Jul
25

I would like to start an FCS chapter or a Christian hunting/fishing/shooting etc. club. What advice can you give me?

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You can start an FCS chapter in your neck of the woods.  Our bylaws state: “V. Chapters:

A.  A minimum of two supporting FCS members are needed to start a Chapter.  These two supporting FCS members must serve as officers for their local Chapter (one as Chapter president and one as Chapter vice president).  Additional approved Chapter officer positions include Chapter treasurer, Chapter secretary, and Chapter Chaplin.  All Chapter officers must also be supporting FCS members.

B.  Each chapter will be governed by the FCS Bylaws and Statement of Faith.  Chapters may organize their own meetings and events and maintain their own funds.  Chapters can add their own bylaws and statement of faith, as long as they do not conflict with the FCS bylaws and statement of faith.

C.  Officers can vote in chapter officer elections for their chapter only.

There will be challenges for us to support chapters that are far away.  They will not be insurmountable, but they will exist.  However, they can be overcome with tools such as Zoom.

Spell out everything that you can think of so there are no surprises.  Our FAQs, About UsHistoryMembership InfoLiability Waiver, and Sportsmen’s Links pages, in particular, may be of help to you in making decisions.  The Sportsmen’s Links page first lists Christian Sportsmen’s Links.  It will probably benefit you to see how other Christian hunting and fishing clubs other than us do things.

You’ll need money to pay for chapter expenses.  Your basic choices are to require chapter membership dues, to meet expenses by donations, or a combination of the two.

Interest polls, properly worded, they can tell you what your members are interested in doing and what they’re not interested in doing.

A website is a great way to promote your club.  Emphasize what is coming up and what you’ve done. Make it user friendly.  We use www.siteground.com and the WordPress blog program.

It’s better to start with a few events.  Promote them frequently and plan them well.  After you have a few successful events under your belt word will spread and there will be a demand to add more events to your calendar.

Our annual events typically include a Chartered Bay Fishing Trip, a Chartered Hybrid/Striped/White Bass Fishing Trip, a Family Celebration Banquet, a Guided Upland Bird (chukar, pheasant, and quail) Hunt, a Ministry Event (Wild Game Dinner), a Semi-guided Hog Hunt, FCS Meetings/Dinners, FCS Sporting Clays Shoots, Guided Inland Waterfowl (duck, goose, sandhill crane, and teal) Hunts, Self-chartered Bay Fishing Trips, Self-chartered Freshwater Fishing Trips, Self-guided/chartered Blasts and Casts (Duck Hunts and Bay Fishing Trips), Self-guided Duck and Teal Hunts, and Semi-guided Dove Hunts, but it would be foolish for a new club to try to implement that many events.

What you do will be determined largely by your target participants and you’re available time and energy.  If you’re going to target adults you’ll have the widest range of options.

Catering to kids will limit what you can do.  Historically, the FCS events kids have received the most enjoyment from are chartered bay fishing trips, chartered hybrid/striped/white bass fishing trips, guided upland bird hunts, semi-guided deer hunts, semi-guided hog hunts, sporting clays shoots, and semi-guided dove hunts.  Most chartered fishing trips require no experience or equipment.  Deer and hog hunts require a weapon of choice and ammo, at a minimum, and upland bird hunts and dove hunts require guns, shells, and an orange vest/cap for the upland bird hunts, at a minimum.  Not a lot happens during deer and hog hunts, until a deer or pig comes out, so shy away from them if you’ll have first time kid hunters.  Duck hunts aren’t a good option for kids, as in addition to guns and shells they’ll need waders, which aren’t easy to find in kids’ sizes.  In addition, duck hunters have to get up at dark-thirty.  Also, deer and waterfowl hunts are also often cold, with the latter also being wet.  Many kids have trouble handling both, especially if they’re not seeing deer or ducks.  Banquets, meetings/dinners, and ministry events probably wouldn’t interest most kids.

As far as expenses go, sporting clays shoots are the cheapest, followed by semi-guided dove hunts, chartered hybrid/striped/white bass fishing trips, chartered bay fishing trips, semi-guided hog hunts, guided upland bird hunts, and semi-guided deer hunts.

We rarely do great on our self-chartered/guided events, so shy away from having only them and not also having chartered/guided events.

Don’t do as Moses did and try to do everything yourself.  If you do, you WILL burn out. Recruit people who you know and trust to be your officers.  Give them clear job expectations and follow up to ensure that they are doing their jobs.  Two hard-working involved officers are better than ten uninvolved ones.

Have prayer and devotionals at as many events as prudent.  Try to keep the devotionals to 15 minutes and under.  If you go longer than that you will lose many in your audience.  Perhaps it’s because our meetings start at 7:00 PM and people are tired from long days at work.  Or perhaps people have been overloaded with meetings and their brains can’t accept another one that late.  This will be true no matter where in the country a meeting is being held.

The following is by Jeremy Harrill with www.GoMission.net – Eight Truths They Don’t Tell You About Being An Outdoor Ministry Leader:

When ministry is done right, you’ll see God transform the lives of men around you.  Unfortunately we’re often told only about the “warm and fuzzy” side of ministry.  Negative happens, and if you let it blind-side you, it could take you out of the game entirely.  Here’s some brutal truths I’ve learned over the years.

The Biggest Disappointment In Ministry Is: Disappointment.  Why?  Because people are flawed, imperfect works in progress.  People will disappoint you.  And guess what, you will disappoint people too!  Show some grace, because you’ll want people to show you grace at some point, too.

Ministry Is Messy.  People often times only see the cool stuff (the camo, the hunting and fishing trips, the shirts with the ministry logo, big-burly dudes who would never step foot in a church accepting Christ at one of your events, etc.).  The real truth is that ministry is dirty and even nasty sometimes.  So don’t expect it to be easy.  You will have to deal with problems and there will be conflict.  Ministry is about pouring into people – often at the darkest times in their life.

Success Takes Time.  Ministry isn’t immune to life in a world of instant gratification.  We want to launch the ministry on Friday and have the Wild Game dinner or Outdoorsman Bible Study the next week.  Relationships take time, especially with men, so don’t expect it to take root overnight.  You cannot microwave relationships.  Be patient and well planned.

You Cannot Do It Alone.  Repeat this over and over again to yourself.  If you go it alone, you’ll kill the very movement you started.

It’s A Calling.  If it’s not – you will give up at the first sign of trouble.  Check out Jason Cruise’s MissionU piece for greater depth on the power of the call.

Numbers Do Not Tell Your Story.  Success is not measured by a number.  We are infatuated with “the numbers” in our society, especially in churches.  You hear it all the time at church: How many were there?  How many accepted Christ?  How much money did we raise?  Recently, a guy who was starting a Bible study for outdoorsmen say to me, “I only have 8 guys coming to the study.”  He sounded like he was giving up.  Never forget that Jesus started with 2: Simon and Andrew.  Don’t judge the ministry by a number.  If you have 3, then that’s 3 families that reap the benefits of a husband and father who comes home changed by interaction with the living God.

Expect Opposition.  In fact, if you aren’t getting any pushback at all, then something isn’t right.

Ministry Is Never About You.  It might sound harsh, but it’s true. It’s Gods ministry.  Let Him work through you.  Many who start outdoor ministry think it will open the door for more hunting opportunities.  Honestly, I think I hunt less than I did before all of this started.  John Maxwell said, “We impress people at a distance, we impact them up close.”  We’re in this business to impact people with the life-changing message of Christ, not to impress people.  That means getting in the pit with guys when they are struggling and doing life with them regularly.

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Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/

Bible Verse of the Day

And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”