Some years ago, my son signed up to play football on the community sports league. If he wanted to play football, he had to charter. They called it a program fee, but basically it was the same as chartering. For him to participate, we contributed to a fund that ensured the football program could pay for the field, lights, referees and other costs involved to have a league. In Royal Rangers one of the most misunderstood areas is chartering. We are often asked these questions: Is chartering necessary? Are we required to charter? Why do we need to charter?
Chartering provides four major benefits to Royal Rangers which helps to strengthen the program and ensure its health and growth.
- Chartering provides the necessary funding to operate the ministry. Product and curriculum sales generate some income. However, it is not sufficient to cover all the operational costs of a national ministry. The charter fees from boys and men give Royal Rangers the added income to cover product development, travel, salaries, and the other expenses of operating the ministry. Additionally, a fourth of each charter goes back to assist the district Ranger program. Without this income, which is designed so that many give a little, the cost of products, curriculum and events would have to increase significantly.
- Chartering provides the ministry real metrics for measuring the ministry. As outposts charter, it allows the national office to have real numbers on how a district, region, and ultimately the program is doing nationally. This information reveals what areas of the country are experiencing growth, remaining stagnant, or declining. This assists us in determining where to schedule trainings and focus our support. It is difficult to measure the health and adequately administrate a national ministry without this real information.
- Chartering helps to protect the brand and integrity of the Rangers' ministry. Chartering allows the national office to ensure that those who are using the Rangers' ministry agree with our core mission and beliefs. When churches use Rangers without chartering, they weaken the program. Without chartering it is difficult for us to prevent those with opposing views and beliefs from using the Royal Rangers' name.
- Chartering allows the local outpost to be a recognized part of the national ministry. Churches that don't charter because of the very small cost involved miss the opportunity of gaining new boys and families. I observed while serving in the district office, and now in the national office, that we regularly hear from individuals moving to a new town who want to know which churches have Rangers. The outpost locator on the national website identifies churches that have chartered outposts, helping families connect with those churches.
The national guidelines for Royal Rangers state that everyone using Royal Rangers must be chartered. Just as individuals who don't tithe enjoy the benefits of a local church because of the faithfulness of those who do, unchartered outposts are benefiting from the faithfulness of those who are chartered.
We paid $125 in charter fees so my son could play football for four months on the community league. That was in addition to all the things we had to buy. When a church charters with Royal Rangers for $11 a year, a boy gets a year of mentoring and discipleship through Royal Rangers. This is a small price to pay to keep Rangers strong and growing for churches, families and boys across America.
National Director, Royal Rangers USA