Challengers

How Can I Recruit New Leaders?

Occasionally, Royal Ambassadors and Challengers leaders step down from their positions, leaving the mantle of leadership for someone else to take up. This happens for many reasons. A leader may relocate and change churches. Some leaders get "burned out" and desire a break from the weight of responsibility. Oftentimes, leaders step down because their son is too old for RA.

When this happens, churches often struggle to find a new leader. Sometimes, they combine boys and girls together into one missions class. Other times, churches end Royal Ambassadors altogether, reasoning that if no one is willing to lead the ministry, then it is not needed. The boys, however, suffer the most from the loss of their leader. At a time when they need to be patiently taught the Bible, equipped with valuable outdoor living skills, and mentored in a missions-oriented lifestyle, they are left to turn their energy to other things.

What can current leaders do to ensure that their boys will continue to be blessed by the missions discipleship ministries of Royal Ambassadors and Challengers? I offer you the following suggestions:

Ukuleles, Gratitude, and the Presence of God

There are certainly typical Thanksgiving week activities—traveling to visit family members, making pies ahead of time and putting them in the freezer, cleaning the house in preparation for company, and making gratitude trees, jars, leaves, banners, and so on—as a way to visibly express our thankfulness. And then there are the not-so-typical Thanksgiving-week activities. Like the ukulele concert I attended last night, for instance.

A friend of mine plays the ukulele and has taken group lessons the past couple of years. Each November the group has offered a concert. Several of us have gone to support our ukulele-playing friend, and to enjoy the concert of a group of 10–12 ukulele players. Not only do they play in concert, but they play fun, popular songs, including some oldies. Audience members are given lyrics sheets and invited to sing along. And to my surprise, the audience has enthusiastically participated in these concert experiences.

Add a Little Christmas to Your Life

Shopping. Partying at school. Cooking. Wrapping. Baking. Decorating. Traveling. Getting together with friends. And that doesn’t even include the church activities, choir programs and special Christmas services.

It feels like time speeds up between Thanksgiving and Christmas and we move at a faster pace through the month of December, trying to do all we feel like we are “supposed to do” at this time of the year.

Added to our attempts to juggle all of the extra activities and events and responsibilities that Christmastime brings, we also must continue our regular tasks of going to work or school, buying groceries, doing laundry, and running the children from this lesson to that activity. No wonder it feels like everything is moving at warp speed to the point that when the New Year comes our December feels like a blur and we long for time to rest.

Does Prayer Really Matter? Really?

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? You close your eyes, bow your head, and before a word crosses your lips you start to wonder, “Does this prayer really matter?” I mean, since when have words spoken in private ever changed global catastrophes like the war in Syria or the refugee crisis in Europe? Is prayer even all that important?

Oh, my friend, it is so important. When we pray, we’re really doing two things at the same time. We are (1) cultivating our relationship with God and (2) refining our own hearts in the process.

We pray out of a concern for others and with the faith that the One we pray to can actually hear us and cares about us. It’s an exercise in faith, plain and simple.

By voicing our hearts to God, we also underscore how important our words are. Sometimes we find that all we need is to sit in silence, at peace in the presence of a God beyond words.

Prayer is also the first step toward action. How many examples can we find in Scripture where someone wrestled with God in prayer over something they knew they had do? Honestly, more than I’d prefer to count . . .

Leading Students with WMU in Mind

As you lead your student group, I’ll bet the last thing on your mind is the list of WMU objectives. Before you flip past it in your next WMU Catalog or Year Book, take some time to think through each one. You might be surprised how integral these points are to our shared faith.

Pray for Missions

When was the last time you led your group to pray for a missionary? What about praying for someone you knew needed to feel the love of Christ? Praying for missions is no small thing. When you bring these prayers and petitions before God, it solidifies them in your own heart and often motivates you to action.

Engage in Mission Action and Witnessing

As followers of Christ, our faith must move us to action. It’s never enough to simply “feel” for someone who needs Christ. Share that love with them, my friend! And help your students see that they too are a valuable part of the mission of God.

National WMU welcomes new ministry consultant for boys

(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) – Zachariah Seanor joined the staff of national WMU on July 18 as ministry consultant with responsibilities for the growth and development of missions education for boys through Royal Ambassadors (RA), WMU’s missions program for boys in grades 1–6, and Challengers, for boys in grades 7–12.

“We are delighted to welcome Zachariah to our staff,” said Carol Causey, director for WMU’s Missions Resource Center. “His personal knowledge from being raised in RAs, along with his training in education and missions, make him uniquely equipped for this position. We look forward with great anticipation to his contributions.”

For the past year, Seanor served as chaplain and interim dean of student life at Live Oak Classical School for grades 7–12 in Waco, Texas. From 2013–2015, he served as associate director of student recruitment for Truett Seminary at Baylor University in Waco; and minister of students at Taylor’s Valley Baptist Church in Temple, Texas, from 2012–2013.

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