My Relationships/Teen Relationships Finding Real Brotherhood by Josh Rogers As men, we need to have positive friends, role models, mentors, and brothers to walk with, in this life. The apostles had each other for support; what makes us any different? I have been blessed to have multiple men in my life that love and support me, but the one that stands out, who is second only to my dad is my friend, David. When I met David, he was my Core Member. Now, David’s a real brother to me. Here’s what happened… The Backstory I met David in the summer of 2008 at our diocesan summer camp in South Carolina. I was a rising 8th grader. David was 22 years old. As a teen at camp, the counselors are always the coolest. They know all of the chants, all of the table games at meals, all of the hand motions to songs… it was cool at the time. My opinion of David was pretty one-dimensional: he was that cool skater guy with the swoosh hair, the type of person who plays dodgeball wearing Vans sneakers and is proud to tear them up (as he should be). I never had him as a small group leader at camp, and only saw him one week out of the year until March of 2010. I was a freshman in high school attending our diocese’s youth conference. While I was at the conference, I saw David running around with a camera, and up in a loft during sessions with a bunch of fancy equipment and a headset on. I soon found out that he was running production, and was part of this group in the diocese called the Evangelization Team, or E-Team, a group of about 25 teens supervised by a team of adults that met on a monthly basis to plan this and other diocesan events. At this point, I was looking for a place of faith to invest in. I thought, “Yo, I could be a part of this awesome community that plans these conferences, AND run production with David? Sign me up!” I went through the interview process and ended up serving on the team for the remaining three years of high school, and then another three years as an adult in college. There are different groups within the E-Team you can serve on; design, prayer, logistics, etc. David was the adult leader for the production team, the group that shot and edited videos, ran cameras, lights, sound, ProPresenter, etc. I was on the production team with David all during high school, and then production adults together my first year of college. Brothers, Assemble We formed a Tony Stark/Peter Parker dynamic, wherein he taught me many skills, life lessons, and will always 1-up me when it comes to facial hair. David moved to Atlanta in 2014 when he got hired by this little company called Life Teen. During the summer of 2014, I graduated high school, David met a pretty awesome woman named Rachel, and they started dating. He knew he was going to marry her, and that meant he would eventually leave the E-Team and move to St. Louis. So during the E-Team year of 2014-2015, while we were adults together, David invested in me more than just a teen. He invested in me as a man, as a core member, as a leader, and ultimately as a brother. He moved to St. Louis the summer of 2015 to marry his wonderful wife and brought me with him to be his summer apprentice at Life Teen, and to be in his bridal party. Four years later, he and Rachel have a wonderful family in St. Louis, I work full-time for Life Teen in Arizona, and I’m the godfather to his second daughter. He is no longer my adult leader. He is no longer my co-volunteer. He is no longer my co-worker. He is my brother. That was a LONG backstory, right? Here’s why I shared all those details: they prove that brotherhood isn’t forced. Brotherhood is a gift that we, as men, are uniquely invited into. A Divine Appointment Becoming brothers with David was an act of God, a divine appointment. God in His infinite and mysterious blessings brought David and me together. God did not make us BFFs right away though; our brotherhood took time to grow. I looked up to him as a role model when I was a teen, and he invested in my spiritual life as a core member and a leader. David could have easily brushed me off as just some kid who looked up to him, but what David saw in me instead was a young man wanting to go deeper in my faith, and apparently, I found that example of a son of God in him. When I was in college, we got to become friends, playing video games together, being vulnerable about our struggles, showing up for each other for major life events, and eating sweet nachos. Now that we’re both working adults, we can relate to each other in a lot more ways than we used to, but one thing has always set this brotherhood apart from other friendships: we are dedicated to Christ. Desire Heaven for the Other Authentic brotherhood is the result of what happens when two men live for heaven together.. David and I are invested in and desiring Heaven for each other. If God has put someone in your life where you have an opportunity to grow and learn and laugh and pray together, invest in them as much as you possibly can. Give your all to that brother, be there for them and trust them. Tell them what’s going on in your life, and accept that shoulder to lean on when it’s needed. I trust David with my life. I would throw myself in front of a bullet for him… well, at least I would try… because he is stronger than me and would push me out of the way and take the bullet himself. I would not be as hard-working and detail-oriented as I am if I did not have David as a brother. I would not have a Rolodex of Hot Rod references in my brain if I did not have David as a brother. I would not have the love and dedication to God that I do if I did not have David as a brother. Becoming the godfather to his daughter was never in my plan, but it happened. Him introducing me to Life Teen and its beautiful mission was never in my plan, but it happened. If you have that brother in Christ right now, tell him that you love him and you are dedicated to being his brother. If you do not have that brother yet, it’s okay, there’s still a lot of life to live. Pray, not just for a cool dude to be friends with, but for a man of God that will walk with you to Heaven. I am forever grateful for the brother that David is to me because he has shown me how to keep God first. Love you, brother.