Become Brothers in Christ
“John started asking questions about my faith and what was important in my life. I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with him as our friendship grew.” —Jacob
Inviting ROTC students to watch the video series Band of Brothers is a natural connecting point for Roy Garren in the Collegiate/Military Navs ministry at University of Florida. Along with the videos, he leads discussions that focus on leadership qualities, environments of grace, trust, and character development. Then he follows the series with a two week video on “God in the Military” where Pastor Tommy Nelson clearly presents the Good News.
Last year, several ROTC students started in the Band of Brothers group and over time, truly became brothers in Christ.
Jacob grew up in a Christian home and had made a commitment to follow Christ as a young person. He was involved with University of Florida Navigators his freshman year and connected with Roy as a sophomore through the Band of Brothers series. They met for Bible study and one-on-one discipleship and Jacob’s faith in God has grown over the past year.
Jacob has seen God move through his ROTC unit: “John is my best friend. We met freshman year and had similar interests so we grew close. Over time, he started asking questions about my faith and what was important in my life. I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with him as our friendship grew. Last year, John opened up his heart to God and started following Jesus. Now we are in a Bible study together. The transformation in his life has been amazing! It is great to see how God is working in this ministry.”
Another friend of Jacob’s, Eric, transferred in sophomore year. He knew that something was missing in his life and he wanted to live for more than the party life. Jacob had the opportunity to share the Gospel with Eric and he committed his life to Christ.
Now all three men and a few others have become close, a band of brothers in Christ, studying the Bible together and growing in their faith as they also serve in ROTC and take classes.
They are intentional about their time with other students. Eric and Jacob are working in an orientation program for freshman. While the emphasis is introducing the students to military discipline and structure, more yelling than connecting (according to Jacob), they are looking forward to getting to know the 40 freshmen.
With a career in the United States Air Force and many years of military ministry, Roy is encouraged by the way God is working among the cadets and midshipmen at University of Florida. Along with this local ministry, he is the ROTC ministry developer for Florida and Georgia. There are 37 ROTC units on 25 campuses, with rich opportunities for developing leaders who follow Jesus and take their faith with them around the world in their military service. Roy commented, “We are always looking for more retired and former military folks who have a heart for discipling these young men and women to be involved in an ROTC ministry.”
The Band of Brothers series will run again this fall at University of Florida, and they are praying that more ROTC students find their home in the family of God.
For more information on the Navs Military ministry visit navsmilitary.org