Friday, May 17, 2013

Successfully Encouraging Young Men To Love God's Word

By Marvin Job and Don Reddick
Helping young men learn to love reading the Word of God.

Long Time Battalion Leaders

For years I tried to get our Battalion boys to spend regular time discovering God’s Word.  It was hard to get them to become self-motivated.   One day during our council ring a guest speaker, a doctor, used as an illustration “See One, Do One, Teach One”. He explained that during procedure training they are shown how to do a procedure, and then they are expected to do the same procedure and finally they are expected to teach the procedure to someone else.   Don and I both loved this saying.  See One, Do One, Teach One
One day after Don and I were talking about how to get our boys into a regular bible time with God and how they could better open God’s Word up to their squads we thought we should try a reading program that a pastor in our church had introduced to our congregation that both of us took hold of and used regularly. The program is called VINE, which is an acrostic and stands for Verse, Insight, Next Step, and Expression. Knowing about our reading program VINE time and even doing it did not solve our problem with the boys . As I mentioned before Don and I both loved the saying  “See One, Do One, Teach One”. We decided to put this saying together with our VINE time which gave us tremendous results and accomplished more than we could have expected.

We started meeting with our Corporals and Lance Corporals at Starbucks on Monday morning from 7:00am till 7:50am. The young men got to Starbucks by parents, by our vehicles, or some of the older boys drove themselves. We even had one young man run over a mile as he missed his ride. Early in the morning before school was the only time that all of the boys could meet without being in conflict with other activities. The only thing they missed out on was sleep. Starbucks seemed like a great place to meet. Not only was it a place where we could be a witness for God, it was also a place where the boys could get food and drink without having to clean up after themselves. It became an adventure each week seeing what kind of exotic drinks the boys would buy.

During our VINE time we all read the same chapter from a book in the Bible that we were working through. After we read through the chapter each boy was asked to share one verse, or a word that popped out at him. We let them each explain to the rest of us why he chose that word or verse. There was never a bad answer and in fact sometimes the boys brought to us a question about what he read rather than an observation. After everyone shared we would then as a group sum up and agree to a point of action that we could all apply to our day ahead.
As time went on the boys became better and better at pulling insights from God’s Word. Once we were finished we then drove them to their various schools. During our meeting on the following Wednesday night we had the corporals use the same passage that we studied on Monday to use in leading their squad time.
The corporals saw Don and I doing it, they did it, and then they taught it. Now you have the Brigadiers see it from their corporals, as they get older they will do it at our vine time Monday mornings and then they end up leading it in squad times in future years. As long as we have diligent leaders the cycle continues.
We found that with very little or no prep our Corporals could lead their squad in a bible study during squad time. The VINE time became our primary focus during our squad meetings however we do change it up to keep variety in our meeting times. We do not want our program to get stagnant and just something we run through every week.

If you are interested and want more information about our VINE readings take a look.
Respectfully submitted,

Don Reddick and Marvin Job
Battalion 2236

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