The Importance of Brotherhood
"The more man knows of man, the better for the common brotherhood among men."—Charles Dickens
"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."—Matthew 18:20
We Need Each Other
Brothers, I'm just going to say it. We need each other. But our culture would have us believe otherwise, wouldn't it – encouraging the solitary, independent, "I can do this alone" sort of attitude among men. "Real men don't need anyone else," we're told, and we've taken the bait – hook, line, and sinker. In fact, statistics show that most guys do not have a close male friend. How can this be good?
Well, it's not. As is often the case, truth flies in the face of culture. Real men know they need each other. While autonomy may come easy for us, we've got to live out our quest for manhood in the context of brotherhood with other believers. It is within Christian brotherhood that we discover the riches of the deep spiritual relationship modeled to us by the Godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is also through brotherhood that we live out faith, love, and oneness that extends God's message of grace and reconciliation to the world. This is the environment where iron sharpens iron, and we voluntarily put ourselves in proximity with other men to avoid the catastrophes in our lives that would unravel our manhood.
So how do we achieve the "iron sharpens iron" synergy that promotes true Christian brotherhood? Here are three strategies to get us started.
Three Strategies for Building Brotherhood
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One | Transparency
Let's get real about the issues and challenges we face. Knowing who we are in Christ and embracing the forgiveness that is ours because of what He did on the cross, let's move beyond the fear and shame that cause us to pretend, and instead live in full self-disclosure and freedom from the bondage of sin.
Two | Accountability
Let's willingly submit ourselves to accountability with other brothers—not just the loving but convicting "no, don't do that" brand of accountability, but also the encouraging accountability that says, "I am behind you; let's do this together."
Three | Consistency
Let's be intentional about getting together. Rarely will it happen just by accident. You might even set a standing date to meet with a brother – like the first and third Thursday of every month, for example. Make it count. Build relationships that go beyond casual – that drive us to deeper levels of awareness of each other and the challenges we face. "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…"—Hebrews 10:24-25
Jesus was a radical. He was not one to acquiesce to errant cultural trends. By His teaching and by His example, we see that true Christian brotherhood is essential to our spiritual health. It's got to be a priority. Paul challenges us in Romans 12:10, "Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor." Let's get radical. Let's do this.
Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 16 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is 20 Lessons That Build A Leader.