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More schools than churches keen to launch BB companies

THE Boys’ Brigade (BB) exists to obey the Great Commission, and it actively seeks churches to be its “Partners in Ministry” to reach out to schools in Singapore.

While the BB does not pretend to hold an exclusive claim to youth mission, it does claim to be one of the most effective outreach youth ministry tools available to churches to reach out to our schools.

For the last 72 years, The Boys’ Brigade in Singapore has been reaching out to youth by providing a regular and structured programme for those aged eight to 18 years. The twin pillars of the BB are Christian Education and Discipline — they have nurtured and influenced thousands of boys, including those in our Methodist schools and churches. Their hearts have been won for Jesus Christ through the teaching and modelling of habits of Obedience, Reverence, Discipline, Self -Respect and all that tends towards a true Christian manliness.

There are schools that desire the BB programme for their students. They recognise that their more difficult and “at risk” boys need the active intervention of the older youth and adults who can be their listener and mentor. Such are the crucial roles provided by BB officers who are passionate about their calling and contribution. Most of the officers are volunteers.

Alas, there are more schools that seek the partnership of the BB than there are churches willing to sponsor — through corporate, financial and manpower support — a BB company based in a school. This lack of church partners seriously limits the BB’s expansion plans to reach out to the youth in Singapore.

However, good progress has been made since the launch of the BB 21 Development Plan in the year 2000. Twenty-four new companies have been established; some are sponsored by Methodist congregations. More could be done among the Chinese Annual Conference and Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference churches. The next three years should see 48 more companies being started. The Methodist Church in Singapore has 40 congregations. Do we dare to ask for God to move our 40 congregations to sponsor one BB company each?

I propose three steps for each Methodist church:

* Identify a core of young adults willing to work with the BB in schools;
* Prepare these adults by enrolling them in the next available BB officers course; and
* Twin them with an active BB company for six months of familiarisation and learning.

The BB programme is fun, meaningful, challenging and varied, and allows for leadership building and development of core values and beliefs. It provides for SPES (Latin for Hope/Luke 2:52), the all-round Spiritual, Physical, Enrichment (Educational) and Social development of boys.

Currently, 15 Methodist churches sponsor 27 BB companies out of a total of 92. More partnership is needed from the Chinese and Tamil-speaking congregations.

Do contact the BB Office at 6737-0377 or email: bbhq@bb.org.sg

For more information, do visit the BB website www.bb.org.sg

The Boys’ Brigade is also looking for individuals with a passion for youth work, to work full-time. More information is available at the website

The Boys’ Brigade Thanksgiving Carnival for the less fortunate at the Police
Academy. — BB picture.

John Tan is President of The Boys’ Brigade in Singapore. He is a member of Bedok Methodist Church.

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