Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

It’s Time To Get Serious About It!

Yesterday, I shared how we need to set the example as leaders for the children in our ministry. It can sound really easy, but in reality, it is not. Let me give a personal example, one I’ve shared many times at conferences and trainings.

When I first became involved in a local Awana club, I wanted to work through the handbooks. At the time, the commander did not have a system in place to accommodate that and didn’t plan to develop one, consequently, I didn’t. Later, when I became the commander, I still did not work through the books.

One year, I ran out of excuses. I realized that ultimately my excuse for not working through the handbooks was because I was busy. That year, I realized just how busy the children were as well – sports, school, homework, church related activities, and on and on the list goes. How could I use that excuse while encouraging them to do something I wasn’t doing?

So at the closing program, I declared in front of hundreds of people (to have some accountability) that the following year, I would be working through the handbooks with the clubbers. I’d love to tell you that it was received with loud applause, cheers and a standing ovation, but it wasn’t.

Well, the new club year began and what do you think I did? If you said, nothing, you are right. I realized that I needed something, or someone to keep me accountable to the task of working through the handbooks, so as the commander, I devised a plan.

I used Awana shares (bucks/dollars) at the time and so I told my T&T aged clubbers that each Wednesday and Sunday, they could ask me if I was ready to pass a section, but that only Wednesday counted for the incentive. If I was ready, then they got to listen to me and sign me off. If I was not, and I told them I’d be honest if I wasn’t, then they would receive an Awana share. I now had up to 40 children that would be ready on Wednesday nights to ask me if I was ready to pass a section. The shares initially motivated them to ask, and knowing that they would be there waiting to ask me if I was ready was the motivation and accountability I needed to work through the books. With that accountability, I completed the four handbooks and earned my Timothy award 🙂

Sadly, that accountability is no longer there and I have not worked in the books as I have in the past. I do plan to change that this year and get back into the books with the clubbers, but I also know that I need to get that accountability in place.

How about you? Are you ready to get serious about it? If so, how will you get accountability to help you memorize, or be the example to your clubbers that you should be? Share your ideas and plans with us here.



The Author


  1. I am the Sparks Director as well as the one in charge of counsel time in our club. I began last year to work through a book. I felt it was important to show the kids that I was willing to do what they were doing. I used my verses as filler for the end of counsel time. Since it is often hard to determine how long a lesson will last, especially an object lesson, I didn’t always know when I would need to be ready, so I needed to be ready every week. I tried to let one child from each color team sign a section if there was time. They were all encouraged to listen and see if I got the verse right. They LOVED signing my book.

    1. Thanks for sharing Wendy. I also found that the kids loved signing my sections off and were even pretty hard on me! One time they told me I got the verse wrong because I forgot the comma!! It can also help a commander or director see how the leaders are holding to standards 😉

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