QuadSquad: Building Brotherhood
QuadSquad, as we call ourselves, is a group of men born out of shared life circumstances and common needs. Chief among those needs? Help sustaining deep friendships. Here are four keys to building brotherhood that we’re trying out, and you can, too!
By Jeremy Schurke
Vice President of Creative Strategies
Recently, I attended the first ever “QuadSquad” meetup with guys from my local church.
The QuadSquad represents an exclusive league of men whose sole requirement for entry is being a father of four children. Our church currently has eight fellows, me being one of them.
I need this group. As a dad of four young kids, my life presents certain challenges and opportunities that are unique to my circumstances.
Is it hectic? Yep.
Is it demanding? For sure.
Is it worth it? I tend to think so!
Joining the QuadSquad is not for the faint of heart, but I can’t sit here and deny that my heart still grows faint from time to time. It is hard to parent four unique kids with four different life stages, let alone keep up with everything else. So, I was excited to hang out with these other men and talk shop.
They tasked me with one job before our hangout—provide some structure for the meetup. Basically, what can we do to make this gathering worthwhile and meaningful?
It makes sense—this is a rare opportunity with rare company and I’m sure they asked me specifically this question because this is something I think about often.
How do we engage our hang-out opportunities to make them more than just passing the time and staying busy? How do we move past the initial conversations of sports and hunting and cars?
Keys to Building Brotherhood
I believe that to have meaningful conversations, we need 4 things:
- Mutual Agreement
- Intentional Focus
- Honest Reflection
- Rooted Reality
1) Mutual Agreement
First, we need to agree on the purpose of the conversation. What are we trying to accomplish here? Why are we talking?
I went into the QuadSquad hoping to know and be known. These guys understand the struggles linked to fathering four children, the conflicts that arise between a husband and wife with four children, the mental and emotional tax paid by our wives who help raise them, the kaleidoscope of different personalities residing in our home, and the challenge to give each of our children adequate time, individual instruction, and thoughtful encouragement.
Also, these guys definitely understand the earnest desire (and seemingly unattainable pipe dream) of getting some alone time!
I was really looking forward to processing with some guys who are in the same boat. I wanted to hear their struggles, learn from their successes, and mutually encourage each other.
2) Intentional Focus
Second, we need to intentionally focus on a topic and each other. Establishing prompts or questions is a great way to focus conversation. So instead of just sitting around the fire and letting the hours slip by, I came in with four questions:
- Name a favorite thing about each kid.
- Do you feel connected to your wife?
- How would you describe your relationship with God currently?
- What can the QuadSquad do to help you right now?
3) Honest ReflectionThe more thoughtful our point of view, the more meaningful the conversation.Click To Tweet
Third, we need to offer our honest thoughts. The more thoughtful our point of view, the more meaningful the conversation. As it is with most things, the more we put in, the more we get out.
Are we willing to go first and offer something vulnerable and true to break the conversation wide open? Conversations will typically only go as deep as you are willing to go yourself.
4) Rooted Reality
Finally, we can talk issues, opinions, and hardships all day, but if they are not rooted in the eternal reality of Christ, then they are ultimately meaningless.
Does that mean we have to prooftext the Bible every second for every issue? No.
I tend to mentally equate the gospel to a seed, rather than a cross. Mainly, because I want to recognize that the gospel is the starting point of growth. We need to bury the good news of our salvation in Jesus into our souls and nurture its growth in our lives. And we can’t do that by ourselves!
THE BIG IDEA: Meaningful conversations that are honest, intentional, and rooted in Christ are the materials for building brotherhood.
The Importance of Meaningful Conversations
Alone, we will inevitably stray away from the very things we love. It’s vital to participate in Christian community so that we keep each other rooted in the promises of God. Because, ultimately, meaningful conversations are framed and centered on God and His creation.
The QuadSquad could have gone off the rails with how hard life is with four kids and all the things we could complain about, with no hope in our present or future. But remembering and collectively standing in the rooted reality that we are blessed with a quiver full of children, a heritage from the Lord, one that not everyone gets to experience, helped changed my self-centered perspective.We must collectively stand in the rooted reality that we are blessed.Click To Tweet
Someone at the meetup said, “Having kids is the best way I can mature as an adult. Being solely responsible for the life, wellbeing, and growth of another human being changes your life trajectory pretty quickly.” I think he’s right.
Maturity is also recognizing my need for different perspectives. At the end of the night, do you know the thing that almost every guy needed help with from the QuadSquad?
Sustained friendships. They were thankful for the night and sincerely hoped this was only the beginning. I hope it is, too.
I believe almost every guy in the middle third of his life would echo the same thing. And sustained friendships all begin with meaningful conversations. They are critical for building brotherhood.
If you want more of this but are unsure of how to begin—if you want a roadmap to follow—we have one. After hosting several focus groups of men longing for deeper friendships, Man in the Mirror has created a resource to help you.
The Ritual – Assessment journal was written to help men take inventory of their lives and reflect deeply on where they are, together. It’s broken up into five categories that represent five key measures of a fulfilled life: health, origins, relationships, vocation, and soul.
Have you ever assessed your life? Are you currently? Now is a great time to start. The easiest way to review and assess your life is in parallel with someone else. That’s why Ritual – Assessment can only be purchased as a set of two journals. Simply choose a man—of any age and place in his faith journey—to invite into meaningful conversation, and go through the journals together.
Have you experienced meaningful conversations and deep friendships with men that have helped you grow in your faith? We’d love to hear more about how you built and sustained those relationships. Email our team at the address below!