My first Exodus was in 2016, but I didn’t have a fraternity. After that year, someone from the Exodus team called me to ask about my experience. They were surprised I didn’t have a fraternity, but I still decided to go solo again in 2017.
A few years later, I finally pulled in a fraternity of brothers around me. First, I found some men to commit to a virtual fraternity, which ended up flowing naturally into COVID lockdowns. The next year, I was able to rally a handful of men in my parish to join an in-person fraternity.
I found myself growing in comfort with inviting a man into the challenge and tackling his questions head-on. The more direct and straightforward I could be, and the more clearly I could answer any questions, the more receptive I found a man was to considering joining me. Overcoming the initial apprehension of inviting another man into something so challenging was my initial hangup, but I quickly realized that with clarity, most men were eager to learn more about and consider such a challenge.
Another obstacle I had to overcome was avoiding inviting men I didn’t think I wanted in “my” fraternity. At an Exodus event I attended, I was encouraged to write a list of all the men I could invite, and honestly, I avoided a few names. I was surprised by the prompt to go back and pray for and add names of the men I had avoided. That helped me realize that this wasn’t as much my work as it was God’s. I needed to do my part but also stay out of the way. Some of those men whom I avoided eventually became some of the best brothers in our fraternity for engaging, teaching, leading, and helping us all learn the value of sacrifice together.
We’re three years into the fraternity at our parish now, and the leadership of the still-growing fraternity is shared among a few men. I’ve learned that fraternity leadership is more about availability and accompaniment than anything else. So often, we burden ourselves with worrying that we’re going to need to have an answer for everything or be an expert. None of that ends up being true. What works best in fraternity is when men come together, side by side as brothers, and are committed to being there for each other with the words the Spirit provides at each moment.
It doesn’t require you to be an expert or even a “spiritual leader.” If you’re a man who’s willing to invest time in your brothers and vice-versa, this is what makes it work.
I have found so much joy and grace in bringing other men into Exodus through my fraternity, and in helping welcome others who my brothers have brought. We’ve had men, young and old. Every single one of them has enriched my journey in Exodus and, in turn, my journey in the faith and in an uncommon freedom in Jesus Christ.
Who has the Holy Spirit put on your heart? Don’t avoid asking them. Don’t say ‘no’ on their behalf. Take the courageous step forward and invite him. I’ve seen in my own life the fruits this can bring — and I pray the same for you.
Are you tired of returning to the same ‘modern Pharaohs’ over and over again — overconsumption of social media, numbing your problems with alcohol, pornography, or binge-watching TV? Our culture today has no shortage of Pharaohs and idols that hold us back from true unity with God. Exodus 90 offers you a way out.