We had seven persons besides myself representing six different churches: three in our area; two from the north side of Indy; one in far northern Indiana. Half of us had had previous UM Scouting Ministry training, and half were new. It was a good group. Everyone seemed to think it was a good event, too. One participant shared a "Eureka" moment, and I trust there were others.
My goal in doing this workshop was to present a theory-driven, rather than resource-driven, approach. Yeah, we got this cool thing going and that cool thing, programs and handouts galore. But we need to understand ministry in order to get the most out of our scouting programs. That means we need to understand the Church, and what the Church is trying to do. So we talked about making disciples, about church growth, about evangelism, about Wesleyan-Arminian theology and spiritual formation. And we translated all that into how we do our scouting programs, instead of starting with BSA or GSUSA and extrapolating to the Church.
Those of us who were active in UM Scouting Ministry years ago remember how we labored to marry our theory to our practice and develop an approach that would be church-centered rather than scouting-centered. We've talked a lot in the NAUMS Board about the need for "advanced" training -- or maybe "specialist" training would be a better designation -- something beyond the Everything-Grab-Bag-of-the-Latest-Whizba