While the article begins with a premise that leads to a question;
A 77-year-old Christian organisation is offering an alternative to scouting after the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) decided to allow openly gay adult leaders and employees into its ranks.
The CSB Ministries, the parent organisation of Christian Service Brigade, said in a statement that with the BSA’s decision, “churches that host Boy Scout troops are faced with an important and difficult decision.”
“Do they keep their affiliation with the Scouts and support this change or find biblical alternatives for their boys and men?” it asked.
Many former scouters left BSA to join CSB (and, arguably, other youth development programs) for deeper reasons than the change in membership policy at BSA. For many parents and volunteers, it was BSA’s steady movement towards promoting a pluralistic view of religion — that all religions are equally valid (or equally invalid) at fulfilling spiritual growth within individuals which runs contrary to John 14:6. All may come to the Father by Jesus, His Son, but allowing BSA to teach my sons that God could be a rock, a babbling brook or the spirit of the East Wind ran counter to our efforts at religious instruction at home (if you are interested, see my article “Boy Scouts Compromise Happened Long Ago“)
The Christian Today article does provide a nice overview of the CSB program:
The Christian Service Brigade has been hosting programmes for boys and young men in local churches since 1938. The programmes it offers include scripture and leadership skills, focusing on the spiritual, physical, mental and social development of boys.
“Brigade empowers men in the local church to disciple and mentor boys and young men, through action-based programmes and resources,” said Scott Haima, president of CSB Ministries. “We encourage and equip strong Christian men to model and teach biblical manhood. We have refined our approach for 77 years, and we understand the needs and unique challenges that churches face.”
The article also provides a unique connection that should captivate youth pastors and senior pastors, alike:
A Barna Research revealed that 59 percent of Christians leave their church by age 30, thus draining the future leadership pool of churches.
The CSB Ministries said programs that teach leadership and service to Christ are a way of preventing this.
The inclusion of both service projects and ministry projects in many units (especially at the Battalion level of junior-senior high aged boys) helps build bonds between young and old and show the need for young men to participate actively and consistently in their local church (as opposed to becoming a Sunday morning absentee).
In our church, we have a mix of boys from church member families, and boys from the community at large (either attending other churches or not attending other churches). This provides opportunities for offering the gospel message during our story circle time, and to provide a positive role-model testimony to these boys.
We are beginning to plan our 2016-2017 season now. It’s a good program that provides boys with helpful mentoring and that’s important. As Rick Bundschuh, author of Passed Through Fire, has been quoted,
The men of the church will have to get deeply involved in order for boys to become men through watching and emulating them. The imprinter of manhood that every boy seeks comes from one place only: other men.
To view a CSB Ministries comparison table, click here.