A ministry to young men grades 7-12

We challenge young men to be Christian Leaders but often leave them wondering exactly how to do so. For more than 75 years Christian Service Brigade has equipped men in the local church to train up the next generation of godly leaders who understand from observation, teaching, and experience, what Christ-like servant leadership is all about.

Battalion is a discipleship ministry in which Christian men build personal relationships with teen guys and mentor them to be effective Christian leaders. Guided by adult men these 12-18 year-old young men are not simply shown how to lead but are the ones leading the program and events week to week.

The young men in Battalion share experiences in peer group leadership through weekly meetings, the achievement program, service projects and outings, helping them to become leaders by leading.

  • Relational based
  • Fun, Action driven discipleship
  • Integrated Christian service
  • Men model manhood and mentor future leaders
  • Hands on leadership experience
  • Goal setting and achievement

The Battalion Program:

The Battalion program, materials, events, and culture are designed to help develop well-rounded and Biblically well-grounded young men who have learned through experience to be servant leaders. The emphasis in Battalion is on Leadership development under the mentorship of older men.

The key program components are:

  1. The weekly meeting where practical, spiritual, and leadership skills are honed in a large and small group setting.
  2. The individual discipleship track using the Adventure Trails and Leadership Trails materials described below.
Adventure Trails is typically where a young man begins and where we seek to help help in the following three foundational areas of his faith:

  • Understanding his faith: Explorer Rank
  • Growing in his faith: Trailblazer Rank
  • Sharing his faith: Guide Rank

The materials that comprise these three ranks are not designed to be completed by the young man in isolation. As with all of Brigade’s materials they are designed to be completed alongside a series of mentors.

As a young man grows and exhibits a desire or an aptitude for leadership, or simply as a unit develops leadership needs, a young man begins working with a mentor through the Leadership Trails materials. The content of these three ranks focus on leadership skills giving him progressively more leadership responsibility:

First Star – Lance Corporal:

  • Reintroduces foundational spiritual disciplines
  • Equips the young man to help the corporal in charge of his small group called a “squad”
  • Introduces biblical examples of leadership and the concept of servant leadership

Second Star – Corporal:

  • Introduces the young man to the responsibilities of small group leadership
  • This includes leading a meeting
  • It also includes caring for his squad of guys outside the meeting
  • Praying for and encouraging them

Third Star – Sergeant:

  • The Sergeant is the young man now in charge of the whole battalion
  • He is challenged by increased bible study, memorization, and new spiritual disciplines
  • He is responsible for overall group functions under the supervision of adult men

The Herald of Christ is the top recognition given to a young man after he has completed Explorer Through Three Star as well as the Herald of Christ internship. The Herald Of Christ Recognition is an impressive accomplishment. You can find our more about the Herald of Christ here:

A Typical Battalion Evening:


Below you can see a typical Battalion evening. Keep in mind that each Battalion is broken up into smaller groups called Squads consisting of between 4 to 8 young men  and enough adult men to provide proper oversight and instruction. Some components of the weekly meeting are done as a large group all together and some are done as Squads.

While a typical Battalion meeting usually has the following format, a wise leader will make it “always the same—never the same.” Uniformity and variety are key—same elements, different content and, occasionally, different form. Battalion material is written for a 90-minute program. However, many Battalions have extended their meeting length to two hours. Each meeting is a leadership laboratory for the junior leaders to grow as disciples. Leaders need renewed enthusiasm and concerted prayer each week, so more is happening than is readily seen.
As the young men arrive, a simple game or skill developer is conducted until the meeting officially begins. Leaders circulate among the group. This is a great time for a leader to check-in with a young man who he is mentoring.
At the announced starting time a brief time to come to order is needed. This can be accomplished by a line-up or gathering in a circle. The opening involves a prayer, flag salute, and important announcements for the young men.
This is the leadership laboratory—prime time for each junior leader to work with his own small group (or squad). He leads a brief devotional and group activity. This is often the first time a young man has ever had the responsibility of leading his peers and the single gender context allows for greater freedom to make mistakes and learn together. Mature men are always there to help provide insights to this growing young leader at the end of the meeting.
This special feature is planned with the idea of getting the boys to experience, in a “hands-on” way, some interest area or meaningful activity and is based on the particular module the Battalion is working on together such as: Astronomy, Winter Survival, Rock Climbing etc.
The action-packed game period provides organized physical activity. We encourage healthy competition but skill development, sportsmanship, and fun are what we emphasize as we use this time to mold character and to build group cohesion.
The presentation of the Gospel and the challenge to Christian growth and service are both privileges and responsibilities for leaders. Stories with Biblical applications, Bible talks, or group discussions all encourage spiritual growth and Christian character development. This can be an opportune time to invite a guest speaker such as a missionary, expert in the interest area the Battalion is exploring at the time, or a pastor. Often this is a time in which the gospel can be explicitly presented. Young men get to hear from men that they admire and respect and can ask questions of men with whom they otherwise would not have the opportunity to interact.
This vital component of each weekly meeting allows the men to discuss the meeting and to pray for any needs, plan for next week, and builds leadership teamwork and communication.

Expected Battalion Outcomes

Expected Battalion Outcomes

If he has participated in the whole ministry experience then by the time a young man graduates from high school he will have done the following:

Download the Battalion Ministry Overview

This is a great document designed to give you a good overview of the purpose and structure of the Battalion ministry. It is great to send to people interested in Battalion or to print and hand to people.

Battalion Activity Modules

Practical Skills Used to Teach Spiritual Truths

Each week at Battalion older men guide younger men through 4 week modules where they can learn practical skills tied to spiritual truths.