I don’t think that I have ever been to a church or an Awana club where I didn’t hear someone express concern and dismay about the lack of people volunteering and how they “needed” more people serving.
I once did a Basic Training for a church seeking to start Awana. This was a small church, but those initiating this new Awana club came from a moderate sized church which had about 100 clubbers (Cubbies – 5th grade). They were planning for a director for each club and leaders for each group, getting dismayed that people were not stepping up to serve. As I progressed through the training, and began answering their questions and addressing their concerns I asked, “How many children do you expect initially?” Their response was a handful. Maybe 6 or so of various ages. I then tried to redirect their focus from the structure of a “big” club to one that fit their situation.
Now I believe in building a structure to plan for growth, but there is no need to build for a club of 100 if you only expect 10. Sometimes the seeming lack of leadership is a lack of proper planning and organization.
People are amazed when I tell them how few leaders I have and I generally do not have Sparks leaders and T&T leaders. I have handbook leaders who listen to sections for both groups and I have one person who “oversees” each group and stays with them the entire night. I have someone in place for the lesson and people in place for gametime. The night is scheduled so the handbook time leaders can manage both groups. This allows me to have fewer volunteers, yet build if needed (i.e. room for expansion) and reach the needs of the children. At a previous club, when we were low on Sparks leaders, we would split the group of about 30 sparks where 1/2 would go to large group time and the other 1/2 would do handbook time, thus requiring a few less handbook time leaders (it was also due to space issues).
So when you look at your Awana club structure, do you need more volunteers, or just want them? Can a shift in how you structure the night relieve stress on your team and yet still minister effectively to the children?
If you have any questions about how your night is structured, then feel free to ask and I am willing to offer suggestions based on my experience and your situation. I will begin to focus some on how to recruit volunteers and club structure in the upcoming weeks.