In today’s culture, teenage boys are faced with navigating the turbulent journey to manhood, often without an inkling of what that really means or any direction of how to get there. What does it mean to be a man? Flight Plan: Your Mission to Become a Man offers a vision of godly manhood and a complete and honest guide into the adventures ahead.
Flight Plan, written by Lee Burns and Braxton Brady, is a natural evolution of their original program, Building Boys, Making Men, a curriculum created by the authors for the 630 boys who attend Presbyterian Day School (PDS) in Memphis, Tennessee. Over the years, Burns and Brady, colleagues at PDS, have received numerous requests from youth leaders, pastors, parents, and teachers for access to the curriculum that was only available to the boys at PDS. Flight Plan is the answer to those many requests and the culmination of sixty years of research, mentoring, and ministry to more than 3,000 boys.
Throughout his career in education, PDS Chaplain Braxton Brady has learned that there is a void for young men that is not being taught. “I hope to call dads to be strategic with their kids and intentional with their boys, and I also want to help dads navigate their sons through middle school and high school on their way to adulthood,” says Brady.
Flight Plan uses the metaphor of a journey of flight to speak candidly to pre-teen and teen boys about friendships, peer pressure, drinking, drugs, girls and dating, puberty, sex, and school and family relationships. Like any sound flight plan, the book maps out the journey ahead giving practical advice for success and warnings for potential pitfalls any boy on his way to manhood is likely to encounter. The text strategically builds on seven biblically based virtues, “The True Friend,” “The Humble Hero,” “The Servant Leader,” “The Moral Motivator,” “The Bold Adventurer,” “The Noble Knight,” and “The Heart Patient.” Each chapter concludes with questions for reflection and discussion, making Flight Plan an ideal teaching tool for boys’ small groups, mentoring groups, Sunday school classes, fathers and sons, or simply individual study.
Co-author Lee Burns is the headmaster of Presbyterian Day School. His vision is to mentor boys not just academically, but from a life perspective. “It’s important to know the person God wants us to be,” Burns says. “I believe God calls us into authentic manhood as we pursue His purpose and passion for our lives.”
“Flight Plan is a godsend to those of us working on the front lines with middle school boys,” says David Beecher, headmaster of the Hillside School in Massachusetts. “Insightful yet practical, challenging but simple, creative yet concrete—it provides young boys, their parents, and their teachers with a blueprint for sound, successful, meaningful growth.”
About the Authors:
Braxton Brady believes that today’s world is in need of authentic, Godly men. As the chaplain of Presbyterian Day School (PDS) in Memphis, Tennessee, Brady has learned firsthand that manhood is not simply a matter of age. It’s a matter of intention.
Brady’s position and community offers him a unique perspective on the issue. During the day he serves at a prestigious school in an affluent area. Yet his home is in the inner city of Memphis, offering an eye-opening look at the challenges young men face no matter their social or economic status.
“I’ve learned that there is a void for young men that is not being taught.” That void inspired Brady to develop Flight Plan with co-author and colleague Lee Burns.
“I hope to call dads to be strategic with their kids, and intentional with their boys,” Brady says. “And to help dads navigate their sons through middle school and high school on their way to adulthood.”
Brady and his wife, Carrie, have three children.
Lee Burns serves as headmaster of Presbyterian Day School (PDS), an independent school serving over 630 boys in grades PK-6 in Memphis.
A Chattanooga, Tennessee, native, Burns graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College, and he earned his master’s degree in educational administration at Harvard. He has also studied at the London School of Economics and worked at a law firm in New York City. Prior to being appointed PDS headmaster in 2000, he served as a teacher, coach and administrator at Christ School in North Carolina and as the Director of Day Student Admission at the McCallie School in Chattanooga. He currently serves on the Executive Committee and as Vice-President of the Elementary School Headmasters Association (a group of approximately 200 headmasters around the country), and he is a member of the Country Day School Headmasters Association and the Visionary Heads Group. He served as a task force member to help the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) develop Principles of Good Practice for Middle School Educators. He has been a presenter at annual conferences of the National Association of Independent Schools, the International Boys’ School Coalition, the Educational Records Bureau, and the Elementary School Headmaster Association.
Mr. Burns has been an avid tennis player, winning six state championships as a junior or adult and is a former All-American player. He still enjoys tennis, squash, and most any sport, as well as reading and writing. He has authored a book on a boy’s journey to manhood, Flight Plan: Your Mission To Become A Man.He is married to Sarah, and they have three children. They are members of Second Presbyterian Church, where he serves as a deacon.
Flight Plan: Your Mission to Become a Man by Lee Burns and Braxton Brady
November 2010/194 pages