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Royal Rangers, Missionettes, and the Purpose-Driven Church

By David Boyd

I am often asked, "How do Royal Rangers and Missionettes fit within the scope of the We Build People focus of growing churches?"

I began these ministries 20 years ago as children’s pastor at my first church. I’ve served in 3 churches in those 20 years, and all of them grew and thrived. Royal Rangers and Missionettes were a big part of the growth we saw in those churches. Why? What makes these ministries so different? They fit perfectly in the We Build People model. They cover all four bases, and they are extremely evangelistic. They are perhaps the most evangelistic ministries in the church–at least they were in the three churches where I served. Let me first explain their incredible Base One evangelistic potential.

On Wednesday night, very few churches offer something for kids. With a good Wednesday night program, you have something evangelistically great other churches don’t have. Many families look for a church with something to offer their kids. Other families may have a religious background, but no longer go to church. They often won’t allow their children to go to church on Sunday, but they will allow them to come to a club on Wednesday. Once their kids join these ministries, the parents are gradually drawn in through the outings, awards nights, parents’ events, etc.

A second reason why these clubs are such a great evangelistic success is that they meet the needs of the growing number of single parents within our society. In our culture, nearly 50 percent of kids may live in homes without a father figure–and more have a dad who is never there. Moms are looking for a place where a godly man can impact their sons. Similar reasoning can be said for girls in Missionettes. Thus, these ministries meet the exact needs for which many families are looking.

A third reason why these ministries are so attractive is the separation into boys and girls classes. Kids this age prefer this–yet most of the time don’t get the opportunity. Boys love to do boy things, and girls love to do girl things. These programs make it easy for children to invite their friends.

In the three churches where I served, we averaged 250, 350, and 525 boys and girls on Wednesday nights. It didn’t start that way. They all started with about one third that amount.

One senior pastor always asked, "Where are all of these visiting adults coming from on Wednesday nights?" I would inform him that their kids had been coming for 6 to 8 weeks.

"Reach the lambs and the sheep will follow" was the slogan for that church. In the 9 years I was at that church, it grew from about 650 to 1,250 in attendance. Most of those were families with kids. Royal Rangers and Missionettes attract visitors, attract new families, and can be a powerful evangelistic arm for your church.

How do these ministries fit with the other three bases of the We Build People model? Wonderfully. The second base of discipleship is the core of the curriculum of both these ministries. In fact, Missionettes has for years been known as one of the most biblically sound discipleship processes we have. Children are taken down a measured path of discipleship with various levels of tests and accomplishment, monitoring the growth of the girls. Royal Rangers has been somewhat weaker in the past years, mainly because of a poorer curriculum and a less stringent lesson plan. Both of these areas have been incredibly improved with the new program.

Base Three of the We Build People model is ministry. Royal Rangers and Missionettes excel in this area due to the following: First, there are entire ministries built for the boys and girls, which prepare them for ministry. Boys are chosen to be patrol guides whose job it is to lead the rest of the boys and help (or minister to) the newer boys who need help. JLTC (Junior Leader Training Camps) are provided to teach boys to minister to others with the goal of producing men who will lead ministries in their local churches. Girls are taught to use their talents to minister to others. They are also taught new ministry skills and to tutor other girls.

A second major result of Base Three ministry is the training that both these ministries provide for the adults who join the program. No other ministries have the leadership training courses, videos, classes, and opportunities that these ministries have. These ministries have as their goal to produce men and women who are not only called to minister to children, but capable as well. Training covers everything from teaching techniques, age-level learning characteristics, to lifesaving and first aid skills. These two ministries, maybe more than any others, boast of lifers–individuals who join these ministries continue to minister for life.

The Base Four We Build People concept is mission. Mission is a little harder to define, but it encompasses long-term mission, growth of the church, missions emphasis, and our Pentecostal heritage. Countless kids have been filled with the Holy Spirit around the campfire at Royal Rangers and Missionettes meetings. Maybe more than any other, these campfire meetings are most like the early days of Pentecost when camp meetings meant sawdust floors and tarrying around the altar for hours. Kids tarry around the campfire, out of their normal environment, alone with God, touching His presence.

Missions are a huge part of the Missionettes ministry and have now become a large part of the Royal Rangers ministry with their adoption of BGMC. Many of our Royal Rangers and Missionettes leaders today are the kids we had in our programs 15 years ago. This proves the long-term results of the mission of these ministries.

Royal Rangers and Missionettes are relevant trends of today. They are extremely evangelistic in nature and build the church by discipling children and leaders. They can be and should be an ongoing part of your church and its effort to meet the needs of your community.

Contact the Children’s Ministries Agency for any questions you have about children’s ministries within your local church.

David Boyd is Children’s Ministries Agency coordinator, Springfield, Missouri.