Scouting is the characteristic activity and occupation of a Boy Scout or Girl Scout as part of the Scout movement. The purpose of the Scouts is to help develop character, citizenship and individual skills.
For both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the motto, “Be Prepared” means the Scout is always to be in a state of readiness in mind and body to do their duty.
Few people know the story behind the Scout motto. In 1907, Baden-Powell, an English soldier, came up with the motto: Be Prepared. It was published in “Scouting for Boys” in 1908, two years before Boy Scouts of America was founded here. Though the Boy Scouts was a service-minded organization—not a military one—Baden-Powell called on the Scouts to play a part in defending his island nation. World War I was looming and the Boy Scouts proved valuable helpers. Winston Churchill wrote in “Scouting Magazine” (1955), “Their keen eyes were added to the watchers along the coasts. In the air raids we saw the spectacle of children of 12 and 14 performing with perfect coolness and composure the useful function assigned to them in the streets and public offices.”
To Baden-Powell, “Be Prepared” was not just about first aid, but that Scouts should prepare themselves to become productive citizens and strong leaders. He wanted each Scout to be ready in mind and body, to meet whatever challenge awaited him, with a strong heart.
When you think about preparation and planning, you realize the words “Be Prepared” is a great motto for many avenues of life. Would you enjoy a concert where the orchestra was composed of untrained musicians? What if the instrumentalists had not even practiced together before the concert? What if they were totally unprepared?
Would you attend an event where there were no ushers to seat you, or programs to guide you through the performance? What if every musician was playing at once, but from a different sheet of music?
Would you demand a refund if, when you entered the theatre and finally located your seat, the orchestra was only partially filled? Would it bother you if late-arriving band members noisily set up their music stands and honked, twisted, strummed and hummed, as they tuned their instrument? Would you promptly make your exit and determine not to attend such a concert again? Sure you would!
When it comes to being prepared, as a Christian, we should strive to be ready to serve Jesus, no matter what, when or where. Churches of the Lord Jesus Christ have much more to offer people than the finest symphony orchestra. The true ministry of the Lord’s churches is more important, because churches are all about God, the Bible and eternal issues! True churches are God’s chosen medium for communicating His Word to this age, which affects lives for eternity.
However, the question we must answer is, are we doing our best for Jesus? Just as an untrained, undisciplined, unconcerned orchestra could never produce beautiful music, so churches that have untrained, undisciplined or unconcerned teachers and leaders can never produce that Christ-honoring service He so richly deserves! Church members who would never be late for work, will always be early for a ball game, but who drag in, sleepy-eyed, after the worship or Bible class has started, are certainly not prepared to give their best in honor of the King. We can do better! Be Prepared!
If we would please God with our service, we must:
- PLAN! Great work for God begins with planning! Think about your church. Put yourself in the place of a visitor and walk through the lobby, classrooms, nursery, bathrooms and sanctuary. Look for areas of improvement to the facility. How does it smell? Is the facility well lighted? Is it neat and clean in appearance? Are the greeters friendly and well-informed about your church facility, schedule and events? Share your findings with the pastor or deacons and ask them to arrange for the needed improvements. If at all possible, churches must remove physical barriers that turn people away or hinder them from coming.
- PREPARE! Our public school teachers are trained for years before they ever stand before a class of students. However, in a church, too often, to be a teacher only requires a warm body. Bible teachers handle eternal truth and should be trained and knowledgeable, so they will be prepared. Talk to the pastor or Sunday School superintendent about initiating training for every job in the church. Potential volunteers do not know how to do what is needed, and must be taught! If a church offers training for ushers, greeters, teachers, nursery-keepers and other jobs, people will volunteer to help. Preparation is half the battle!
- PRODUCE! An effective, trained and motivated staff of church workers will have a positive effect on the whole church. Organization, training and motivation produce participation. The Bible teaches that the Lord adds to His church and that every church member has a duty to serve as part of that church body (1 Corinthians 12). When members faithfully serve Christ in their church, the church can function effectively, ministering to the community in which it is established. God never planned for His House to be filled with unprepared, non-serving, pew-warming members!
God’s work is too important to be left to chance! We need to PLAN, PREPARE and PRODUCE, for Jesus sake!