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Scouting: A Model for Ministry

I am a Scoutmaster for a Boy Scout troop sponsored by multiple congregations (wards) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS church). I've been thinking a lot about creating an appropriate vision for what this unit should be and how I can create a plan for reaching this vision. This blog entry is an attempt to help crystallize this vision and plan.

The Boy Scouts of America provides program materials and resources to chartering organizations so that they can use these programs to accomplish their goals and objectives for the youth that they serve. While many chartered organizations establish Boy Scout troops simply for the natural character and leadership growth that Scouts learn as part of the experience of Scouting, the LDS church charters Scouting units with the express purpose of using Scouting as the youth ministry activity program. That is, our Scouting program is not an optional community activity that happens to meet at our church, it is our primary mid-wee…

Scouting as a Quorum Training Ground

In 2003, I was serving in a bishopric in Edmonds, Washington.  Before moving to Washington, I had spent six years in Tucson, Arizona, and had spent nearly 5 years working with Scouting and Aaronic priesthood quorums.  I had spent a lot of time thinking about why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints commits so much effort to the Scouting program when so many times the results are somewhat mediocre.  I had come to personally realize the power that is available through this program.
Anyway, in response to a discussion on an e-mail list about Scouting, I wrote the following comments about why it might be good to charter all of the different programs, even if there aren't a lot of boys. Although I can't claim to be very effective at accomplishing these goals, I am grateful to be reminded of this vision.  (I have edited my comments to make sense out of the original context.)
I hope you don't mind if I talk a little about quorum integrity. The most common interpretati…

Mormon Sacrament meetings

I'm scheduled to speak in our church service on Sunday, January 27, 2013.  Anyone is welcome to come and join us.  The meeting starts at 1:00 pm.  If you want to come, you will want to know where my church is: 210 South Avenue, Harrisonburg, Virginia.

For an official short summary of what to expect, visit the following description at www.mormon.org/worship.

Our meetings actually consist of three parts over a 3-hour block. For 2013, our meetings are as follows:
Sacrament meeting: 1:00 - 2:10 pm
This is the main worship service for families, children are welcomeSunday school: 2:20 - 3:00 pm
Classes are available for ages 12 and upPrimary: 2:20 - 4:00 pm
Junior Sunday school classes are available for ages 3-11, grouped by agePriesthood/Relief Society meeting: 3:10 - 4:00 pm
Separate classes designed for men and women, ages 12 and up The rest of this blog entry is my attempt to explain a little more about what our meetings are like.  If you have questions that I don't address, you can…