Unchurched youth are literally at the front doors of GNJ churches, however church leaders never get to see them. Why?
Because they are hidden behind scouting programs. Hundreds of scouting programs use church facilities in GNJ each year. According to the United Methodist Men, approximately 50% of young people that participate in scouting in local churches do not have a church home. Yet those young people go to church each week to attend their scouting meetings.
The Greater New Jersey Board of Discipleship has decided to address this disconnect by bringing attention and focus to scouting.
Scouting programs for boys and girls shape character and foster community involvement in ways that allow God’s grace to work. Though scouting, the next generation of servant leaders in the community and church develop. Churches should do more than sponsor scouting programs, they should interact and become involved with them. One does not need to be a pastor to be a “missionary” to a scouting program. Laity can be the spiritual presence within a troop; fostering intergenerational relationships to make disciples. Anyone can be a scouting a scouting leader, such as a chaplain or a merit badge counselor, who works to transform lives.
The Board of Discipleship is looking to collect information on churches that sponsor and outreach to scouting programs.
What activities does the church engage in to foster interaction?
How does the church support their scout sponsored program or another program in the community?
Please send a response to these questions and other ideas and insights to email@example.com. The insights received will be used to develop resources and tools to help churches and scouts connect.