages us to stay the course, and shows that we can join the generations in proclaiming “Great is His Faithfulness!”