Tuesday, June 25, 2013

'Explore my Beliefs' vs 'Do my duty to God'

The revision of the Guide promise last week has received a mixed reaction, including here. Yesterday I heard a couple of local guide leaders give their reactions to the change in the 'God' clause - on the one hand some concern at the dropping of a cherished promise, but also a sense of opportunity.

Which got me thinking. The guide promise to 'explore my beliefs' is more dynamic than the version it has replaced: 'love my God' (and the previous 'do my duty to God'). Guides will now make a promise to explore what they believe. Whether or not the church thinks that's a step backwards, we need to get over it (the Guides don't belong to us, they can do as they see fit so long as it's legal), and get with their programme. If thousands of girls across the country are promising to explore their beliefs, surely that's a great opportunity for local churches and Christians to say 'we'd be delighted to help you do that, if you'd like us to.'

The new promise also shifts the corporate focus from 'serve my country' to ''serve my community'. Again, this is right into home turf (I hope!) for most churches. If exploring faith is one possible point of connection, community action is another, and it shouldn't be beyond the wit of most churches to offer opportunities to local guide units for community service, whether it's the lunch club, food bank, old folks Christmas party or whatever.

Finally, back to the faith bit - I do actually wonder whether 'explore my beliefs' might actually be closer to the grain of Christian living than 'do my duty to God'. Whichever way you go with this, the facts on the ground are that the entire guide movement is thinking about God, faith, belief etc., and asking a lot of questions about it. Isn't that a good conversation to be part of?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks David. Nice to read a positive view of this change and the challenge it brings to us in the churches.