100 Years of Scouting
Why Scouting in First Church?
The mission of The United Methodist Church is to reach out to those within the community, receive them as they are, relate them to God, nurture and equip them, and send them back into the community in order to make the community a more loving and just place to live. United Methodist Congregations regard all their members, whatever their ages, as important and deserving of the church's concern. This means that children and teenagers can be nurtured and equipped along with all other members of the congregation.
The ministry of Christ revolved around the profound concept of reaching out to others. Modeling Christ’s example, scouting and civic youth-serving agencies seek to touch lives with the compassion of Christ. We have found that when we reach out to others, the blessings of God are returned to us.
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. Reaching out to families that do not have a church home is not a new concept. 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 provides a great way for the local church to serve its local community and in the process offer new and exciting programs that the church may transform into ministry to, with, and through youth.
Scouting and civic youth ministry offers opportunities for older adults as well as youth. Often congregational members become isolated from one another because we tend to spend time with people of similar age groups. Scouting offers older adults a chance to become merit-badge counselors, mentors, or committee members who plan activities with and for youth. In these ways, and more, older adults can become an integral part of a youth’s life. The experiences are ones that will be cherished for a lifetime.
The scouting program can be an effective, intentional outreach ministry of the local church. Through intentional planning, the church has the ability to transform these scouting programs into important youth ministries similar to other important ministries and initiatives. As a result, scouting always should be on a level with other church ministries. It has the potential to be a far-reaching, positive outreach youth ministry for the immediate community.
5. Make Disciples
By 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.
To learn more about the scouting program view additional photos.