Lions, tigers and bears - oh my!! And not on the Wizard of Oz, but in our fellowship hall here at Shepherd King last Monday night there were lions, tigers and bears! Well... maybe not lions, but tigers and bears -- all of them cubs. We extend a warm welcome to Cub Scout Troop 510, now meeting at Shepherd King several times a month. This is the Harmony Hills Scout Troop and we are glad to have them!!
Last Monday was a pack meeting, which meant all the dens were here at the same time and each boy brought a parent with him. The boys were awarded badges and pins for various accomplishments they had made over the summer. While waiting their turn to come forward, the boys sat coloring at a table and chatting with their friends. They were happy and excited to be together.
When a church considers having a scout troop meet in its building there are often some concerns. Members - who here have recently worked hard to update the kitchen and fellowship hall - wonder whether the boys will have enough supervision, whether they'll take good care of the property. They might spill snacks on the carpet (new carpet!), or smudge up the walls (newly painted walls!). They might get into things they are supposed to leave alone. And the scouts cannot pay us for using our building - electricity, water, furnishings. This pack is just trying to raise enough money to pay for their supplies and their awards. So it's a little risky to have them meet in our facilities. We've signed a contract and they promise to keep it clean, but you never know...
So why should a church allow scouts to use their facilities? Because kids in the neighborhood need a safe place to go and this is a service we can offer them. Because Shepherd King's mission goals for the next several years are to be involved in ministry to the community, especially families and children. Because Jesus said "let the little children come to me and do not prevent them; to such as these belongs the kingdom of God." So the building might get some wear and tear, but families in our neighborhood will be blessed by having a good environment for their children to learn and grow.
We have gifts and treasures at Shepherd King, including our building and grounds. What good are our gifts and treasures if we just keep them to ourselves? Nothing can grow - not faith, not hope, not community - unless we share, giving generously of who we are and what we possess. God has blessed us in many ways. Blessings are never meant to be horded, but always to be passed around, given away. We celebrate these gifts from God when we welcome others to enjoy them as well. Praise God that the cubs, the tigers and the bears can experience the love of God and of their neighbors here at Shepherd King.