Risk, Generosity, and the Future of Band of Brothers in Christ

Have you ever felt an immediate unease when someone tells you something? Almost like you knew things were misaligned?

That’s how I felt when I heard that a few young men had considered applying for Band of Brothers in Christ but didn’t because of the cost.

It got worse when I later caught word of another few young men who would be great candidates, but could never afford it due to the socioeconomic background they were born into. They hadn’t even considered it.

Jesus had a few things to say about following him,

“Follow me” John 1:43John 21:19Luke 5:27

“Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me” Matthew 6:24

“Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people” Matthew 4:19, Mark 1:17

“Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Mark 10:21

We want young men to follow Jesus. In fact, the vision of our ministry is to see all young men to become changed by the Word to change the world.

The mission we believe will get us there is to provide discipleship for young men through small-group programs and one-one-one relationships. We’ve experienced the fruit produced from pointing young men to the Word of God, while helping them overcome personal struggles and become the spiritual (servant) leaders God created them to be.

As God has moved this ministry forward we’ve always stuck to our core values. Over the last few weeks, God has illuminated one of them:

Risk.

We’re going to take a financial risk as a ministry and drastically reduce the cost of our programs. From an all-inclusive $1600 to just $300. And we’ll handle transportation on a case-by-case basis, but young men will need to get themselves to the program.

How does this affect our budget? You can probably do the math, but it means we’ll be able to extend an opportunity for parents, friends, and churches to sponsor young men to come to our programs. The primary difference being that it won’t be the responsibility of the new brother to raise over $1500.

Finances should never disqualify someone from discipleship, especially someone actively seeking it. $300 is still a strong investment for most young men, and having a little bit of skin in the game will be healthy for everyone. Our hope is that by removing an intimidating financial barrier, any young man who desires following Jesus will be able to come to Band of Brothers in Christ.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can’t put words to how I’m feeling. This seems like one of those times. It’s a financial move that doesn’t make a ton of sense on paper, but when I read Proverbs 3, it all clicks.

Our God is generous. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world he gave . . .”

We’re going to give BOBIC away as best we can, and trust God with the rest.

I’ve no idea what this might do to BOBIC financially in the long run. I can’t see all the steps that might follow but I can see this one, and after weeks of prayer and council I’m confident that the Lord will make clear what we ought to do next, because the best is always yet to come.

I want to ensure that all young men have the opportunity to become changed by the Word to change the world, regardless of where they come from and what they may or may not have. To put it as best I can, making our programs more affordable is a cost I’m willing to count.

P.S. If you know a future world changer, now is the time for him to apply. Will you take a few minutes to show him our website and encourage him to apply ?  …..He can even call me directly 859-576-5392 if he’d like. Can’t wait to see what God does next! 

We’re Ministry Ventures Certified

Just before the Lord brought Chuck (our founder) home, he and I were introduced to Ministry Ventures. I wish I could say we were instantly hooked, but those who knew him would tell you he approached every investment with the seriousness of a bull.

After looking into it (and by that I mean digging up everything we could and even interviewing their staff), we realized Ministry Ventures really could help us take what God was leading us to do and go further faster. 

We were doing fun work, but we were taking it seriously. We didn’t just want to make disciples. We wanted to create a world-class program, built on God’s word and relationships, where our alumni would have more opportunities for discipling new young men, and the new young men could experience more adventure, deeper relationships, and a more relevant bible-based curriculum than ever before.

So we began pursuing a Ministry Mastery Certification to bring more credibility, excellence and clarity to everything the Lord was leading us to do, not just in regard to how we operate our programs, but how we operate behind the scenes as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Essentially, Ministry Ventures is recognized for providing coaching and training around the Five Best Practices of Ministry Leadership for nonprofit executives and staff. It affirms our use of Godly principles and Best Practices as we merge a healthy business mind with our ministry heart.

The result?
In 2016 we didn’t just work in ministry, we worked on ministry. We’re now Ministry Ventures Certified and our passion for making disciples has a plan, and even more opportunities for alumni and friends-in-ministry to be involved than ever before.

Thanks for being a part of it, it is a privilege to serve with you. 

-Christian ’09

 

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Moving Forward

New BOBIC Location

I first met Chuck Wenger after dinner on the same day I heard one of the best devotionals I can remember. I was a college intern at a conference for an international ministry called The Navigators. Being in the heart of my formative years, I spent that weekend hanging onto every word that fell from a speaker’s lips and to this day I still read my notebook from that conference. Despite the opportunity to sit in on some great talks from people that included the likes of Dallas Willard, the most influential thing the Lord taught me came from a humble man with a soft voice from South Africa who only spoke for about ten minutes. His name was Mike and he was the new President of the Navigators. But his new position had been tough on him.

Read more

A Disciple’s Vision

BOBIC Presenter Jim Petersen shares what it looks like to see the world through Jesus’ eyes in his post on A Disciple’s Vision. Enjoy the fresh reminder on what our mission is, the cost we’ll pay, and how to open our eyes and give our lives to the people around us.