AWANAs...A Big Compromise?

Discussion in 'Youth Forum' started by MRCoon, May 1, 2006.

  1. MRCoon

    MRCoon
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    Well, I made a comment about AWANAs in my other thread about Youth outreach and instead of distracting from that subject I figured I'd start this thread.

    I have been an AWANA leader for over 8 yrs now and have worked with T & T (Truth & Training) and the previous club 'Pals & Pioneers'. I've worked with JV and High School clubs under the old system and Sr. High's newer 'Journey 24/7'. I like the idea of AWANA (KJV for the record) but I dislike the 24/7 club. The booklets are full of 'stock' photos that portray a dress, a teen style, way too much physical contact between the sexes and an attitude that is contrary to what the Bible, our Church, and our Pastor believe and it is sad and just shows how AWANA is being influenced by worldly standards and has leaders that are not as separated as AWANA once was. I'm not against the ideas of AWANAs at every level just questioning the material for the Sr. High AWANA club 'Journey 24/7' and it's seemingly condoning a dress or look or style or attitude or action that is represented in their booklets adn other materials that are contrary to Biblical standards and the teaching at my Church. And the perception that by using this material or allowing this material that we are allowing or condoning these things in our young people's lives. Why even the KJV material has quoted musical lyrics from popular CCM artists and other extra-biblical (IMHO un-Biblical) resources.

    DISCLAIMER - Now I met the Director for the 24/7 club (at a AWANA training meeting in California) and while I commend his enthusaism and desire to effect lives I do question his efforts of allowing outside or secular influences in an attempt to 'reach' and 'relate' to teens. I don't know him personally (or even remember his name) and am not making this an attack on him or his practices. In fact I don't even know his religious affiliations.

    What are your thoughts on AWANA and it's seemingly drawing closer and closer to secular influences? What alternative but AWANA-like programs does your Church use? Anyone else feel this way? Or are you happy with all of these changes?
     
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Wow, an old dude like me posting in the Youth Forum. ;)

    But I just had to comment on Awana. I don't know much about the OP, whether or not compromise is occuring. As a college student, I worked in Awana for two years and found it to be Scriptural and evangelistic. However, that was 35 years ago, and I'm sure much has changed. (Insert little Graemlin leaning on cane here.)

    As a missionary, here is my problem with how I see Awana run in the States when I go home on furlough. Many churches run Awana on Wednesday night along with prayer meeting for the adults. Here is what happens with that. The best Christians work with Awana, and a few old folk are left for prayer meeting. That is all I've had present to present my furlough ministry to on occasion.

    Prayer meeting gets the short shrift here. It is dying out in many American churches. If prayer is no longer considered to be vital in the church, the spiritual heart of the church withers. How is America going to see revival if the church is not on its knees?

    Awana should be run some other night, maybe Friday or Saturday night. Or alternatively, a different way to foster prayer in the church must be worked out. [​IMG]
     
  3. bapmom

    bapmom
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    Ive seen that too, JoJapan. Even in those places where there is no Awanas or other kid's program run on Wednesday nights, it's rare to have an actual prayer service on this night anymore. We used to at our church, but almost no one came to it. We do have a prayer list that goes out on Wednesdays, we have a Saturday Men's prayer night that is pretty well attended, and once a month there's a Ladies prayer meeting that is also well attended.

    MRCoon,
    King's Kids is becoming a very popular alternative in our circles,(KJV), although I don't know for sure that their program has anything for teens. I think it might stop at Junior age.

    Maybe this is something God would have you to work on for the rest of us?
     
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    bapmom, you'll be happy to know that a missionary friend of mine has translated the King's Kids curriculum into Japanese. [​IMG]
     
  5. bapmom

    bapmom
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    John of Japan,
    that is very wonderful to hear!
     
  6. WW2'er

    WW2'er
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    No compromise with Awana materials

    Mr. Coon,

    I appreciate your thoughts on the Journey 24/7 material that Awana has produced. You aren't alone in your thoughts concerning it. Many others expressed similar sentiments and I think if you have seen the books developed in the last couple years, that potential offensive photos have not been used. So the "edginess" of the material has been toned down. The best thing about the Awana material is that it has not moved from its biblical viewpoint an inch. It's all rooted deeply in bible memory and doctrine. Good, sound, biblical material.

    There is always a thin line whenever it comes to a "theme" for material and the pictures it includes. In this case, they chose to try to relate a little more to what an average teen would see these days. To me the pictures in the books are no worse than what anyone can see at a mall or a high school in the U.S. However, I know that some don't even want to see that due to how some dress and act. I can understand that. That's fine. Unless you draw stick figures wearing ankle skirts and turtlenecks some will be offended! :laugh:

    Anyway, Awana has just released new JV age material called "Trek". It has a theme about a roadtrip and should appeal to junior high age kids without potentially offensive photos and is, again, very biblically based. It's good stuff and I would encourage you all to check it out and not to prejudge it.

    By the way, Just so everyone knows Awana for Junior High and High School age kids is very different than for the younger ages. It is flexible and can just be used as any other curriculum for a youth group or you can use all the components. It does not have to be run with kids lined up and going through three segments and running around a game circle! You can do that if you want, but that is just one option that you, as a youth leader have to make the program fit your church and youth.

    God Bless!:wavey:
    WW2'er
     
  7. Clean1

    Clean1
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    At my church we have something similar except its called Master's Club. Kids get to work in books with memory verses and projects, earn badges, get a lesson from the Bible, sing songs, and play games. Not too long ago, in my moms class (2nd-3rd grade), the kids had to give up something they cherished to someone else. (Based on David and Johnathan.) One little girl gave up about 10 inches of her hair to "Locks of Love." Anyway...It's pretty cool. :thumbsup:
     
  8. WW2'er

    WW2'er
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    That's Great!

    Clean1,

    Glad your church has a good tool for children's ministry! Whatever is working for your church to evangelize and disciple the kids!

    By the way, I love your avatar. :thumbs:

    God Bless,
    WW2'er
     
  9. Clean1

    Clean1
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    Thanks WW2'er. I LOVE yours by the way. Im into all that war stuff. (even though im a girl and all my friends think I'm wacked!) Any way... The program has about 22-23 kids in it. We are a small church. The little kids are alot of fun though.
     
  10. Cailiosa

    Cailiosa
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    I was involved in Awana for about 7 years, 5 of which I was a leader,

    The changes in Awana have been somewhat good and mostly bad. I know one thing is that I don't care for the new version of 24/7 I liked it a lot when I was in Awana, but recently I have been attending a new church and have been drawing closer to God, and since then I have disliked what Awana has become.

    If you want to see a really wonderful childrens program try Kids4Truth.com The main focus is on teaching children to witness along side with salvation and memorization of the Word f God, not salvation, and scripture verses, as Awana is. They also teach the children doctrine, which I don't know of ANY childrens program that teaches the kids doctrine. Right now they are just starting out and last I heard only a few churches are using their program to test the materials ect.

    Also something really wonderful about K4T is that there isn't a focus on the awards like Awana. I know that as an Awana leader I was saddened to see parents getting upset with me the leader beause their 5 sections a night child didn't say all of their sections because I was helping out a child who doesn't have any help at home.
     
    #10 Cailiosa, Jun 14, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2006

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