I spent hours each week engaged in my church while a teen.

Every weekday morning, I woke up for an early scripture study class. On Wednesdays, I enjoyed activities with other teens. Sunday’s meeting went for three hours.

I liked church. It felt nice to fit in, and I had a grand time.

In the end, I spent at least ten hours weekly involved with my congregation (potentially more if there was a church dance, service project, etc.). However, not every youth will be so eager to attend Bible study at 6:30 AM. It just won’t happen.

Time to teach can be a problem.  You see, church may seem long to a boy. But, it is really, really short. Regular church attending youth come for 1-2 hours each week. They learn about God, His teachings, and scriptures.

This gives you around fifty minutes, as a religious youth leader, to positively influence youth, according to a BSA newsletter.

So, in a year, you’ll have 43.3 hours to influence, and media alone will have 2,756.

You might be an amazing teacher, but that’s a huge difference.

So, how can we incorporate positive religious influence outside of Sunday’s (or Friday’s or Saturday’s) sermon?

According to the a recent BSA newsletter, Scouting may help. “During Scouting activities lead by a volunteer leader of Christian faith, a young person may be helped with their personal and spiritual needs,” the article indicates.

It says, “If Scouting becomes an integral part of the church ministry to youth…consider the intensive periods of personal guidance potential within a year’s span.”

When a church leader becomes involved in Scouting, he or she has more time to reach out and lead positively.

Here are estimates from the newsletter:Leadership

With more hours, you have more time to reach out to individuals. You have more time to address difficult topics. You have more time to listen.

Even better? These hours aren’t inside a church building. Youth will learn righteous behavior as you serve, love, and lead.

“The larger segments of time in which young people and leaders interact outside the daily routine has been credited, in part, as a reason for the number of Christian conversions reported in Scouting units operated by churches,” says the Boy Scouts of America.

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Michelle Carpenter
is a reporter for the Voice of Scouting and a marketing associate for The Utah National Parks Council. Her father, husband, and brother are all Eagle Scouts, so she firmly believes some of the best men did Scouting.

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