Scout Sunday – Prepared To Serve!

BELIEVE    Scout Sunday — Prepared To Serve! 

BELIEVE:  Focusing this year on what do you believe?  Why do you believe it?  How do your beliefs guide and empower your life.  This morning – we’re going to focus on what do you believe about serving?  We have the great privilege of celebrating two great tools to help us appreciate and grow in serving.  We have the teachings and example of Jesus – Who explained that the reason He came was to show the world how to serve.  And we also have the opportunity to honor and celebrate Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts – and their great commitment to training boys and girls how to serve so that they can grow up into responsible men and women who will be leaders in the future.

I’d like to invite you to think carefully about what you believe about Serving – by looking at Mark 10:43-45 and considering what Jesus meant when He taught us that serving is the key to greatness.

What does it take to become a great person?  As we think about Scouting’s commitment to help boys and girls grow to reach their full potential in life – we know that every parent and every grandparent wants their son or daughter to be able to live a great life.  So it is important to decide what does it take to be able to live a great life?

What does it take to be great?  Do you have to be as smart as Albert Einstein?  Do you have to win a Super Bowl Championship or an Olympic Gold Medal?  Do you have to earn billions of dollars?

What does it take for boys or girls – or for anyone of us to live a great life?  Jesus taught us that true greatness comes from serving.  Jesus also taught us that the good news is that this ultimate greatness of serving is within reach for every one of us.  Most people will never be anywhere close to being as smart as Albert Einstein or winning a Super Bowl ring or an Olympic gold medal or earning billions of dollars.  God shows us that even though most of us will not have extraordinary abilities – we can all achieve greatness by using the abilities God has given us to join with Jesus in doing our best to serve others with love.

That is why we give thanks this morning to Jesus – for showing us the true path to greatness.  It is also why we give thanks to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for their commitment to training young boys and girls to grow in building great lives through serving.

Mark 10:43-45 (TLB)    Jesus said, Whoever wants to be great among you must be a servant.  And whoever wants to be greatest of all must be the servant of all.   For even I, the Messiah, did not come to be served, but to serve others…

Jesus, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts – are blessing our world by teaching boys and girls to serve – and by opening our eyes to help us see the full value of children and youth. 

SEE  the  VALUE  of Children and Youth

Some people see children and youth as a big nuisance – they are messy, loud, and give us a lot of challenges.  Other people see children as a great opportunity – their energy, curiosity, and determination – give them tremendous potential to grow and make positive contributions with their lives.

So, what did Jesus’ Apostles see – when they looked at children and youth?  A big nuisance.   Get these kids out of here.  Jesus is a very important person.  Jesus doesn’t have time for blessing children.

What did Jesus see – when He looked at children and youth? Jesus saw that every person’s life – young or old – is a gift from God.  Jesus saw a great opportunity to bless the next generation and let them know how much they are loved and how important their lives are. 

Matthew 19:13-15 (NLT)    One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so He could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering Jesus.  But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them!  For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”  And Jesus placed His hands on their heads and blessed them before He left.  

If you have ever read any of the history of Scouting – you know that Lord Robert Baden Powell from England was a pioneer in following Jesus’ example of seeing the value of children and youth and making a commitment to bless them.  Baden Powell made the choice to bless boys and girls through the Scouting movement.  He started Scouting – because he was committed to do all he could to help them grow to their full potential.

Baden Powell had served as a General in the British Army.  He became famous all across England for defending the city of Mafeking in South Africa for over 200 days.  After he finished serving in the Army, he had a vision for helping boys and girls grow into responsible men and women who would be trained and empowered to become future leaders.  He wrote Scouting for Boys – that taught lessons on outdoor living skills and teamwork.  Scouting for Boys also emphasized the importance of morality and service through good deeds.  Since the name Baden-Powell was already well known to people all across England, thousands of them eagerly bought up his handbook.

 

On July 25, 1907, Baden Powell organized the first Scout camping trip with 21 boys and a few friends to help teach at Brownsea Island.  They taught the boys about camping, woodcraft, boating, lifesaving, patriotism, and service.  The first Boy Scouts camp was a great success.  By the end of 1908, there were 60,000 Boy Scouts, and troops began springing up in the British Commonwealth and other countries across the globe.  Baden Powell’s sister, Agnes, worked with him to help start Scouting for Girls.

What do you see when you look at children and youth?  Jesus, Baden Powell, and Scouting see lives that are gifts of God that we want to do our best to bless.  Jesus, Baden Powell, and Scouting could also see that the best way to bless children and youth and help them grow in the greatness of serving – is by providing them with a good example. 

PROVIDE  a Good  EXAMPLE 

One of the biggest debates in history – is all of the theories on the best way to teach children and youth.  What would you say is the best way to teach children?  There are hundreds of different theories.  Some people like the easy approach – Children should sit still and be quiet.  Or make them turn off the television or phone and go read a book.

God and Scouting like the harder – and I think much more effective approach of teaching by example.

1 Corinthians 11:1 (NCV)    Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ!

Scout leaders don’t tell boys and girls to Sit Still and Be Quiet.  Or just go Read a Book.  Scout leaders roll up their sleeves and go to work with the Scouts to show them how it’s done.

As you think about the best way to teach children and youth – let me ask you – Can you remember the first adult who took the time to give you a good example and show you how to get things done?  I remember adults like Howard Nelson and Jim Garroute in Fountain Valley Boy Scout Troop 567 – who took the time to show me how to tie knots.  I was hopeless at first.  For some reason, knots had been tough for me.  Even though my mother had tried to bribe me with ice cream when I could tie my shoe laces on my own – it still took me almost a year longer than most of my friends to get it.  But because of the patience, example, and encouragement of the adult leaders in Troop 567 – I eventually became pretty good at tying knots and because of their teaching by example I can still tie a square knot, taut-line hitch, or bowline.  By their example – they also showed me how to set up a tent, not freeze to death in winter camping, and how to cook a meal that wasn’t going to kill everyone.

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts understand God’s method for teaching.  They know that if you really want to teach girls and boys how to serve – you have to roll up your sleeves, get right in there with them – and give them a great example of what a servant for God looks like.

Jesus, Baden Powell, and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts know that if you want to change children’s lives and help boys and girls grow into responsible adults – you need to provide them with a good example and you need to give them the right training.

Give the  RIGHT  TRAINING

Where are children and youth learning about how to live and develop their lives?  How many different sources would you say are trying to influence our children’s lives today?  We know that schools are teaching our children.  We also need to remember that Television, the Internet, Social Media, and Peer Pressure are also very powerful tools that are trying to give their lessons to our children.  As you think about helping boys and girls grow into responsible Men and Women – would you say that all of these different potential teachers are focused on teaching boys and girls the right path that will help them to build a life of service that honors God?

Our children are being offered different life lessons all the time.  If we want to make a positive impact on their lives – we have to be very intentional in offering them positive guidance – to show them the right path that they can trust to help them build good lives.

Proverbs 22:6 (TLB)    Teach a young person to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.

Children are smart – and they can figure out in a heartbeat if you are teaching them something that you believe is right – by watching to see if you are living out those lessons in your own life.   

2 Timothy 3:14-17 (NLT)    Remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you.  You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.  It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

We all want to help our children choose the right path and know that they can trust the Bible and grow to their full potential by living by God’s truth.  If we are serious about teaching our children to build great lives of service – we have to be serious about giving them the training they need – and showing them that they can trust the Bible by living out the Bible in our own lives.

Baden Powell and Scouting knew that the keys to reaching and inspiring boys and girls – is by providing them with a good example to follow, teaching them to follow the right path of studying and obeying God’s message in the Bible.  And the last great lesson that Jesus, Baden Powell, and Scouting taught to girls and boys – was to empower them to put all of those lessons into action – by giving them opportunities to serve.  

EMPOWER  THEM  to  Serve 

Baden Powell knew right from the start that the only way to hold the attention of boys and girls – was by empowering them to serve.  Scouts would come to their meetings to get their lessons – and then they were sent back out to their homes, schools, to put their lessons into action.  They had it drilled into their heads – that Scouting didn’t stop when they left the meeting.  Instead – the whole purpose of Scout meetings was to equip and empower them to serve.  The lessons were summarized in a simple message – Do a Good Turn Daily.

Jesus agrees with Baden Powell – that the best way for boys and girls to learn how to serve is by showing them that you respect and value their gifts and abilities.  Jesus showed us His respect for the gifts children have to offer – when He challenged His apostles to figure out how they were going to feed over 10,000 people?

The apostles thought it was hopeless.  Andrew said the only thing he had was a boy who was willing to share his lunch of 5 barley loaves and 2 small fish – and that there was no way that was going to help.  Jesus said – take another look.  I can work with that boy’s willingness to share and to help serve others.

John 6:5-9 (NLT)    Jesus asked, “How can we feed all these people?” (The men alone numbered 5,000.)  …Andrew said, “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”   

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts agree with Jesus.  The world may not think that boys and girls have a lot to offer.  Scouting joins with Jesus in declaring – we can work with their eagerness to share what they have.  Scouting agrees with Jesus – that when we encourage and empower our children to serve with what they have – the results will be amazing.

Look at what God shows us can happen – when Scouting and each one of us joins in empowering our children and youth to discover and use the gifts that God has placed within their lives.

2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NLT)     Fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.   For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline!

This morning – God is challenging all of us to think carefully about what we believe about serving.  Do we believe that serving is the path to greatness?  Do we believe that the lives of boys and girls are worth blessing?  Are we committed to providing an example for children that is an example of Jesus’ love in action?  How intentional are we in providing the right training?  And – the last and most important question of all – what are we doing to empower children and youth to discover and use their gifts to serve?

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