It’s hard to believe that it’s already fall. I apologize for not sitting to write this district newsletter sooner. A part of the reason I have not written this earlier is because God has been speaking to my heart about some things and I have been reluctant to write them. Not out of a desire to be disobedient, but out of a desire to ensure we remain of one accord as a fellowship of Outposts. So please be patient as I share what the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me with regards to our fellowship and let’s start a conversation about this journey we are on together.
Purpose, Path, & Patience
The first Royal Ranger Outpost was started in 1962 here in Indiana. The men’s ministries at First Assembly of God in Fort Wayne Indiana saw a need to reach the young men of their community, and to disciple these young men to walk a path towards Godly manhood. Many other churches in our district fellowship recognized this need and within ten years over forty churches had launched this ministry to reach the young men of their congregations. Boys were coming to know Jesus as their personal Savior, and families were coming into the church through this ministry.
Unfortunately it wouldn’t be until 1977 that we would have our first gathering of Royal Rangers from across Indiana. Charlie Weaver, our second district director of Royal Rangers in Indiana, recalled the conversation that he had with then superintendent Charles Crank. Brother Crank encouraged him to have a gathering that year of all Outposts within our fellowship. I believe one of the reasons Brother Crank pushed Charlie is because he believed in the unity of the body of Christ.
Many of us have read 1 Cor. 12:12 – 27 during a ranger meeting, Sunday morning, or during a Sunday evening bible study. We are all one district body filled with many different members. Members with different skills, talents, faults, and mannerisms. Yet we are one body with one purpose. Our purpose, our desire is to see the Kingdom of God made manifest in the hearts and lives of the young men in our churches. Our desire is to see them so on fire for their Savior that they can’t help but to follow Him. In the twelve short years that I have served this ministry I have already seen two of the young men that I have loved and mentored make some really bad decisions. Decisions that will possibly stay with them for a lifetime. I will say that without my brothers in Christ that serve in this ministry I probably would have given up a couple times. But you see God used my fellow leaders, from other churches, but the same ministry, with the same purpose, that have had the same struggles, to speak words of life, words of encouragement into my heart. There is importance to having the body united. It is important to get plugged in to your district ministry. There are leaders like you all across this state. Leaders that are not perfect, but they are sanctified. Leaders that are called to capture the hearts of the young men in their church and lead them to Jesus, but they don’t feel qualified. Christ qualifies the called, and he gives you a church body, a district ministry body, that is here to support you. But are you willing to plug in to that body?
While I do not enjoy the paperwork associated with it, I do enjoy planning. Planning is the creation of a path to the vision that God has given. Often times when we are looking at what Christ has called us to, we cannot see how the destination is reachable. We are too busy looking at the destination, that we fail to make it through the journey. Planning is being intentional. It is living with purpose. It’s becoming the best you can be with the grace of God. The only other ministerial preparation within our fellowship that is as structured as the Royal Ranger ministry is that of our minister’s. Royal Rangers actually encourages all organizational leaders within the district ministry to complete level’s of study within our fellowship that meet the academic requirements of a licensed minister. It’s being intentional about reaching the young men of your community and being ready for the divine appointments we have everyday. At Rangerfest this summer, I had the privilege of leading a young man that we will call Mike back to the loving arms of his Savior. Mike was at a point in his life that he was in desperate need of a Savior. Life was crushing in on him, with things that I have no experience of, and he needed a lifeline. If I had not been obedient to become the best ranger leader/minister to young men that I could be, then I would not have been prepared to answer the call of my Savior. Become the best minister to your young men that you can be. Get trained through the Royal Ranger ministry, and then become a trainer and train more men to reach the young men of their churches.
It’s easy to become impatient. I’m disappointed that we haven’t started building the Pierce Pavilion at Lake Placid for the young men of this fellowship. I’ve had individuals tell me that once the funding reaches a certain level, then they will give. That doesn’t usually help my patience. It helps to know though… that God’s timing is perfect. That if we are obedient to the call of God on our life, and to execute His plan with diligence, then it will meet His timing. When things on Wednesday night, or whatever night you meet aren’t going well, be patient. His timing is perfect. Be ready to answer His call (His purpose). Prepare yourself and those around you for the journey. We need the whole Indiana Royal Ranger body to make the greatest impact for His kingdom. It’s awesome to see the movement of God among His people, as young men step out in faith and minister to their peers. Be patient. It isn’t easy, but having it done His way is worth it.
More to come soon about 2018. Can’t wait for all that God has planned for us next year! As always if your an outpost leader and have questions about any of or district events, feedback for the district team, or just want to start a conversation about something you feel we can do better as a fellowship, then feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Indiana Rangers…Be Intentional