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PDanny
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Posted: 24 August 2005 at 3:17pm | IP Logged Quote PDanny

Do any of you use Missionettes and Royal Rangers.  I'm not very familiar with the updated versions that they did a couple years ago.  What do you like about it?  What don't you like?  What's a weakness of the programs?  What are some of their strengths?  Are you happy with what they offer or are you looking for a change in your midweek program?  Thanks for you input!

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henryjz
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Posted: 24 August 2005 at 3:29pm | IP Logged Quote henryjz

Ha! This can be a loaded question!!

The first question you should ask yourself is whether you even need to have a midweek program or not. What would be its purpose? Who would be your audience? How would it fit into the overall vision of what your senior pastor sees for children's ministry and the rest of the church?

If after all of that you decide to have a midweek program, I suggest you spend some dedicated time to figuring out the audience during your midweek. Will it be to your core kids? Will it be to unchurched kids? Is the main thrust evangelism and outreach or is it core discipleship? These questions will help you to determine what kind of program you want to do.

Then after you answer those questions, you want to ask yourself what the culture of your community and kids are like? Are they into merit-based stuff or more relationally-based stuff? Are parents really involved or marginally involved?

Lots of questions to take into account, I know.

As far as my opinion on RR and Mettes... they are two separate identities! They are both merit-based and, I feel, more geared to core discipleship rather than evangelism and outreach. The Mette program is more organized and easier to use than the RR program. I wish that they would just combine their resources and work together to publish a curriculum that would meet the needs of both boys and girls. If you do use these programs, I would suggest you spend time talking to people at the AG National Office in these departments to have them help you tailor the programs for your specific situation. There is a lot of history and sentiment behind these two programs and, many times, local and district leadership of these programs tend to have strong opininons on the "right way" to do these programs. Do them how you need them done. As with any curriculum or program, it is written for you to use, not for it to dictate how you use it.
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PDanny
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Posted: 24 August 2005 at 3:33pm | IP Logged Quote PDanny

Thanks for the input!  I appreciate it.
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Gerry Galbreath
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Posted: 24 August 2005 at 6:04pm | IP Logged Quote Gerry Galbreath

The best improvement to the programs is that all advancements are now circular meaning that everyone is learning the same thing at the same time.  It used to be that as new kids joined the program they started at the beginning so you had kids at all different levels and it made it difficult to teach them as a group.  Any child that is in the program from the beginning will still earn all of the advancements and there is the ability for a motivated child to do work on his/her own to learn the stuff they've missed.

Another improvement is that they are now giving awards for other activities that a child might already be involved in (JBQ etc.) so that the programs do not stand entirely on their own.

I would agree with Henry that as written they are more prone to discipleship than evangelism but they can be done evangelistically if you have the right people heading up the program.  I also agree with Henry that Missionettes is much more user friendly than Royal Rangers.

Both programs are fairly high maintenance and work best if you have a committed core of leaders that will put effort into it.  The longer a leader is in the program the better they get.

The updates they made a couple of years ago are much better than the old versions but I feel that they only took the programs from the 60's to the 80's and didn't bring them all the way into the new millenium.  If you take the good stuff from the programs and supplement it with other things you can still have something succesful but it doesn't work great right out of the box.

I think that both are still viable programs in a lot of churches as long as you don't put all of your eggs in one basket.  They are merit based programs and thus require commitment from those attending to do what they are designed to do.  If you have kids that come and go a lot due to sports schedules or lazy parents you will have problem doing justice to either program.

I am actually thinking of adding them back into the lineup here.  They were dropped five or six years ago by a previous Children's Pastor.  They will be an elective for those that desire a "Scouting" program and not the only class for kids to attend mid week.  I have several kids that are either in Boy/Girl Scouts or contemplating going that direction and I would rather see them in a program that will teach them Bible along with the life skills instead of life skills alone.

I had both programs at my last church (with a Kids Klub as an alternative) and all three of my children loved them.  My daughter earned her "Honor Star" in Missionettes and my boys loved the campouts, tool craft and other lessons. 

That's my two cents worth.

Gerry

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Dr Boom
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Posted: 24 August 2005 at 10:17pm | IP Logged Quote Dr Boom

Henry & Gerry,

You guys are right on as usual.  I don't enjoy doing things just because it's what we've always done, but that seems to be where we are at out church (at least for the time being).  I agree that the Missionettes material is a lot better and easier to use than the RR material.   But like you said, there are plenty of other options out there for people to consider if they have the opportunity too. RR & Mettes are great tools for discipleship if the kids are into it, but if they're not into the merit/reward thing then there are other great tools to help you reach the kids in your neck of the woods.

Tony

(Do you do JBQ at your church - district? regionals? nationals?)

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Gerry Galbreath
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Posted: 25 August 2005 at 10:21am | IP Logged Quote Gerry Galbreath

Tony,

In I have done JBQ for almost twenty years.  Before I moving to California I was the Northwest District JBQ coordinator, the Northwest Region Coordinator, and I was on the National JBQ advisory commitee.

The church that I left in Washington went to Nationals the last four years I was there and has been back the last two years without me.  I started a JBQ team here (actually four teams) here last year but we have no one in our District to quiz against.  The only other team in our District that is currently quizzing is in Las Vegas Nevada and that is about an eight hour drive for us.

I am currently trying to build JBQ in this District so that we will have some competition.  It is very difficult to keep the kids motivated without the competition part.

I believe that JBQ is one of the best programs out there to teach Bible memory.  I had an intern in my last church that was in JBQ as a child.  six years later she still remembered most of the scriptures she had memorized.

Gerry

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lolligirl
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Posted: 25 August 2005 at 1:39pm | IP Logged Quote lolligirl

Ok, I have to chip in for the whole JBQ thing. I have deep roots in BQ, both in teen and jr. My husband and I actually met through Teen Quiz. I started junior quiz in the 4th grade and ended my quizzing career my senior year with a trip to senior quiz nationals in Washington D.C. My mom served on the national advisory board, was the North Texas District Cooridinator, as well as our regional cooridinator up until this year because she moved to Colorado (where she's hoping to get some teams going).
Currently, our church has a very successful Senior Quiz team (coached by my husband) but I haven't started Junior yet. We don't have any teams in our area and the drives to our league meets would be 4 hours each way! I'm thinking about starting it in the spring and just doing in house quizzing for the most part. I have limited time myself because I have 2 small kids, but I'm hoping to put someone else in charge of it.
Gerry, I wonder if you know my mom? Her name is Paula Hix. Quiz sometimes makes the world seem like such a small place.
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Dr Boom
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Posted: 25 August 2005 at 5:47pm | IP Logged Quote Dr Boom

You guys inspire me!  I've been in JBQ for 6 years now and have only been to the Regional Competition (Gulf District) for the past 3 years.  We're shooting for Nationals though!  Maybe this year will be our year to go.  The important thing is seeing the kids quote more of the Word than their Children's Pastor.  I've challenged myself this year to earn my Master Seal.

Tony

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Gerry Galbreath
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Posted: 25 August 2005 at 6:10pm | IP Logged Quote Gerry Galbreath

Lori,

Yes, I do know your mom.  As soon as you started describing her I knew exactly who you were talking about.  The only time I ever got to see or talk to her was each year at Nationals but she is a great lady. 

Now you are making me miss all of my friends on the National Commitee.  It really is a small world.

Gerry

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lolligirl
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Posted: 25 August 2005 at 7:03pm | IP Logged Quote lolligirl

How cool that you know her...I'll have to call her tonight and tell her. And I definitely agree with you - she's a great lady.
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Jeffcalvert
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Posted: 26 August 2005 at 3:59am | IP Logged Quote Jeffcalvert

Hi there, My name is Jeff & I've been a Royal Ranger Sr. cmdr for over 6 years. & involved with the RR program for over 20 yrs. I've seen alot of good changes with the new program as well as some bad.

As the others stated above... The Rangers is a high maintanice group. And very costly. (That's the major downfall) AS for how the yearly lessons are put together... I can say that it has been a HUGH help for me & my leaders in teaching the bible merits along with all the other lessons & merits that are to be taught.

The first thing one should consider before starting the Rangers or Missionettes is Pray.... Pray To see if this is the right direction that God is leading you for your kids. (I believe that each group has a lot to offer, however... Will it be practical for this day & age?)

Example... The Rangers are zoned in on teaching the boys merits like firecraft, wood carving, camp craft, hiking, nature study, reptile study, puppetry, public speaking, and cooking. Just to name a few...

Along with these merits they are also earning bible merits... Gen. through Rev.  NOW... all of these things are good to know & learn... The question still remains... Is it practical for THIS day and age that we live in?    (Yes on the bible merits)!!!

As one who grew up in the program I feel that a lot if not most of what the program has to offer is not practical for our young boys. 

Don't get me wrong.... It's nice to know about that stuff. And really cool if you can show your friends how to start a fire with out any matches... But are they learning about Jesus?

Like I said before... I would first pray about the direction that you are wanting God to lead you with your kids. Then ask your self... "Is this program going to get me where God is leading us?"

If it is then go for it. If not then dont waste your time or money on it.

Word of caution... if you choose the Ranger program... Make sure you do all of the age groups... Ranger Kids, Discovery, Adventure, & Expedtion Rangers. And that you have a good team of leaders who are willing & wanting to be trained in the Ranger Program. The Rangers, really dosen't work if you only do the Ranger Kids & Discovery Ranger... (It's like telling a child I want you to work hard & complete EVERYTHING.... Yet by the time they enter Jr. High age. You tell them it's ok to stop going to Rangers so they may enter the Jr High Youth group. (which cause them to NEVER fully complete the Ranger Program in which they can earn their GMA).

Running this Program will cost you a lot of TIME & MONEY.

If done right... The end reward is great... (I had 3 boys earn their GMA from fall of last yr. up to Now).

My prayers are with you as you seek guidence with your leaders & God... Let me know how things turn out for you...

See you on the Battlefield,

Jeff Calvert

eaglesclaw14@hotmail.com

 

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Reed
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Posted: 26 August 2005 at 10:11am | IP Logged Quote Reed

I got started in the ministry in Royal Rangers.  I've been on State Staff and Area and Sectional Staff.  I've been an instructor (IT) (TC)and NTC, NTT, JLTC, and RKTC and FCF. (there are a lot of acronyms - don't let them scare you)

It is a great ministry and it has been improved quite a lot - The leaders don't have to write their own curriculum from scratch anymore. 

I also like the way that the merits are set up so that the leaders don't have to cater to several different advancement levels at the same time.  A leader just teaches one merit and then on to the next. 

The kids that don't come every week will feel left out because they are behind all the time on the merits.

I would agree that the State leadership can be very dictative and many times exclusive - I've been in three different states now.

The curriculum, uniforms, books, fees, etc can be very expensive.  If you are on a limited budget I would really look at the costs.  I've averaged $4000 a year for 60-80 boys.  And Missionettes costs about the same for 60-80 girls.

As far as starting all age groups at the same time... I would start Ranger Kids and Discovery Kids and then add the other groups as the kids get older.

I don't know a lot about Missionettes - So I won't comment much.  What I have experienced is that the program is very structured and the girls enjoy it.

Finally, in my opinion - if I had a choice - I wouldn't separate the girls and boys.  It requires twice as many rooms, twice as many teachers and twice as much money.  It doesn't make sense. 

JBQ - I was Gerry's replacement when he left as the District Coordinator for Washington and was the Coordinator for Idaho prior to that.  Gerry was a great man to work with and he set me up for success as his replacement

I am a firm believer in JBQ.  My team from last year one first place at Nationals! 

However this ministry has an enherent flaw which is the compitition.  Many churches get way too competitive and really ruin the fun!!!!! 

Our teams have lots of other activities other than study so it is fun.  Also, I try to focus more on fellowship than the competition.  The kids that are competitive will do well and the ones that are not competitive will have fun.  That's the best way.

If you want some info on JBQ and how it works you can check out the web site www.nwjbq.com there is a procedures manual that explains how Washington State is structured and how it all works and question sets that you can download.  The site expires in Nov.

 

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PDanny
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Posted: 26 August 2005 at 1:47pm | IP Logged Quote PDanny

Thanks for all the input.  I was looking at the curriculum and was wondering if you have to go all year round to make it through all the merits or if it's set up for a school year.  It looked like 4 13 week quarters.  And, if we just do k - 5th grade and have 6th grades with the jr. High, is that going to hinder kids from getting through the discovery rangers?
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Gerry Galbreath
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Posted: 26 August 2005 at 2:29pm | IP Logged Quote Gerry Galbreath

With the new program it is actually designed to end Discovery Rangers at 5th grade.  That way a church can do just Ranger Kids and Discovery Rangers and 6th graders can go to the youth department.

It is unlikely that a boy will be able to earn his GMA without continuing on but many churches do it this way.

The program is intended to run year round but I compressed it into three eleven week sessions so that we could take the summer off and shut down for Christmas and other special events that the church might have.

As Henry said, all curriculum needs to be adapted to fit your needs.  One of the reasons Royal Rangers doesn't work in a lot of churches is that they are too stiff with it.  They think it can only be done the way it is taught in the training classes.

I taught some of the training classes but I always told my students to adapt anything I said to meet the needs of their group.

Gerry

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pastorben
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Posted: 29 August 2005 at 5:16pm | IP Logged Quote pastorben

Well, I thought I would throw my two cents in.  I'm from the Reed and Gerry's old district (now called Northwest ministry network of the A/G). I presently use Rangers and Missionettes within my ministry.  I have found them to be good programs. I don't want to repeat to much of what they said so I will just comment briefly on a couple things.

1. RR/MS are good decipleship programs. Better then most. If run right they create a small group with in your children's ministry. We use them as our primary decipleship and small group element.  If run right they are designed to find a balance between decipleship and community. 

2. The leadership issue is critical.

If you have a lot of turnover in leaders it will be harder to run. You need a few committed men to run RR. But don't follow the general idea that moms aren't good leaders.  A couple is a great way to run a RR class. 

Depending on your the state (district) you are in, the district leadership can make it harder for you.  Don't assume the 'tried and true' way is the right way... always adapt. And don't try to go to every event offered.  Aslo, try to get trained yourself and then do all the leadership training in house. 

3. Cost is high!

4. uniforms - they can be cool, but if cost is an issue go with their t-shirts. If you live in an affuent area then diffently go with the full uniform. Those who are accostomed to spending for quality will not find your program inviting if it looks unimpressive.

5.Finally - make sure your boss likes the style of program. If he doesn't then go with something else.

That's about it.  Hello, Reed and Gerry- Ben @ Maltby here!

Ben

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Nomi
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Posted: 31 August 2005 at 9:52am | IP Logged Quote Nomi

Missionettes and Royal Rangers are good for discipleship -- but they are also very volunteer intensive. I have heard, however, that the A/G is coming out with a co-ed midweek program -- you may want to check their website 4kids.ag.org for more details.

Naomi

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PDanny
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Posted: 31 August 2005 at 12:53pm | IP Logged Quote PDanny

Yes, the A/G is coming out with a co-ed club format mid-week curriculum in the fall of '06.  They don't have any of the information out yet, but that is true.  I don't want to speak fully for them because I don't work in the office but from talking with them, they know that not everyone in the A/G likes or uses RR and Missionettes so they wanted to come out with something different.  I'm am excited to see what they come out with.
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Neil
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Posted: 21 October 2005 at 9:16am | IP Logged Quote Neil

According to Gospel Publishing House and the National Children's Ministries Office for the Assemblies of God, in Springfield, MO,  the following information was announced.  The new mid-week program is called High Point.  It is being developed right now for elementary grades.  It will combine large group and small group sessions.  The large group sessions will feature units on character traits (respect, overcoming disappointments).  The small groups will focus on hands-on ministry training.  Each unit will be 4-5 weeks in length.  Their research indicated that churches would like it to be outreach friendly, so one of the pilots was done with a primarily unchurched audience.  Target release date is fall 2006.  If you have any questions, please email newproducts@gph.com
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r2smom
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Posted: 21 October 2005 at 11:41am | IP Logged Quote r2smom

The girls love missionettes.  I believe that it still needs to be updated though. I also believe that unchurched girls can benefit from missionettes in following with the Titus 2 principle that Missionettes is based on. It is a great thing to have a Christian woman mentoring girls. From my experience you have to adjust and modify missionettes to meet your individual churches needs.  It can be hard to do that; though, because many of the district leaders are very set on the way they believe it should be done. 

I know a little bit about royal rangers, but I'm not too familiar with the new system that they've implemented.  I used to lead a group of "buckaroos" :) ( there wasn't a man to lead it)  The boys still loved it though.  

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