I attended sessions hosted about Awana where they shared about the direction of Awana. Larry Fowler led a session on the centrality of the Gospel and he noted that he realized that in this venue, he would be speaking to like minded people, people who know the value of the Gospel, but then he said something that many might not utter. He realized that “when you’re ‘preaching to the choir’, that not all choir members are singing ‘on key'”. That’s why you always need to cover the topic well, even if it seems everyone should already know. While I will not expound on his four points now, the one point to remember is that the Gospel is central to what Awana does, and it should be central to what we do in ministry as well.
Then the discussion turned to technology in ministry. It is a realization that businesses, no matter what business they are in, are in the technology business. This needs to hold true for ministries as well. Technology is now a part of life and businesses and ministries must embrace it.
The closest analogy I could think of was the newspaper industry. That is print medium which had to adjust to the age of technology and delivering the news via the internet. Some suffered miserably, some made the transition to meet the desire of the digital crowd with the consumer who still wants the “hard copy”. It was a difficult transition.
Awana is faced with a similar dilemma. How do they embrace the technology people desire when they are a print company/ministry? They are already “behind” and they are now taking a giant step. This can be seen in small ways with the release of the Cubbie app, which they have received a lot of positive feedback on and are developing an Android version, as well as with a greater social media presence via Facebook, Twitter and the Awana blog. The big step is the Club Technology initiative. I will learn more about that tomorrow during a breakout session.
After sitting in these sessions, I am enthused about the direction Awana is headed as they seek to reach children. I’ll be sharing more a little later.