This must happen if your boys are going to survive.
The C.O. at the Army Ranger school at Fort Benning barked, “Difficult assignments require a friend. Step one in your training is the assignment of your ‘Ranger Buddy.’ The two of you will stick together. You will never leave each other. You will walk together, run together, eat together, and sleep together. You will help each other. You will encourage each other. And as necessary, you will carry each other.”
The US military understands that in battle nobody fights alone and survives very long.
Walking with Christ is a difficult assignment. Following Christ means engaging in a fierce three-front battle. A Christ-follower must daily overpower the enemy within, his own sinful nature. He must resist a world that continually bombards him with enticements that seek to take captive his heart. He must overcome the wily temptations of Satan, the evil one. God never intended Christian men to fight their spiritual battles in isolation.
The foundational New Testament teaching about how disciples grow up into maturity in Christ is that believers must be connected in the Body of Christ.
Rather speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love (Eph. 4:15-16).
God’s appointed method for spiritual growth to happen is: every believer in relational connections small enough that each of us can talk about how to apply Scripture in our everyday lives, forming a bond of love. But here is a sobering fact. Research reveals that nineteen out of twenty Christian men have no such connection! How about you. Do you have a brother or two in your life helping you fight your spiritual battles? Do you have anyone who even knows what those battles are?
Serving with other brothers on the Stockade or Battalion leadership team has proven to be a great place to forge such brotherhood bonds. Men build relationships shoulder to shoulder when absorbed in a common task. One group of Stockade leaders in Severna Park, MD is reading the book, Got Your Back together during their monthly leadership meetings and breaking into prayer teams with each man sharing one spiritual battle for which the others can pray.
In today’s world, the stakes are too high, the battle too fierce, the enemy too wily, the attacks too frequent, the cost of defeat too high for any Christian man to fight his spiritual battles alone. God never intended for us to be fighting our spiritual battles by ourselves
As CSB leaders live out this commitment to connection in the Body of Christ not only does it provide the strength you want to honor Christ with your life. Your example speaks volumes to the boys who are watching you. Christianity is more caught than taught. Let the boys that you are leading see you doing the very thing you want them to do.
For more insights from Gary about how to forge the brotherhood connections men need, his book, Got Your Back is available at our CSB bookstore http://store.csbministries.org/. E-versions also available (Kindle, Nook, and iBook)