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Scouting as an Outreach Ministry

There are many reasons that people don't go to church, many are out of misconception or misguidance. Often times they are afraid to go because they don't want to be proselytized to. Inviting the community to a “church” event does not overcome these misconceptions. Many times just getting them to come to the building itself, is half of the problem. The building has halls, classrooms and conference rooms that are decorated with the Gospel of Christ. Why not let them speak for you. Get them in the door!

LCMS Pastor Steve Wagner of Texas once said, "If the Church is once again to become the center of the community, it must act like a community center". That's what the Scouting Outreach Ministry is all about.

Scouting, if used properly, is an effective family outreach ministry for your church. By using the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and the American Heritage Girls (AHG), you can effectively bring the community to your facility and ultimately to your worship through Christian partnership with the community. Both the BSA and AHG organizations share common values as the church. The intent of Scouting as a Ministry is not to use these programs in place of, but in addition to your existing church youth programs.  

The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth serving organizations in the United States, with over 4.5 million youth members in its age-related divisions. Since its founding in 1910 as part of the international Scout Movement, more than 110 million Americans have been members of the BSA.

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

American Heritage Girls is a Christ-centered, non-profit organization, dedicated to building women of integrity while offering a wholesome character and leadership development ministry for girls, ages 5 to 18. AHG was founded with the love of God ... through the love of families ... for the love of children.  

The mission of the American Heritage Girls is "Building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country."

Both organizations are charter based, where as units are chartered (owned) by the Charter Partner. This means that your church will own the units and have the right to use the respective programs and all of their associated materials.

The commitment of a Charter Partner is to provide a meeting place for the units, approve the leadership and to ensure the programs properly instills the ideals and goals of their respective program.

Purpose and Goal of the Scouting Ministry

The purpose of the Scouting Ministry is to reach out to the local community by providing a single night of wholesome family related activities through the programs offered by the BSA and AHG programs.

To be most effective as a "Family" Outreach program, it is recommended that the church, if possible, set aside a single night of the week dedicated to this ministry and implement it as a "brother-sister" combination allowing for moms and daughters, and dads and sons, to be involved together in similar programs, thus building and maintaining the family unit.

There are many reasons that the Scouting programs make an ideal outreach for the local church. Both the BSA and the AHG encourage a duty to God. Both organizations recognize and promote the religious emblems program available through the PRAY (Programs for Religious Emblems for Youth) organization and both programs offer time for personal guidance and growth that can be influenced by the chartering organization.

The goal of this ministry is to introduce the local church as a "community center" enabling people who have not been a part of the church or have fallen away from the church feel a level of comfort with the facility and the people. With activities during the year, such as Scout Sunday, where scout participate in the Sunday morning services, the local church can introduce its style of worship and congregation to the families, in turn, opening the kingdom of God to them.

During the time the children are involved in the Scouting activities, a ministry team can coordinate training sessions for the parents. This training can include anything from parenting assistance classes, such as Dr. Lehman's course "How to make your children mind without losing yours", to personal finance classes offered by fraternal organizations.

Both organizations promote family participation. This is what makes these programs ideal for family outreach exposing the un-churched community to the local church and the Kingdom of Christ.

Commitment and Role of the Local Church

Both the BSA and the AHG have decided to work with each other to establish a positive relationship and to cooperate in establishing units as a result of the shared values and goals of both organizations. These same goals are shared by the church in general.

As the Charter Partner, the church will promote and support the program by

1.    Establishing a representative to serve as the Charter Partner Representative, representing the units to the church and representing the church to the units.

2.    Approving leadership, making sure that each leader meets the commitment and standards of the BSA, AHG and the local church.

3.    Provide a safe meeting place preferably on the church campus or within the local community.

Financial Responsibilities

The only spelled out financial responsibility of the chartering organization is the annual charter fees for the BSA and the AHG. The indirect financial responsibilities come from the upkeep and maintenance of the facilities provided.

If the units are starting from scratch and not already established, the local church may want to provide seed money to help them start, but this is not required.

The local church may consider a ministry team that will be responsible for the outreach portion of the ministry. This ministry team should have a budget to support the cost of the outreach portion of the ministry. These costs will include postage and marketing materials to mail out to the families inviting them to special services or events. There will also be some expenses involved in the providing of special classes to be provided to the parents of the children attending the Scouting activities. Some of these costs can be recovered by adding nominal fees for the extra classes or materials.

Each unit has the responsibility of earning their own operating funds through unit fund raising activities. Fund raising is part of the program's goal of teaching youth about financial responsibility.

The units may approach the sponsoring organization for the use of the facilities to assist in these fund raising event such as car washes, pancake breakfasts, ect. The church will have the ultimate decision in the use of the facilities for these events.

Summary

As said in the beginning, getting the un-churched person to the building is half of the battle. Once there, we as Christians, through our support, love and service to the community can dispel any myths and misconceptions that may exist. The Great Commission in Matthew 28 says to "Go", which means to be present, to be an example, to show our faith and the Love of Jesus Christ by being there for the community. Make the church the community center and it will become the center of the community.
 

Supplemental Information

The units of the BSA program are:

A.   Cub Scout Packs, for ages 7-10, First -5th grade

B.    Boy Scout Troops, for ages 11-17, 6th grade - High School

C.   Venturing Crews, for ages 14-20 (co-ed). 8th grade - age 20

Ideals of Cub Scouts

The Law of the Pack - The Cub Scout follows Akela. The Cub Scout helps the pack go. The pack helps the Cub Scout grow. The Cub Scout gives goodwill.

The Cub Scout Promise - I promise to do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people, and to obey the Law of the Pack.

The Cub Scout Motto - Do Your Best

The Tiger Cub Motto - Search, Discover, Share

Ideals of Boy Scouts

Scout Oath (or Promise) - On my honor I will do my best To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Scout Law - A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

Boy Scout Motto - Be prepared.

Boy Scout Slogan - Do a good turn daily.

Ideals of Venturing

The Venturing Oath - As a Venturer, I promise to do my duty to God and help strengthen America, to help others, and to seek truth, fairness, and adventure in our world. 

The Venturing Code - As a Venturer, I beleive that America's  strength lies in our trust in God and in the courage, strength, and traditions  of our people. I will, therefore, be faithful in my religious duties and will maintain a personal sense of honor in my own life. I will treasure my American heritage and will do all I can to preserve and enrich it. I will recognize the dignity and worth of all humanity and will use fair play and goodwill in my daily life. I will acquire the Venturing attitude that seeks truth in all things and adventure on the frontiers of our changing world. 

The AHG consist of a single unit with multiple levels of program within the unit.

The program levels are:

A.   Pathfinder - Ages 5-6 and in Kindergarten

B.    Tenderheart - Ages 6-9 and in grades 1-3

C.   Explorer - Ages 9-12 and in grades 4-6

D.   Pioneer - Ages 12-14 and in grades 7-8

E.    Patriot - Ages 14-18 and in grades 9-12

Ideals of the AHG

AHG Oath- "I promise to love God, Cherish my family, Honor my country, and Serve in my community."

AHG Creed - As an American Heritage Girl, I promise to be compassionate, helpful, honest, loyal, perseverant, pure, resourceful, respectful, responsible, and reverent.

Both the BSA and the AHG have decided to work with each other to establish a positive relationship and to cooperate in establishing AHG units and BSA units as a result of the shared values and goals of both organizations.

 

Sample Scouting Ministry Proposal - This is the plan that I propose to Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in 1999

 

If there is anything that you would like to see added to this page, please email me at content@bsachaplain.org


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