Nearly one-half of the 371,400 scouts who meet weekly in 6,700 United Methodist churches are from unchurched families, but few churches do much to strengthen ties with these units. More than 1.5 million participants and family members are estimated to be affected by scouting ministries in the United Methodist Church. Scouting ministries provide local congregations the opportunity to mentor children and youth in the community in the areas of spiritual and character development through service projects, Bible-based resources such as religious- emblem awards provided by Programs of Religious Activities with Children (P.R.A.Y.), citizenship training, and by teaching new skills, connecting children to nature, providing leadership opportunities, and building healthy peer and intergenerational relationships.
[cryout-pullquote align=”right” textalign=”center” width=”33%”]Scouting Ministry in the United Methodist Church
July 19-25, 2015
The Scouting in the United Methodist Church workshop is for local, district, and conference youth leaders and Clergy. Topics include the new Scouting Ministry Specialist program, Adult, Youth, and Church Awards, and growing Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Girl Scout, Venturing, American Heritage Girls, and other youth ministries.
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Ten Reasons to Consider Scouting and Civic Youth-Serving Agencies as a Ministry of the Local Church
The ministry of Christ revolved around the profound concept of reaching out to others.
Statistics indicate that of all the youth who join scouting through the church, 25 percent are United Methodists, 25 percent are members of other denominations or faiths and 50 percent come from unchurched families. Therefore, Scouting is one potential entry point for persons to join the church, which then has the opportunity to introduce, nurture and strengthen a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Scouting and civic youth ministry offers opportunities for older adults as well as youth to participate.
The Venturing program of BSA is fully coeducational.
- United Methodist Men (UMM)
UMM have a historical commitment to scouting and civic youth ministry.
Many mission opportunities are made available through the five youth agencies.
- PRAY Awards (formerly God and Country Program)
The God and Country Series is an age-appropriate study series that focuses on discipleship, family, and service.
- Develop Servant Leaders
Each youth organization had inherent “building blocks” that the local church can transform into effective ministry.
The scouting program can be an effective, intentional outreach ministry of the local church.
- Make Disciples
Considering one or a combination of the previous reasons, a local church may develop a consistent list of prospects for the Lord. Nurturing children, teens, and families through outreach and evangelism and incorporating them into the life of the church may have tremendous, eternal results for the youth, their family and the Church.
Scouting Program Benefits
For the Church
- Being an active Chartered Organization Partner in Scouting provides several benefits to a church youth program.
- Scouting is a proven program with a reputable worldwide brand and has been in existence for more than 100 years.
- The church gets lots of help.
- Loads of resources are available.
- Wearing the uniform supports diversity and equality among others.
- Youth and Adult members become a part of a large, friendly family.
- Scouting is an opportunity to prepare the next generation of leaders.
- It helps with team-building attitudes within the organization.
- It is an exciting opportunity to give back to the community and nation through service projects.
- Local, regional, and national events are options to supplement the program.
- Extensive literature, training materials, and other resources are available.
- The BSA offers outstanding adult and youth leader training courses, including leadership development.
- Youth Protection training materials and videos are available for both adults and youth.
- Professional and volunteer assistance is available from your local BSA council.
For Adult Volunteers
- It’s fun!
- Complete program resources help adults work effectively with youth.
- Scouting is an opportunity to work safely with young people.
- Adults get to participate in a values-based program.
- It offers the satisfaction of seeing young people grow through mentoring and teaching others.
- Adults are recognized for their commitment and involvement in serving youth.
- Parents can serve as volunteer leaders and share common experiences alongside their sons in Scouting and alongside their sons and daughters in Venturing.
- Scouting is an exciting, challenging program young people can do with their friends.
- The setting lets youth participate in making choices.
- Young people have a chance to have a sense of acceptance and belonging to the “right” group.
- Boy Scouts and Venturers can experience the adventure of adult-like activities in a supervised environment.
- Scouting develops interpersonal skills that will equip its members for a lifetime.
- There are real opportunities to try leadership roles and develop leadership skills.
- It is a positive environment for the transition of youth from dependence to independence.