Lead to Serve and Serve to Lead
The stories and leadership lessons explored in Lead to Serve and Serve to Lead are based on Brigadier General Robert Gwyn Armfield and Lieutenant General Bruce Fister’s unique experiences from leading men and women in combat and in the non-profit and corporate world. The authors are not academics but practitioners of the art of leading organizations and offer insight into exercising leadership during turbulent times. Serve to Lead covers personal character, building trust, the importance of culture, developing a vision and plans to see it to reality, communication, crisis leadership, developing leaders, and more.
Gwyn Armfield received the Air Force’s top leadership award and has led organizations from 20 to 25,000 people to include international special operations forces in Afghanistan and has years of corporate leader development experience. Bruce Fister’s record of leadership excellence began in the aircraft cockpit while facing challenges in Vietnam. He later grew into serving as a senior commander of forces during the invasion of Grenada and Panama. After completing his military service, Bruce ran a successful business and then led a national non-profit organization for a decade.
Both Gwyn and Bruce have a passion for equipping everyone to thrive as a leader wherever they are called. Their book is written for anyone with a desire to lead well.
Faith and Prayer
Growing and Building demonstrates lessons in leadership founded upon faith and prayer and biblical and personal stories derived from the authors time leading Officers’ Christian Fellowship’s Growing and Building Campaign. This was a 10-year project to build new conference center facilities that were necessary to grow a 73-year-old, worldwide Christian military fellowship so it could continue to reach the U.S. military society in the 21st century. The story begins with the realization that OCF had to replace old worn-out facilities at their two conference centers, Spring Canyon in Colorado, and White Sulphur Springs in Pennsylvania. These conference centers have been serving soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coastguardsmen and their families for many years, but now are more important than ever because those wonderful people have been stretched to the breaking point by multiple years of combat.
Growing and Building is a narrative story of events that transcended the author’s life, his family’s life and the life of Officers’ Christian Fellowship, the lives of great characters of the Bible, and the lives of other great leaders.
Growing and Building the 2nd Edition is written with experienced leadership lessons and key points listed for others to use in any number of leadership situations. The second edition also includes an Annex to be used as a quick reference or as a study guide for Bible study groups. Anyone aspiring to be a leader, particularly in a volunteer organization, who needs to hear how the Lord will carry you through with faith and prayer, will appreciate the lessons applied.
Growing and Building
Faith, Prayer, and Leadership
Bruce L. Fister
Lieutenant General, USAF, Retired
Limited copies are available.
Contact Bruce Fister for purchase of the 1st edition in paperback.
Demonstrating leadership lessons throughout, Growing and Building is written for anyone aspiring to be a leader, particularly the leader of a volunteer organization, who must take on the challenge of knowing through faith and prayer that the Lord will carry you through while most importantly, you the leader are changed in the process to His glory.
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 that not only tells an important story but also lays out foundational principles of leadership and faith that 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 that, 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 of 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 a 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.
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!”