A Moment for Mission
"For we are God's servants, working together; you are God's field, God's building." — 1 Corinthians 3:9, NRSV
On this Scouting Ministries Sunday, we honor our partnership with scouting ministries. Our relationship with scouting organizations is a natural way of reaching our communities.
According to statistics, 50 percent of youth participating in scouting affiliated with churches come from families who are not connected to churches. Whether or not these scouts go on to connect to our local churches through scouting ministries, children and young people are being trained in an intergenerational setting to serve God, care for creation, work together and help others.
In many of these programs, youth are encouraged to pursue a relationship with their local faith communities while also seeking an understanding of their personal relationship with God through the God and Country program. They also have the opportunity to earn PRAY awards, a program for boys and girls in first through 12th grades that walks them through basic Christian beliefs.
Our connection with scouting ministries is possible because of the Office of Civic Youth-Serving Agencies underneath the United Methodist Men's Foundation. The men's group recognizes that when our doors are open for scouting ministries, there is an opportunity for evangelism, discipleship and the molding of servant leaders, as both the Girl Scout Promise and Boy Scout Oath include the promise to "help people at all times."
God, for the many gifts you give your church, we give you thanks. For the buildings that allow us to open our doors to children and youth seeking to be helpers and leaders, may they find You when they occupy these spaces and meet with kind faces. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Sixth Sunday After the Epiphany (Boy Scout Sunday) - God, our teacher, you graciously provide direction to guide us through Scripture. Thank you for the joy we feel when we do what is right and live according to your ways. By your Spirit, nurture our growth as individuals and as a congregation. Let our community of faith readily share with our neighbors the love of your Son, our Savior. Accept our offerings in his name. Amen. (Psalm 119:1-8)
On Sunday, Feb. 12, we celebrate our Scouting Ministries Sunday. The United Methodist Church has a long history of sponsoring troops, groups and clubs that include Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Campfire. These youth-serving agencies offer an opportunity for outreach within the communities where our churches are located.
The programs aim to build up children and young people who are honest, fair, caring, helpful, loyal, courageous, kind, obedient, brave and strong. Not only are these the hallmarks of a good scout, they also are the marks of a good disciple. There also are programs within the scouting ministries that encourage children and young people to explore what they believe and how to put those beliefs into practice alongside a pastor from a local congregation.
United Methodist Men encourages and equips churches to continue entering into this intentional partnership because of the value of this unique outreach opportunity to be in ministry with children and youth, many of whom are not connected to a church home.