Every Royal Ranger leader out there needs a team and needs to be on a team.  There are multiple teams.  To be on a team, you have to decide who you are going to follow.  Are you a follower of Jesus Christ?  Then you are on a team.  Are you a member of your local church body?  Then you are on a team.  Are you a Royal Rangers leader?  Then you are on a team.  Lots of sports have teams.  What makes the team a championship team?  What is the difference in a team that accomplishes goals and one that is struggling?  Since the vast majority of teams are struggling (not championship teams), let us talk a little about how to get the “struggle bus” to pull over so your ministry team can get off the bus.

First and most important, you must have a purpose, a goal, a vision.  Why are you doing what you do?  I would strongly suggest that you consider getting your vision from God.  Prayer and fasting are the best ways to do this.  Godly wisdom from a church leader is good too.  If you don’t know how that works, then consult people in the church that can mentor you in these disciplines.  Once you have your vision (mission), you will need goals. These are stepping stones to help you achieve your vision (the one God gave you).  About this time, when you are brainstorming or mind mapping your goals, it will occur to you that you will need people to help your vision become a reality.  God is all about people.

Where do you get volunteers?  You have probably asked in an email, post, or meeting for volunteers.  You had no one “step up”.  In fact, when you asked, the room got quiet and no one even moved.  The reason for this stillness is because if you don’t move, then the “T-Rex can’t see you”.  If you listen closely, you can hear their thoughts: “nothing to see here, move along, move along.”  They are correct. You should move along.  You are possibly fishing in the wrong pond and with the wrong bait.  You brought your chess board to an Uno tournament.  Wrong tools + wrong place = ineffectiveness/discouragement.  When you do move along, you are probably mad, frustrated, hurt, and discouraged.  How can they possibly not be excited about Royal Rangers?  How can they not see the possibilities?  Then you will possibly get to the belief that “God made a mistake” and/or “I am not the right person for the job.”  I promise you that if you received your vision from God or from someone listening to God, then you are the “right person”.  God does not make mistakes.  If you want to, you can become the wrong person through disobedience and rebellion.  It is easy to do and in our human nature to accomplish this.  Let’s assume you are “all-in” and want to be a part of what God is doing and you want to see the vision become a reality.  I do want to correct one line of thought.  You do not want volunteers.  You want servant leaders.  Volunteers quit but servant leaders are in for the long haul because they have caught the vision.

Now, how to build a team.  This comes down to knowing and helping people, and it is about relationships.  Mentoring is about friendship and/or respect.  People do not care about what you know until they know you care about them.  God is all about people.  As many people have said, “God does not call the qualified.  He qualifies the called.”

1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (NIV)

27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.

Want to be humbled, think about how that scripture applies to you.  How did Jesus get His disciples?  He called them.  He asked them as individuals.  I cannot see Jesus going to a meeting and saying, “Can I get some guys to (fill in the blank)?”  He taught them.  He poured in to them.  Get to know people and find out what they need and help them.  Find out what they like, enjoy, how to minister to them and how to help them grow.  Find people prayerfully.  Ask God to help you.  It’s His vision and he will help you achieve it.  Seek men that have skills that they can teach to boys (I believe that every man has skills).  Seek men that love God.  Seek men that want to make a difference.  Seek men that want to be a part of what God is doing.  If God gave you the vision, then this is something God is doing.  You are not building a group of guys that do some stuff.  You are building an elite team of highly skilled individuals that are willing; correction, want to go to battle/war.   They want to change the world, one boy at the time.  Discipleship is always one-on-one.  No one will join you if you do not share God’s Vision.  Every man I know or have known, and I believe, will know, desires to be a part of a highly-skilled, highly-specialized, well-trained, and focused group of servant leaders.  If you look at Royal Rangers as anything less than the premier discipling platform for developing boys and young men and building lifelong servant leaders, then it is my opinion you are missing the vision.  It is a good possibility the lack of vision is a large part of the reason for the being on the “struggle bus.”

This past week, Ms. Juanita Barnes (the wife of Johnnie Barnes) went to be with the Lord.  I remember at the 2012 LEAD Conference, she was onstage and being interviewed.  In the interview, she shared that the ministry called Royal Rangers came to be to build men’s ministry.  Let that simmer in between your ears for a bit.  It was not to be an option to replace Little League or any other sport and it was not to be the “Christian Boy Scouts,” or any other boys club or organization.  It was not founded to give boys something to do.  We are here to build men’s ministry.  That was the goal, and it still is THE GOAL!  Think that through.  How would this goal affect the world we live in?  Which ministries would benefit by having more servant leaders in it?

What we are trying to do is easy.  We are trying to change the world, one boy at the time.  I humbly invite you to be part of the solution.

Your Brother In Christ,

Ken Porter