How to Start a Chapter

Step 1 – Contact BJS for start-up materials

At this point BJS will send you new member kits for each of your new members. BJS will also put you in touch with your regional director if you have not already met him. You can contact us at [email protected] .

Step 2 – Get Pastor on board

It will be hard to have an effective chapter without the pastor’s support. If you are reading this book and your pastor is not on board, make an appointment with him and show him this book and ask him to support your group by mentioning it in the Sunday morning announcements, allowing you to put notes in the church publications and by agreeing to lead a Men’s Bible study or Confessions reading group. If the pastor is not sure about supporting the group, give your regional director a call to see if he can help you convince the pastor of the importance of having a chapter.

Step 3 – Recruit chapter leader

The chapter leader is a crucial role. He will be responsible for making sure that chapter activities are carried out effectively. If you are reading this book you may be the best candidate to be the chapter leader. If not, pray about this and consider asking someone else to be the chapter leader.

An effective chapter leader is organized and winsome. Organizational skills are important because he will be making sure that the other leaders effectively plan plus execute their duties. Winsomeness is important because as the chief recruiter for the chapter the leader needs to be able to persuade others that it is a good cause. If you have a candidate who is strong in one of these areas but not the other, that still may work, but it is best to have a combination of these two traits.

Step 4 – Recruit other leaders

The chapter leader is the chief recruiter of the other leaders. The pastor should also lend a hand in choosing potential leaders. It may even be good to have the pastor ask the individuals to serve.

Step 5 – Register with BJS

Once you have the pastor on board and leaders in place, it is time to register with BJS. We will then send you enough individual new member kits to meet your expected needs.

Step 6 – Decide on a program for your chapter

At this point is time to decide, at least initially, what your chapter will do. The best way to accomplish this is to review the BJS 7 point program (drawn from the BJS mission) and the chapter levels and decide which parts of it your chapter will do locally. It is best if your chapter chooses to do all four levels but one or two is better than none.

Step 7 – Recruit members

Individual Recruitment

The best way to get new members of the organization is to recruit one on one. Each member should always be looking for other men in the congregation to recruit for the Brothers of John the Steadfast.

Congregational Recruitment

Even though the broadcast method of recruitment is not as effective as personal invitation, the local BJS chapter should have a regular column in the parish newsletter and Sunday morning bulletin. Occasional congregation-wide mailings are also helpful for alerting people to the important mission of BJS.

Step 8 – Commence the program

Make out a time table for when each part of your chosen program will be enacted.

You do not want every activity starting at once. It will be good to take it a little at a time and make sure each little step is done properly before moving on to the next step. It is always good to have lots of lead time for the larger projects and to involve others so the work can be spread out. Do not be afraid to invite non-BJS members to help out. There is nothing secret about this group. This might be a good way to get them involved.