9.2.06

Rites of Passage - Jesus Army Life, Day 207

I'm thinking a lot about training men at the moment. In this society, where rites of passage are largely consigned to visits to the pub and smoking weed together, young men need steps to help them enter into manhood and spiritual maturity in a more constructive manner.

One writer argues that growing men need experiences of fear-breaking, faith and festivity to mark a conscious development into adult society. Baptism is obviously one step for teenagers who choose to follow Jesus, another might be their first nerve racking evangelism experience (both are public events where a believer's witness and faith are involved), but what else is there?

I've been working on some Challenge Cards which, hopefully, I'm going to launch tonight for some of our newly baptised members. They cover six areas: Communication, Instruction, Attitude, Lifestyle, Battle, and Brotherhood. (In normal Christian parlance these would be described as a believer's witness, doctrine, devotional life, everyday practice, spiritual warfare and fellowship.)

Each card breaks up into six challenges, and hopefully, as they achieve and these and as we celebrate their accomplishment together the teenagers will sense in some small way that they are becoming men and women of God.