November 22, 2019
One of the most appealing aspects of the Royal Rangers program is its flexibility and adaptability. Churches currently engaged in Royal Rangers ministries represent significant diversity in size, facilities, budget, and leadership structure. Churches of any size and budget can provide an effective Royal Rangers ministry by applying the principles of the program to the context of their church and community.
But in order to identify a program format that meets the unique needs of your church and community it may be necessary to re-think the way you do Royal Rangers. Consider the following as hypothetical examples of some of the ways a Royal Rangers program could be conducted by different churches in different settings facing different needs.
Outpost 24 at Family Fellowship Church is a smaller group with five to eight boys and two leaders, meeting in one room due to limited classroom space. All boys are kept together on one class, regardless of age, grade, or group. Everyone works on the same skill and leadership merits together. Older boys assist the younger ones as needed. One Bible lesson is presented to the entire group with each boy receiving credit toward the Bible merit or Spirit Challenge for his age group’s advancement trail. Boys earn regular Royal Rangers merit badges, but no advancement steps or medals are earned due to the differing requirements for each group’s advancement. The outpost uniform consists of a custom T-shirt, designed by the boys, worn with jeans or shorts.
Outpost 43 at Calvary Church has more boys than Family Fellowship with 25 to 30 boys attending each week. Although they have enough members and meeting rooms to provide separate classes for each age group, they choose to mix boys of different ages together and allow the boys to choose which class they will join. All boys begin the meeting together for opening, announcements, and prayer. They then join small groups, focused on one of the three or four skill merit options available that session. Some boys go to the gym to learn archery and shoot bows. Others go outside to learn Dutch oven cooking. Another group goes to the church garage where they work on the art merit and create priceless masterpieces. The final group goes to the kid’s church room to practice a puppet song they will present Sunday morning. All groups then reassemble for a group Bible study. The meeting ends with recreation until the boys’ parents arrive to pick them up.
The guys at Outpost 305 are part of Victory Assembly, a new church that meets in a rented space in a small strip mall near the edge of town. Their church only has access to a single room for all services, and it’s only available on Sunday. Outpost 305 meets on Sunday afternoon. The outpost provides a simple lunch after church, and the meeting starts immediately after. The Ranger Kids meet in the front of the room while all the other boys meet in the back. Due to limited space, the group must focus on merits and activities they can do in a single room or in the parking lot, so many of the activities they enjoy are just fun ideas their leaders come up with. Since the boys aren’t completing official Royal Rangers merits, no merit badges, awards, or insignia are presented, and no uniforms are worn other than the Victory Assembly T-shirt. They’re having fun together and growing into Christlike manhood, which is really what matters the most.
Crosstown Community Church began their Royal Rangers and Girls Ministries programs many years ago and have seen great success running the traditional forms of these ministries. However, their desire has always been to conduct the two ministries in a much more integrated fashion. After meeting with parents, examining their options, and defining the impact they want to make on their community, Crosstown Community has decided to do things a little differently. All boys and girls meet together for pre-service activities and an opening session that includes a welcome, prayer, fun song, and an introduction to the night’s activities, led by their children’s pastor. A Bible lesson or devotional message is presented by the children’s pastor, which often relates to the material being taught on Sunday morning in kids church. The kids then break into their regular Royal Rangers and Girls Ministries groups to complete their skill merits and Girls Ministries units. Everyone comes back together at the end of the service for games until their parents arrive.
Outpost 275 at New Life Assembly conducts a more traditional Royal Rangers program on Wednesday nights for their Ranger Kids and Discovery Rangers while the older boys attend the youth service. The Adventure and Expedition Rangers meet in their groups on Sunday night. The age groups for their Girls Ministries program does the same. The children’s pastor provides oversight for the Ranger Kids, Discovery Rangers, Daisies, Prims, and Stars groups while the youth pastor coordinates the Adventure and Expedition Rangers as well as the Friends and Girls Only groups, which he promotes as the Sunday-night small group element of his youth ministry.
These are just a few examples of what a Royal Rangers ministry might look like in a nontraditional setting. These examples illustrate the many ways that Royal Rangers can be adapted to mentor boys into Christlike manhood in any church or community. Regardless of the format chosen, all Royal Rangers ministries follow the Royal Rangers discipleship model as they pursue the same mission—to equip every church to mentor every boy into Christlike manhood. The flexibility described here may provide the solution your church has been looking for.
Additional information on the ways in which your outpost may be structured can be found in Chapter 5 of the Royal Rangers Leader Manual.