Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

Commander Santa? Why Yes!

Santa has become a controversial figure over the years. Should churches embrace him, or should they discourage him? This is something that I struggle with in my ministry. If the church teaches children about the mythical Santa Clause, then how can they trust us when we talk about Jesus? The purpose of this post is not to “debate” whether or not the church should talk about Santa. I have discussed that before, and I will address it again. This post is about an Awana club in Pennsylvania whose commander is Santa!

Ken Baker has been volunteering at his local fire department for the past few years as Santa for their Christmas events. He received many compliments about how he portrayed Santa and the way related to the children. Last year, several told him that he was the best Santa they saw all season. This got him looking into being Santa professionally.

He learned about being a Santa and has made the transition. He has dyed his hair white and walks around wearing red. Wherever he goes, children look and say, “Hey Santa’s here!”.

Ken is a good friend of mine, I know him well and know his heart is to reach children with the Gospel. Ken is taking the opportunity to be Santa to direct people to the origin of Santa and how he showed God’s love to others. Below are some pictures of him at a recent Awana conference with a clubber who attended. Being Santa, Ken was able to connect with this child and share Jesus with them.

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I recently “interviewed” Ken about his transition to Santa, how his club reacts to having Santa as their commander, and more. I will be posting part of that interview tomorrow.

If you want to learn a little more about “Santa Ken”, you can visit his website at


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