A "Leadership Laboratory"
We challenge young men to be Christian Leaders but often leave them wondering exactly how to do so.
Battalion is a discipleship ministry in which Christian men build personal relationships with teen guys within the church and mentor them to be effective Christian leaders.
Guided by adult men these 12-18 year-old young men are not simply told how to lead but are the ones leading the program and events week to week.
“In a laboratory you expect to make mistakes but you learn and grow from those mistakes.”
Battalion allows this growth in leadership to happen in an all male environment with the guidance of more mature men, where they know it’s ok to try, fail, and grow.
3 program componants
How It Works
The emphasis in Battalion is on Leadership development under the mentorship of older men. 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 weekly meeting is where practical, spiritual, and leadership skills are honed in a large and small group setting and relationships begin to get built.
Using our “Trail Guide” materials described below, parents and the young man select a mentor who walks together with him for a period of time through the mentoring materials.
Boys learn best while active and men grow together best while working, serving and suffering together. Through events, service, and adventure deeper relationship building happens. We help you build this into your ministry calendar.
Brigade provides “Leaders Guides” that give the men and the young men who will be leading everything they need to know in order to execute 4 week modules.
These modules connect God’s world to God’s word. For instance though the interest area being investigated for four weeks might be photography, the men and young men are also learning about their identity in Christ, Self Control, and the personal nature of our relationship to God.
A Typical Battalion Evening
Shaping a Leader
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 is accomplished by a line-up. The battalion is called together by the young man in charge. The opening involves a prayer, possible 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.
You will notice that we don’t just talk about mentoring or hope it happens, we emphasize it and build it into our culture and materials.
This is because boys don’t learn to become men by being handed a book. Masculinity is handed down and modeled.