Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Let The Lower Lights Be Burning"1 (Lyrics)

Romans 10:14b-15a – And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? (NRSVA)

I was assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 860 in the Shawondassee District, Virginia, USA, from 1996-2002. Those were probably six of the best years of my life and definitely the best job that I ever had. My son was an enthusiastic Scout and responsible for my getting involved. Scouting provided the vehicle for us to grow close as a father and son at a time when most parents and their children grow apart. It definitely made my son the fine young man that he is.

I was also a part of the Shawondassee District Training Staff, which held excellent monthly roundtable sessions. I was tapped to teach the Finance in Scouting segment of the Scoutmaster Fundamentals Course — not one of the most inspiring segments of the program. Since Scouting has traditionally been a faith-based organization and there was no specific place in the curriculum to talk about Religion in Scouting, I decided that this was the perfect place to "steal ten minutes for the Lord", as I described it, and talk about the importance of regularly holding the appropriate religious services during campouts and other occasions. For many Scouts, this would be their first and perhaps only exposure to God's Word. The talk was received with a respectful silence and a slight puzzlement by some, since it was not part of the announced programs. Over the years, as I repeated the talk and it became a part of the program, I couldn't help but wondering just what impact, if any, I was having.

Oh, me, of little faith. A couple of years after the first talk, I was stopped by another Scoutmaster at summer camp, who, after introducing himself, asked if I was the instructor who had talked about Religion in Scouting at his training course. After saying that I was, he proceeded to thank me for "stealing ten minutes for the Lord". Those stolen minutes had inspired him to make sure that his troop did hold services during its campouts. He also mentioned that the Spirit had filtered down to his Scouts, since they called him out for his failure to hold services on one campout.

In this increasingly secular age, so hostile to Christianity, it is important that we not only keep the faith but have the courage to proclaim it when the opportunity arises and the Spirit speaks to us. There is fertile soil out there waiting to receive the seeds of faith — all that is needed is the sowers!

Prayer: Gracious Lord, give us the courage to obey the great commission and proclaim Your Word when the Spirit calls us. Amen.

Forward this devotional     Share this devotional on Facebook     Like PresbyCan on Facebook

About the author:

David Gellatly <>
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA

Send your feedback to the author

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A great lesson.

    Good devotion, keep it up!

    Thanks for this devotional David.

    Thanks for sharing the inspiration, David.

    Well done! And bless you for having the courage and faith to take that first step with those young men and our leaders of tomorrow!

    I found it interesting that scouts used to be faith based. I did not know that. And you were blessing to be able to take advantage of that.

    There are many ways to proclaim your faith – in community where English is limited – communication can be a smile, chocolate for the neighbors.

    Amen David. And thank you for obeying the Spirit of the Lord’s voice when He spoke to your heart.

    Thank you for this devotional. In a sense, your stolen minutes for the Lord is a gift that kept on giving.

    That is so encouraging David in our secular world!
    Let’s pray that those ten minutes filter down through the generations as the Lord is faithful through 3 generations.

    Thank you, David, for your message today. Yes, we must be courageous and eager to spread the word of our Lord to others so they get to know the love and care He has for each one. Blessings for your writing.

    David – this is truly an inspiration and a wake-up call for each of us, no matter what our situation may be. You give a solid clue on how to be faithful to God’s commission.

    David, what an amazing message! It made me think of 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
    Keep writing!

    Good morning, David,
    Such a wonderful thing you were inspired to do with the Scouts. Perhaps some of it “stuck” with some of them. Thank you for those good words.

    Thanks David
    As a former scout and retired pastor, I really appreciate your faith in an organization which needs to be reminded of its foundation!

    Thank you for this inspiring devotion, David.
    Blessings upon your day, and blessings upon you as you continue to encourage others to know and live for Christ.

    David…. Thanks for your devotional today on Stealing Ten Minutes For The Lord. I was a Boy Scout many years ago so it touched my heart. And thanks for having the faith-filled courage to introduce the program. You will be amazed when you see the impact you had when we get to heaven. May God continue to use you in unexpected ways.

    Thank you, David, for writing your devotional today. Twenty years later do you think you could still provide such a component to the Scouting experience? I guess I am so amazed at some of the “things” that are not allowed today that we thought were character building and important. Thank you for telling this inspiring story.

    Good morning, David,
    Great message. We all benefit from positive sharing of our faith. We don’t always find out what impact it has on others. That is a bonus. We know that God will open the eyes of others if we start the ball rolling.
    I enjoyed how you felt this position influenced your relationship with your son and that he has grown to be a fine young man. It was good that the other scoutmaster shared how he was encouraged by your “Ten minutes” and he carried it on. Encouragement does help us to keep sharing and to realize that we do have a positive impact in this world.
    May you continue to share with others as you do by writing devotionals. It is very much appreciated. Blessings.

    Thank you, David, for today’s devotion.
    Here in Canada, our Scout organization has a merit badge for religion.
    I, as a past Scoutmaster, have taken our boys down this past and have encouraged a few of them to pass this merit.
    I recruited the deaconess of my church to do the teachings.
    At our annual camp, (one week), we always have a service in that time.
    At our regular usual Scout reserve, in Quebec, there is an outdoor chapel prepared permanently for such activities as worshipping.
    We get many Scout groups here from all over the continent to do their Summer camp.
    Occasionally we even see groups from the States.
    One year, we were host to the World Jamboree.
    There’s 1500 acres of land donated to this camp.
    You should come and visit it.
    Call the Quebec HQ for further details.
    Thanks again for your devotional,
    (Quebec Canada)

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.

    Dear (Scouter) David,
    Thank you for your message and the encouragement you give. God indeed wants us to be faithful: He will provide the miracles!
    Your words have really come home to me. Like you, my boys got me into Scouting, and those were some of the happiest years and experiences of my life. First in Ontario, Canada, and later here in British Columbia, I have been richly blessed by my time as a Cub, and Scout leader, and as a trainer. (Teaching has been my principal career, but I enjoyed training Scout leaders even more!) Again, as you felt God’s call to “steal 10 minutes for the Lord”, so I felt called to take up the spiritual context of Scouting, which other trainers seemed uncomfortable with.
    So, I join you in giving thanks to our Lord for our experiences and opportunities in Scouting, and for the great fun that it was, and for His being with us as we “did our best” to honour Him. God bless and keep you!
    (BC, Canada)

Previous Post

PresbyCan is a community of faithful, Holy Spirit-filled, Christ-centred, God-honouring Christians.