And so we begin a new season of personal, intergenerational, and peer to peer discipleship with Brigade. Did you realize that there are three kinds of discipleship in play when you run a Brigade program?
Personal Discipleship - the boys and young men, as they pass Achievements, are working through a Personal discipleship track. It is something they work on outside of the meeting, with help and guidance by a leader or parent, but largely on their own. I remember writing verses out on index cards, words on one side, the Scripture address on the other. I still do that, actually. I remember building a wooden shelf thing in Stockade that I used through my college days and beyond, the piece currently in my basement screwed to a wall holding bottles of glue. I remember the Bible stories, reciting them to my Ranger. These were things I did intentionally to get an initial in my book, to get a badge or pin on my shirt. It was formational for my young faith.
Intergenerational - I remember some of my leaders had hard hips. I cam to love floor hockey, and while it was far from a "contact" sport, some of the leaders seemed to love to give an extra bump or push me off the ball. They raised the bar for me, and while my wife thinks I am pretty competitive today, I learned to play hard and work hard, and find enjoyment in those things being hard. I caught the prayers of these men, and listened as they told stories of faith, their own and others. These men, these relationships were foundational for my growing faith.
Peer to Peer - I didn't get this until I got older, but as a man, working with other men in Brigade, I found my faith sharpened by my colleagues. We had come together to help the boys and young men be more like Christ in their thoughts, words, and actions, but in doing so, I became more like Christ. By discipling others I was discipled, and as I rubbed shoulders with men of the same purpose, even though some were quite different than me, pieces of their faith rubbed off on me. This continues to be formational for my older faith.
I have been involved with Brigade for almost 50 years because I was discipled, and it gave and continues to give me opportunities to disciple others. May you find encouragement and success in your Brigades this year as you disciple boys and young men, as you win and train them for Christ.