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