During the recent meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans, a number of concerned messengers visited the Association of Baptists for Scouting booth to ask if they had heard correctly that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) were planning to loosen their standards regarding requirements for adult leaders. I am pleased to say this is NOT the case. The BSA remains committed to the moral and ethical standards, which have been affirmed several times in Southern Baptist Convention resolutions.
Scouting remains one of the finest evangelism, family ministry and religious education tools available for established churches, as well as new church plants. Scouts and their families involved in the religious emblems program are often reached for Christ, and it is not uncommon for youth participants to clarify their calling to vocational ministry.
While I am happy to report scouting’s commitment to the leadership standards, I remind readers that opponents to these policies are relentless and highly vocal. Unfortunately, the “silent majority” remains largely unheard. I believe this is an opportune time to encourage Southern Baptist churches and individual members to send a note of affirmation to BSA for the moral and ethical commitments to which they have remained true for 102 years.
R. Chip Turner
Past president of the Association
of Baptists for Scouting