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Discussion in 'Youth Forum' started by SaggyWoman, Aug 9, 2001.
Does anyone use Awanas at their church?
Why or why not?
What's an "Awana?"
Our church uses AWANA. It stands for Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed. I have been a kid in AWANAS ever since I can remember. Now, I am old enough to be a leader in training. The reason I like AWANAS is because it reaches so many unsaved kids. Our AWANAS had about 70 kids last year. Many of these kids weren't even saved. At AWANAS we teach the kids about the bible, and they also memorize verses. I believe that AWANAS is an excellent way to reach kids. Through the kids we are also able to reach many parents. I think AWANAS is so wonderful, because I have seen many kids who have never heard of Jesus become God-growing Christians.
At one time our church used the AWANA Clubs. We no longer do. The reason that we no longer have AWANA is that we did not have enough willing worker and that the program is weak in the area of separation. It is a good bible based program, but as I said it is weak in the area of separation.
A local New Evangelical church began the club at the same time that we did. When we started the program, we were told that the doctrinal statement was very important and that if your church did not subscribe to the statement then you could not have the club. This church did not believe the statement but were allowed to have the program anyway. When I spoke to the missionary, I was encouraged to speak to the headquarters. I was told that the issue where they had a difference with (eschatology) was a difficult area to understand and that they would not remove the club on that basis. I encouraged them to change their doctrinal statement, since dropping the program I have not read the doctrinal statement. That problem in itself was not enough to cause us to drop AWANA, but may keep me from using it in the future. It is not so much an issue of doctrine but integrity.
Your servant in Christ,
One of the problems with AWANA is that it tends to build the loyalty to the program rather than the local church. People often choose a church based on whether or not it has AWANA rather than its doctrine and other ministries. Oftentimes an AWANA program builds the single night that it is offered but has very little impact in the rest of the church program (like SS, church, etc.). Perhaps the major issue that I have with it is that it only runs 9 months a year and thus communicates to the kids that church is something we take a break from for the summer. I think any church program ought to run year around. As it now stands, we are still using it but this could be our last year.
"Retired" AWANA game-time leader here! Too old for that now (praise the Lord)! I think it is a very good program when properly subscribed to. It absolutely does produce fruit in kids coming to know Christ. I think the reason it runs on a 9 month cycle, Pastor Larry, is more to give the parents (leaders) a break than the kids! My wife, who's been more involved in it throught the years than I, sighs a big relief when AWANA "lets out for summer."
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by wellsjs:
I think the reason it runs on a 9 month cycle, Pastor Larry, is more to give the parents (leaders) a break than the kids<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I think that is a big reason. However, I am more concerned with the message it sends because I know the number of kids during the year and teh number of kids during the summer and it is not even close. We do not take a break from SS class for the summer or from Sunday services to give the pastor, choir, SS teachers, etc. a break. And I know that people do need a break from time to time. As I say, I am just more concerned with the message it sends the kids. It is a tough ministry to be sure and takes a lot of time and energy.
On a related topic and just food for thought, I wonder if the modern day preoccupation with "Sunday morning only" attendance as opposed to Sunday night or weeknight services (whenever a church has them) is not related to the bus ministry explosion of the 50s and 60s where churches ran buses on Sunday morning and didn't on Sunday night. It sent the message that church was important on Sunday morning and not on Sunday night. I do not know if that is true but it seems like a logical explanation -- Just food for thought.