Thursday, April 19, 2012
Scouting a a tool for Church growth (Part 2)
Yesterday, I talked about how a scouting program can get young families who may not have a church home into the church building. How do go from the families coming there for scouting to the point where families attend on Sundays?
Just being inside the church building is not enough. They may know their way around the facility, know where the restrooms are and where their kid's scout group meets. But, the church is not the facility your congregation meets in, the church is the congregation itself.
Before a family feels like they know the church, they have to know the people inside the church. That means volunteers. I can guarantee that the best people for the job are already busy doing things inside the church. If you have someone who is great at working with elementary school kids, they are probably already a Sunday School teacher at that level. If you have someone who is great at working with middle school kids or teens, they are probably already highly involved with the youth group.
In order to get the best people for the job, it might be necessary to ask some people to change their volunteer role in the church, or to take on additional responsibilities.
Work with the Leaders in the Scout Group to find out what areas they might need help with. Most scout units only look at the parents of kids to become leaders, and I don't know of any scout pack or troop that says "We have all the volunteers we need". They will be very welcoming of church members who offer to help.
If someone has experience working with younger kids, working as a Cub Scout Den Leader or Daisy/Brownie Leader would be ideal. If they are better at working with older kids, there may be something in the Boy Scout Troop, Venturing Crew, or a Junior/Cadette/Senior/Ambassador GS troop that would fit them best. And if they aren't great at working with Kids, there are a number of administrative/committee positions that I'm sure the leaders could use a hand with.
Many church members will say they don't know the first thing about scouts. That's fine. Most parents don't know it either when they signup to be leaders. The BSA and GSUSA programs have excellent training opportunities that can show church members what that particular scouting program is all about, and how to be a great leader.
The point isn't merely to get the church volunteers involved in Scouting. That's a great side benefit, but the main reason for this is to let these young families get to know the church congregation as people, feel comfortable around them, and
Now you know them... What next? That's in Part 3.
(Note: I borrowed heavily from Mark Hazelwood's Webinar Presentation for PRAY program for this.)