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Building Confidence in Boys

October 2020

Every week it happens, and it’s been happening for more than fifty years. Every week, Royal Rangers leaders from all across the nation take time and energy away from other pursuits to prepare for an activity that will forever change the future of our families, churches, and communities. No, they’re not building a time machine or performing some dramatic feat that will win the awe and admiration of the masses. These dedicated men and women are all doing the same thing. They’re getting ready for their next Royal Rangers weekly meeting.

I know it may not sound like a life-changing, future-altering activity, and I’m sure there are times when every one of those leaders asks themselves if what they’re doing really matters. Is all this really worth it? Let me assure you that it does matter and that it is worth it.

Royal Rangers meetings are so much more than just a way to fill time while “real ministry” is taking place in the adult and youth services. Yes, Royal Rangers meetings include game time, building things, making messes, and at times, a whole lot of noise, but every part of that process plays an important role in fulfilling our central purposes—to introduce boys to the saving knowledge of Christ and to instill within them the confidence to walk the path of the Christlike life laid out for them wherever it may lead.

Some may think it’s a waste of time to teach boys about building campfires, changing flat tires, building model rockets, or making little wooden cars to race down a track. Yet, each of those activities and the many others like them help to develop skills and build confidence in boys and to foster within them that small voice that says, “I can do this. I can succeed. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  (Philippians 4:13)

Some may think it’s foolishness to spend ministry time playing kickball outside, dodgeball in the gym, or some crazy game a creative leader may have come up with. Yet, every time we play a game or do something together that makes a boy laugh and smile, and he sees his leader smiling back at him; then, he knows he matters. He knows that he’s worth our time, that he matters to someone, and that he really is important.

Leading boys through the process of growing into Christlike manhood requires time and effort. It may take years to see the fruit of your labor, and some results you may never know of in this life. However, what you do really is important because what you do this week and every other week like it will fill the heart of a boy with value, significance, and confidence. His future will be different tomorrow because you took the time to make him a priority today. Yes, we play games and build campfires, but we’re also building boys. Through that process, we’re changing the world—one crazy kid at time.