Boy Scouts, Leadership and Values

With school starting up again soon, that means Boy Scout Troop 86 will begin meeting under our roof again soon. We couldn't be happier to have this group of hard-working, dedicated, kind, young men meet under our roof. We are proud of the troop's leadership and of the values they are instilling in these young men that are free from such bullying and divisiveness. We are proud that they promote the values that we believe in and support, and that they recognize that words matter, that values matter - even when those in leadership positions do not. Here is a snippet from my sermon this past Sunday in which I addressed this very point:
God’s kingdom on earth comes, Jesus said, when seeds are dropped onto the ground. It’s a pretty fragile dream, not unlike a tiny single seed, and it must contend among ground where there are seeds of hatred and bigotry and violence, seeds of discord which also take root and grow and bear a terrible poisonous fruit.
Like many of you I was so disheartened by the partisanship and seeds of discord  when our President delivered a totally inappropriate speech to a captive audience of young men who are at the National Scout Jamboree, a pinnacle event for scouting.  As my name is on the Charter for Troop 86, I reached out to local leadership to express my concerns about if there would be a response from the Scouting organization in response to the bullying, partisanship and political pressures expressed in the President’s speech. From the conversations I have had with local leadership, I have every confidence that our Scouts here are growing here in values free from such bullying and divisiveness. And I am proud of their work and our association with Troop 86.
Why I bring up the President’s Speech before the Scouting Jamboree - a speech which the Head of BSA has apologized for the nature of the speech’s content is this: our words, especially around our youth, are like seeds planted. Our values are like seeds planted. Words matter. Values matter. When those in leadership - whatever their leadership position may be - parents need to talk to their children that it matters what we say and what we stand for. Not only parents, but parents, grandparents, young, old, teachers, coaches, all people who seek to follow in the way of Jesus, hear this: our words matter. Our Values matter. It matters what we are saying to our young people and what we are modeling.
To listen to the audio or read the entire text of Sunday's sermon, please click here: