As summer quickly approaches and plans are made for Vacation Bible Schools and summer camps, I always wonder how churches handle their ministries. Does your Awana club work with, or against, other ministries in the church and even other children’s ministries?
It has always been a goal of mine to integrate the children’s ministries together as much as I could, even before I was the children’s pastor. As an Awana Commander, I worked diligently to connect the Awana ministry to the other children’s ministries in the church as well as other ministries. By supporting one another, we show parents that the church has a unified purpose to help them disciple their children and that the ministries compliment one another.
For instance, our church had a summer camp for children. Through Awana, if a clubber started and completed a handbook during the club year, then they received a small scholarship to help with the cost of the camp. By doing this I was able to encourage children to attend the camp to re-enforce and build upon what they were learning in Awana. This also served as an incentive for some families who may have needed some financial help for camp, and there were even some children who requested that the scholarship they earned by used to help someone else go to camp!!! How great is that, children seeking a goal to help someone else!!! That’s the Body of Christ at work!
We heavily promoted Vacation Bible School and encouraged children to attend Sunday School (okay the Awana Sunday School attendance awards were a help as well).
I also worked with church staff, as able, to accommodate other ministries in the church.
Unfortunately, what I see to often in churches and ministry is that each ministry within a church (and often ministries in general) are “islands”. Within the church, these “islands” (ministries) wage war, defending their borders and their assets (space in the church, schedule, and budget). Each one seeing their purpose as more important than the other instead of striving to work together for the glory of the Kingdom.
We each have a passion for our ministry and God has called us to different things, but we are all part of the Body. As the church plans the summer activities, strive to work to support the other ministries, work with them to share the Gospel with others.
Just like the CommanderBill.net community was developed to help Awana leaders work together, share ideas, support one another, etc…. so should the church work together to support and encourage one another.
My challenge to you is to seek out ways that your Awana club can support the other ministries within your church body and also outside your church body, working together with other members (churches/clubs) of the Body of Christ.
Together we can do greater things for God!!