By: Tina Williams, Commander – One Accord Community Church, Chattanooga, TN
Submitted June 2008
I am by no means an expert on this subject. I am just going to share with you about what has worked for our Awana Ministry.
Our church is small, with a roll of 124 members. Our average attendance is around 100 on any given Sunday. Our Awana Ministry averages 87 on any given Wednesday night. We had several nights over 100 kids. Now, that is just God.
I have no pat answers to give you. I only know what has worked for us.
Get the Pastor’s support
- Nothing is as important as this. If your pastor supports the ministry of Awana – then the church will follow his lead. If you have more than one pastor you need to make certain all pastors’ are on board.
- Make certain that your pastor has met with your Awana Missionary. Get the missionary involved with your pastor. If the pastor sees a man willing to give his life’s work to the ministry of Awana then your pastor will place more value on the ministry of Awana.
- Invite, coerce if necessary, to get your pastor to the fall training conference each year. This will keep the vibrancy of Awana and the impact fresh on your pastor’s heart.
- Have your children and children who are benefiting from the Awana ministry in your church write a thank you letter to the pastor telling him how much they appreciate the church having Awana for them.
- Testify to the impact Awana has had on you personally.
- Ask your pastor to participate at-least once every quarter by leading counsel time or being a handbook leader. He will see God at work in your Awana ministry by doing this.
Constantly have the Awana ministry before the church
- Schedule a time for your Awana missionary to come and do pulpit supply. Have him address the congregation. Sunday mornings are best. (If you can’t get a Sunday morning – get the next best night.)
- Have Awana events posted in the church bulletin, church website, and church bulletin boards and in the adult Sunday School rooms. Do bulletin inserts or a handout at least once a month highlighting something amazing that the Lord has done in your Awana ministry. There is always something to talk about.
- Make sure Awana is listed as a ministry of the church in all printed church material. Awana is a ministry and not just a program.
- Tie Awana events in with other scheduled church events. Our Awana registration is tied in with our VBS. This helps build a data base for the upcoming Awana club year. It also let’s people know who come just for VBS that your church has Awana. *** This is an awesome opportunity to tell people about the Awana ministry and explain how it is just as fun as VBS, but better.
- VBS is also a great time to recruit the leadership that you need for your Awana ministry. If someone has the desire to serve in any capacity for VBS – they would make an excellent candidate for your Awana team. Constantly be thinking about how you can tie Awana in with every church event.
- Create a prayer list of special needs the clubbers may have and distribute it to the prayer warriors in the church. Ask them to commit to pray specifically for a child and his or her family. Let then know when their prayers are answered.
- Have a person who is not part of the Awana team as an advocate who will speak about the needs of Awana on your behalf. Ex: Mrs. Jones loves the Awana ministry but can not commit because of conflicting work schedules. Mrs. Jones is kept informed of the needs of Awana. When she goes to prayer meeting while your Awana club is in action – she then stands boldly to say, “Because of my job I can’t be an Awana leader but I know that they are in need of ….”
- Ask for “sponsors”. They can sponsor a clubber for a month, a quarter or the entire year. This will build your Awana budget. **Know the facts! What does it cost for one year of Awana for a Cubbie, a Sparky or a TnT clubber? Include the book, uniform, dues, snacks and awards. Give the sponsor a report card each quarter. Ex: “Suzie has finished the first part of her handbook” – or “Joey said his first scripture last week” or “Amber got her uniform at our last club meeting.” This gives your sponsor a sense of fulfillment and ownership in the Awana ministry.
- Make the church a part of collecting things needed for Cubbies or Puggles crafts. Paper towel rolls, glue sticks, yogurt containers, seeds. Make a list of needs for upcoming crafts and ask the church to bring these items in. Not only will the needs of your ministry be met but the curiosity of the church members will peak.
Network with other Awana Churches
- Get to know Awana Commanders in your area. Get to know other leaders. Talk with them weekly or monthly. Tell them your needs. Share your successes and your failures. Other Awana leaders and commanders can understand exactly what you are going through.
Become a part of your Awana Missionaries Ministry Team
- By assisting your Awana missionary you will be gaining valuable training. God will always bless the time you give to support your Awana missionary. Often times your Awana ministry will be the recipient of that blessing.
- Other ministry team members will pray for your club and support you. This prayer support and friendship will be one of the greatest rewards you will receive.
- Other churches will be praying for your ministry.