A laity-led organization whose key leaders include two men from Assemblies of God churches in Salem, Oregon, soon will expand its outreach beyond the 28 men being mentored.
Brothers of Valor (BOV) started two years ago, with key founders that included life insurance agent Sven Anderson, a member of Peoples Church, and Tim A. Davis, a former businessman who now serves as community pastor at Church on the Hill (COTH).
“We felt God was saying, ‘You have influence in your businesses, churches, and families, but that’s not enough,’” says Davis of his longtime friendships with Anderson and fellow BOV founders Buddy Puckett, a mortgage broker, and Glenn Colangelo, a financial adviser.
Their reflections on what God wanted them to do ultimately led to discussions with several other men. Finally, members of the ad hoc group decided they needed to focus their efforts on strengthening the spirituality of males.
“It occurred to me that men are the problem,” Anderson says. “They have a huge impact on society. When men are crummy, society gets dragged down.”
After several months of planning, Brothers of Valor launched with a series of quarterly luncheons at a hotel. Speakers addressed the theme of what it means to be a man of God. The kickoff event featured former Olympic bronze medalist Dave Allen Johnson.
The contacts fostered by the meetings led to Wednesday morning prayer-and-encouragement sessions at a coffee shop. In turn, those created a series of individual and small group mentoring relationships. Last summer, BOV also rented an amphitheater at a park for a night of worship and free food.
In addition to mentoring, the organization has formed initiatives to provide home repairs and construction help to needy families (eight so far this year) and non-profits, plus automotive maintenance for single mothers.
BOV leaders recently formed a partnership with Catholic Community Services to provide mentoring for 10 boys in the agency’s foster care system. Davis already has experience in this area. After school officials told COTH’s staff their biggest need was for people to mentor students, the church organized a program that won a community award normally given to teachers.
BOV also expects to finalize an agreement imminently for a media arts lab that will include a recording studio, graphics design lab, and other tools for teaching media production to teens.
“Music and media define our culture,” says Davis, the father of two musically inclined young adults. “We can be run over by our secular culture’s music and media, or do our own and do it well.”
Ironically, the success of its mentoring and other programs prompted leaders to postpone a spring luncheon to focus on the launch of these other projects.
“We expect 50 more mentors by the end of the year,” Davis says. “Mentoring is just another word for discipleship.”
Anderson says BOV is developing relationships with churches from numerous denominations as those in the organization strive to bring the body of Christ together for positive results.
“Our vision statement is: ‘Through Christ-inspired lives, families, women and children thrive,’” Anderson says. “We’re trying to get these guys engaged. Brothers of Valor has changed our lives, as much or more in the lives of those who started this than the people we’ve helped.”
Source: AG News