AWANA Program

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by dianetavegia, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
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    Does your church have an AWANA program and what have YOU done to improve your program over the years.

    I got a call last night asking me to give up my Director spot in Cubbies (2 years) and be Co-Commander for grades K- 2. I'd worked with Sparks for 3 or 4 years before switching to Cubbies.

    We're switching to 2 time periods each week with the children only having game time once a month or every 3 weeks. Our AWANA program runs from 6:30 to 7:40, during prayer meeting.

    Any suggestions or tips I can share when we have our leadership meeting a week from Saturday? I've attended 7 different AWANA sponsored trainings at least! We've only had 5 or 6 from our church attend except when we had a specific style training at our church and then only a handful attended. The old commander didn't even come!

    BTW, we have a wonderful AWANA Missionary couple.

    Diane

    [ July 28, 2005, 09:55 AM: Message edited by: dianetavegia ]
     
  2. Andy T.

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    I've been a worker bee in Awana for several years. Never been a commander, so I have no grand ideas, but I think if we cut the game time to just once a month, it would be a big disappointment to the kids. I think it is a nice part of the weekly experience in Awana. I think you need at least an 1 and 20 minutes each week, but that is if you have games.
     
  3. FriendofSpurgeon

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    I used to teach AWANAs many moons ago and it was always a lot of fun. I know that some churches have dropped the program due to their costs - I understand they've gone up quite a bit.

    Our church looked into the program some time ago, but declined to participate due to some doctinal issues - I think specifically issues regarding eschatology and baptism.
     
  4. Petrel

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    The church I grew up in had AWANA. I went through it myself and then was a counselor for the Sparks for several years. I enjoyed it because I think it really made a difference for some of the kids. We brought in children by van from the "inner city" part of our town.
     
  5. shannonL

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    Did you know that some churches have dropped AWANAS because they started giving folk the choice of KJV or NKJV? How wack is that. Those same folk also don't like the fact that AWANAS is being offered to mainline denominations,methodists presp. etc... I guess it is terrible thing when kids are memorizing Scripture.
    I'm a big fan of AWANAS hiding Scripture in the hearts of children will only bring positive benefits.
     
  6. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Shannon -- They may offer AWANAs to different churches, but it is my understanding that the individual church has to "sign off" certain specific doctrines (non-essential in personal opinion) that many "mainstream" churches would not agree with. Thus, I don't know any Methodist/Presbyterian/etc. church that uses AWANAs (which is too bad).

    Plus, it's too sad that some churches would drop AWANAs since other churches are using it.
     
  7. dianetavegia

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    Correct, any church starting a club, including some Baptist groups that are against evangelism, have to sign a form saying they will not remove that portion from the AWANA program.


    Nick really enjoys the new Truth and Training which is for older kids. My only complaint about T and T is their verses to music CD's for that age group have music that isn't something pleasant. We learned all our Cubbies and Sparks verses to music, available on CD's or tape through your church in either of 3 Bible versions. [​IMG]

    http://www.awana.org/mgo/AwanaVirtualCategory.aspx?itemId=019000476&parentId=040000042

    The books are now available in Russian and Ukrainian. Bible versions include NIV this year. In previous years, I allowed parents who use ASV, NIV, RSV, etc. to paste copies of those versions in the child's book and we honored the parents version choice. The main thing is to get the children to learn verses!

    AWANA Club Doctrinal Statement:
    http://www.awana.org/about/default.aspx?id=19

    A poll on AWANA.org has these results:

    Where will your kids be going to school in 2005-06?
    Christian school (14) 13%

    Home School (44) 41%

    Public School (44) 41%

    Private non-Christian school (2) 2%

    Other (3) 3%
     
  8. Songbird

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    I love the AWANA program. We've had it at our church for two years. I am one of the "store ladies." I help maintain the store and when the kids get to spend their points/bucks I get to help them pick out neat stuff. So I get to speak w/about all of the kids that attend.

    I love that it emphasizes scripture memorization. I know some kids may think it's a waste of time. But I grew up in a Pentecostal church and as a child we were always memorizing and reciting scripture. Many times those verses I learned come back to me.

    I love the structure of it and I think the kids like that aspect, too. It's balanced in that it even provides a time for recreation.

    My dh teaches JV (along w/another man and lady). I was approached by out Commander about helping w/the Cubbies or JV. I think I'll choose JV. I will definitely be out of my comfort zone. But my dh loves it and I have gotten to know some of the kids in his class.

    Sorry, I really don't have any tips.

    We have a wonderful Missionary and family as well!
     
  9. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Diane -- It has nothing to do with evangelism (or lack of it). It has to do with being in agreement with every single doctrinal point with them - some of which I believe are too narrow. (But hey, it's their program, so they get to set the rules.) AWANA is something that I truly enjoyed and I wish our church could use, but simply can't.
     
  10. WW2'er

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    Awana does not require that any church agree to all doctrinal positions taken by Awana.

    Awana does require that a church reads and understands the Awana doctrinal positions and knows that those positions will be taught in the Awana materials. The church also agrees that they will not alter or remove material from the Awana program, but use it as presented.

    Therefore, the church decides if they want their children taught using the Awana material. They may not agree with Awana on every point, and still choose to run the program, or they may disagree on one small thing and decide that they can't have a program that teaches their children that. Either way, it is up to the church to decide and that is how it should be!

    Awana is non denominational and the local church and it's pastor is the head of every Awana program, not Awana making rules and forcing things on the church.

    I think Awana is great, but even if a church chooses not to use it, I hope they have some other effective evangelistic outreach to children. It's simply too important not too! Kids between the ages of 4 and 14 are the most receptive to the gospel message. Their whole world and live view is being shaped and set during these years and waiting will just make it harder to reach them later.

    God Bless! [​IMG]
    WW2'er
     
  11. dianetavegia

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    Our sign up is this coming Wed. night. We bring in a good number of kids on our church bus from local schools and those kids don't pre register but we do get to meet their parents by making the parents come inside and pick up their children of any age.
     
  12. WW2'er

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    Good for you and your church, Diane! I hope you are greatly succesful in your new role! You know you can always contact me directly if you need specific info.

    For your leadership meeting, focus on the basics, making sure your leaders know how to present the gospel clearly and that they have a method to actively reach out to the parents. Also work out the details of how discipline is to be handled (3 and 5 counts) and the timeline for the club night. Also cover how transitions will be handled (between club segments). Those are the main points I would cover if I was in your shoes.

    I'm sure you'll do great!

    God Bless!
    WW2'er
     
  13. Pronto

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    AWANA is ok if you are a fundamentalist. The doctrinal statement has to be signed by the pastor, which I couldn't do cause of the Pre-Trib stuff to name one.

    54% in Christian or homeschools tells me it is not exactly on the cutting edge of anything related to the upcoming generations. Which again is fine if your a protectionist fundamentalist.
     
  14. dianetavegia

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    LOL, well we're certainly not fundamentalists compared to local fundamentalists and have NO problem with the papers. [​IMG]
     
  15. WW2'er

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    Pronto,

    I realize I don't know you, so just let me suggest that you do a little more research on Awana.

    I hope you don't mind me helping you by telling you what I know.

    First, no church or pastor signs "Agreeing with" the Awana doctrinal statement. Just that they have read it and know what it says and teaches and that they agree to use the materials as presented.

    Also, no one should put any faith in a quick online survey on a website. It's as scientifically valid as wetting your finger and sticking it up in the air.

    Awana clubs are now operating in over 95 different denominations in the United States. Sorry, but pure fundamentalists don't operate in all those!

    Also, Awana is more cutting edge than you might think. They are actually pushing others ministries to do more to reach out to children and youth, have ugraded and modernized their 3-6 grade program, have upgraded and modernized their Senior High materials, are working on upgrading and modernizing their JV materials for next year and have started a whole new leader and parent development network called Rorheim Institute (http://www.awana.org/ri/ri_pages/default.aspx?id=806)that is impacting Awana AND non-Awana churches across the U.S. Awana also offers parents and leaders great resources and materials to help guide children to a correct biblical world view through an online store available to anyone, at www.awanafamilyconnection.org (No doctinal policies needed to buy anything.)

    Check these things out and your opinion of Awana just might change.

    Grace and Peace,
    WW2'er
     
  16. Andy T.

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    Wow, what a stereotypical and judgmental thing to say! It is almost..."fundamentalist"-like. [​IMG]
     
  17. dianetavegia

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    I'd go so far as to suggest Pronto contact his local AWANA missionary and meet him if he still has concerns.

    In May 2004:

    Number of registered churches: 10,480
    International Ministries
    Missionaries: 139
    Countries: 111
    Languages: 30
    Translation projects: 10
    Registered international churches: 3,172
     
  18. Pronto

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    Hey, I know all about AWANA, could sing you the Cubbie song if need be ... and I stand by what I said earlier. It is basically fundamentalist, which is fine if that is who you are.

    I have other "issues" with AWANA not mentioned earlier, not just the doctrinal statement. BTW if you have to agree to teach the material as it is printed that is the same thing as having to sign off on the doctrinal statement.
     
  19. dianetavegia

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    Well then opt for RA's and Girl's Auxillary and skip AWANA. The kids won't learn the Bible verses but will get good mission training.

    I can sing the Cubbie song, Sparks for Jesus and AWANA theme song and have that one on a midi file. [​IMG]
     
  20. WW2'er

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    Pronto,

    Well, sorry you have other "issues" with Awana. :( If you want to discuss, email me privately.

    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree about the doctrinal issue stance. I just know that there are churches who don't agree with everything Awana teaches, but they agree on so many of the basics regarding salvation that they aren't willing to turn down the whole program over what they view as smaller "secondary" issues. So they sign the agreement and run the program as designed. Like I said before, it's up to the church to decide.

    I think Awana's doctrinal statement is very biblical, but I can see how you can label it "Fundamental". (And I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing either.) [​IMG]

    God Bless!
    WW2'er
     

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