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Spiritual formation of boys

By Pastor Tom Anderson

Where have all the young men gone? Only 40% of college students in America are male. The work force participation of young men has been dropping precipitously. There are many signs that our culture is failing to nurture and encourage boys. Boys need a challenge. Boys need purpose. Boys need adventure. Most of all, boys need Jesus Christ.

Trail Life USA is a Church-Based, Christ-Centered, Boy-Focused mentoring and discipleship journey that speaks to the heart of a boy. Established on timeless values derived from the Bible and set in the context of outdoor adventure, boys from Kindergarten through 12th grade are engaged in a Troop setting by male mentors where they are challenged to grow in character, understand their purpose, serve their community, and develop practical leadership skills to carry out the mission for which they were created.

If you’re a father, a grandfather or a just a guy who wants to help the boys in your life, I have an invitation for you. Join us on Thursday, June 30 at 6 PM in the High School room of the Thrive Church Family Life Center to begin a conversation about starting a Trail Life program for boys here at Thrive Church.

40,000 boys in 900 troops in all 50 states are in Trail Life. More than ever, boys need a uniquely masculine program where their assertive, audacious, and adventurous nature is celebrated, not sequestered.

Too many boys are turning to virtual worlds of television, video games, digital media, and the internet to find realms they can conquer and areas where they can excel. The result of this virtual conquest is often apathy, apparent rebellion, or outright resistance to real-world challenge.

Trail Life USA is an environment where boys thrive! Adults are equipped to lead a program in a structured outdoor environment where boys are engaged in real-world challenge and experience camping, hiking, and fishing; they develop skills in riflery, archery, and canoeing; and learn character and leadership in a practical hands-on manner that is naturally engaging.

In the outdoors, the experience of adults is never obsolete; boys find mentors, fathers and sons connect, important relationships are fostered, and boys find opportunity to achieve significant accomplishment.

Boys seem to say, “Tell me who’s with me, who’s in charge, and what our mission is.” The Trail Life Patrol Method empowers boys and effectively answers these questions. Boys are guided competently by adults who have been trained, background-checked, and educated in child safety and youth protection. When boys are empowered and provided with proper structure, they rise to the occasion and conquer significant challenges. As boys grow in confidence, character, and leadership, they experience intentional rites of passage that recognize their progress and mark steps in their journey to manhood.

Trail Life USA partners with churches and parents across America as the premier national character development organization for young men which produces generations of godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens. In over 850 churches in all 50 states, fathers and sons are connecting, relationships are deepening, and legacies are beginning as a new generation of godly leaders rises up.


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