Finding a Band of Brothers
Without brothers, the Christian road becomes much harder to walk, and the abundant life Christ has for us feels just beyond our grasp. Here’s a story of one man’s dream to ensure men in his Alaskan community could find a band of brothers.
By the Man in the Mirror Team
At Man in the Mirror, we talk a lot about the importance of every man having true brothers alongside him in his discipleship journey. We recognize that without relationship, the Christian road becomes much harder to walk; the abundant life that Christ has for each of His followers feels just beyond our grasp. That’s why we want to see no man left behind.
Scott, one of our longtime partners, shares this desire to see no man left behind in his Alaskan community. Born out of his extraordinary vision is the Band of Brothers building.
Band of Brothers
Set against a breathtaking backdrop of towering mountains and vast sky, the unique building was created to be a gathering place, where any man can comfortably come to connect, find support, and grow in his faith.
The metal sign above the entrance reads Developing Men of Honor, and through that door every man is welcomed—from the man recently released from prison wanting to learn more about Jesus to the successful business owner looking for help with his marriage.
Our Man in the Mirror Area Director in Alaska, Rob Hunner, has held our No Man Left Behind trainings here for church leaders, and he also keeps an office for work, often pausing to meet with men who come in looking for mentoring or advice. “Band of Brothers is a story I’m not worthy to be part of,” Rob said, “but I thank God that I am!”
Jacob, too, has been a part of Band of Brothers’ story through the Man in the Mirror Bible Study that meets here. He shared:
The first day I entered the Man in the Mirror Bible study I was nervous. My relationship with my wife had been tumultuous since losing my mother to suicide the prior year. I’d separated from her and my children. I struggled with addiction, shame, and unemployment. I had no clear sense of direction or understanding of what was to come. What I did know was I needed to find other men to talk to so that I did not feel so utterly alone.
What I found was even more poignant: a group of men who understand the power of Jesus. I found a group of men who encourage me to fulfill the roles that I have struggled with as an adult—that of husband, brother, father, son, and employee— and to do it with love, patience, humility, wisdom, and grace.“What I found was a group of men who understand the power of Jesus.” Click To Tweet
Each week, the Bible Study videos present us with thought-provoking ‘big ideas’ and topics for discussion and prayer. It equips us to weave the teachings of Jesus into the practical fabric of our everyday lives.
This and these men have helped me realize that I am an important individual in the Kingdom of God—and in my own family and community. Although daily challenges still exist, my participation in Man in the Mirror has helped ground me to Alaska, to my family, and to Jesus.
Jacob’s story is one we’ve heard echoed again and again from men who get connected or reconnected in intentional, spiritual friendships for the first time. There is power in a band of brothers.
Your Next Step
If you have a band of brothers, who else can you bring along with you? God might not be calling you to build a community center in the mountains, but that doesn’t make your next step any less grand. Who around you is still standing on the periphery of the Christian life, looking for someone to welcome him in?Who around you is still standing on the periphery of the Christian life, looking for someone to welcome him in?Click To Tweet
If, instead, you find yourself isolated from authentic relationships with other brothers in Christ, our next step for you is this: don’t stay there.
Could you ask someone to grab lunch this week? Is there an existing small group you can join? Consider asking a few neighbors or coworkers to go through a short-term workbook or video study, or start an activity-based group at your local church, doing something you’re interested in. No matter how you do it, take the initiative to actively pursue relationships with other Christians.
It can be hard, uncomfortable, inconvenient, and time-consuming, we know! But it’s worth it.
Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). True community has always been the trademark of Jesus’ followers.
Men, it’s not enough to agree with the premise that relationships are an essential part of discipleship. No, it’s highly personal and highly staked: your relationships are an essential part of your discipleship.
And discipleship changes everything.
THE BIG IDEA: True community has always been the trademark of Jesus’ followers.
Love it…ya’ll hit the bullseye! I’ve seen many social media posts on “man sites” from brothers confessing struggles….most of the responses are “pray more, get into the word more, DO something more….” Not opposed to any of those but I always add “Don’t walk alone.” Lots of “one anothers” in the scriptures….we can quote those verses…or live them out. Not easy but vital imho. Shameless plug for any in the Charlotte NC area….multiple weekly man gatherings that started 16 years ago…all are invited http://www.barnbrothers.org
Thank you for being part of an intentional movement to help men get connected in your community, Haines!