Band of Brothers

29 Oct

Ordinarily what happens on Band of Brothers stays on Band of Brothers. But let’s make an exception. Last weekend 18 guys from Church in the Bank got away up the mountains to Katoomba for the Band of Brothers Weekend.

The TV miniseries, after which the weekend is named, follows the journey of a company of WW2 soldiers banding together as they face many adversities, whether physical, mental or moral. As they do so this group of men evolve to become a band of brothers who encourage and build up one another, confide and confess to one another, and keep each other accountable and disciplined as they continue engaging the enemy.

You can see then why ‘Band of Brothers’ is an appropriate name for a weekend that aims to foster the same attitudes in the lives of the Christian men at Church in the Bank.

So what did happen at Band of Brothers? Well, we did stuff. Why did we do stuff? Because that is how guys do relationships – while doing stuff.

So, we cooked kilograms of bacon and chatted.

We went on an uber long bushwalk and we chatted. We realised our parking tickets were about to expire (eeek), so we walked a little more briskly to get back, but still chatted.

We cooked more meat (and had the token salad, which you will be pleased to hear was totally eaten) and again chatted.

We “played” golf, vented a few frustrations, chased after wayward balls, but then continued chatting. Then a golf club employee interrupted our fine game later in the day to let us know we had to finish up and to express his amazement at how little of the course we had actually covered in our time there. Perhaps we were chatting too much!

Anyway, the chatting continued that night over wood fire pizza (for some, a crocodile wood fire pizza) and the Bledisloe Cup (that’s rugby). And of course, the following morning, our super slow park BBQ was all part of the plan of fostering an environment for chatting while kicking a footy around.

But this weekend was much more than a social gathering and topics of conversation were much more than meat and the footy. I heard conversations of guys sharing their testimony, their struggles as Christian men and their joys.

We also took the opportunity to sit down altogether and open God’s Word and explore some ‘disciplines’ of godly manhood, namely the discipline of church relationships, the discipline of devotion and the discipline of giving. Like soldiers, Christian men also need to be disciplined in their Christian living to ensure they remain focused and on their guard. But, as mentioned, we are not just a group of individual men. We are a band of brothers. And as a band of brothers, we are not just in the battle of disciplining ourselves, but also each other.

‘Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another’.               

Proverbs 27:17 (HCSB)

 Cameron Noakes

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