When I was 6 years old, my younger brother started a fire in the bedroom we shared. He was messing around with some matches, striking them against the wheel of a Tonka truck. Much to his surprise, it worked! But his delight quickly turned to fear and he tossed the flame into a trashcan beneath our coat rack. I still remember the shiny red fire trucks that visited our house that night and the talking to we got from the fire chief once the fire was put out!

There is an old African proverb that says, “If you don’t initiate the young, they will burn down the village to feel the heat.” Isn’t it true, when lacking boundaries and direction, many of us, regardless of our age or gender, have started “fires” just to feel the rush?

This seems to be especially true for boys who have an innate thirst for adventure, a wild side. There is a fire that burns in every boy. The question is will it be contained and used wisely, bringing light and warmth?  Or will it burn down the house, raging without boundaries and destroying everything in its path?

Young Knights is committed to initiating young men into biblical manhood. Boys are born but men are made. Turning boys into great men is an intentional process not meant to extinguish the flame that burns in every boy. Instead, we want to see these young men become FIRED UP for Jesus!

Next month, on June 17th, we will celebrate our very first Manhood Ceremony! 8th grade boys who have completed the program will experience a rite of passage, something painfully missing in our culture. It is not the end of the journey but a significant marker – a stake in the ground affirming and celebrating who they are and who they can become!

We want young men growing up on Chicago’s South Side to step into something rather than just away from something - to experience a life of hope, joy and purpose! We want them to live lives of integrity and influence – not to add to the violence and destruction but to shine as lights in the midst of a dark world.

We are excited to recognize and celebrate these young men! If you would like to attend the Manhood Ceremony, you can register here.

Thanks for your continued support and prayers,

Rob Bloss, Executive Director