Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

The Benefits of Mission: Grace in Action

I recently wrote about the flaws of Mission: Grace in Action and I find it only fitting that I share some of the benefits. It is easy to be negative about something and so consequently we can forget to speak about the positive things when we focus on negatives.

When used properly, effectively, here are some of the benefits I see with the new Truth & Training curriculum from Awana.


It could be said that relationships could be built with the former material, and that is true. I see the new material encouraging leaders to build relationships with clubbers. This is not something that I have heard talked about, but what if each leader stayed with the clubbers they have in their small group as they “move through” the T&T books. Relationships can be built over years, not just one club year.

Deeper Spiritual Truth

The new material now allows time for leaders to share in more depth, and have the clubbers think about, what is being taught, why the verse is being memorized. Before clubs would have various nights with contests encouraging clubbers to complete many sections (yes, I have done that as well) and when we do this, there is no time to explain the reason behind learning the verse, or the truth being focused on in that section.

It also helps disciple leaders as they should be prepared to share in their small group time, and not just listen to verses.

A Common Theme

Awana is different than Sunday School, but imagine children attending on Sunday mornings and each child has their own lesson that the teacher needs to be prepared. You would probably say that is ridiculous and that model would never work. T&T was that way with each clubber coming in with their own individual lesson (section to complete). The new T&T provides a common theme, a common lesson where everyone can focus.


There are more benefits that I could share, but I want to hear from you. What are some benefits that you see with the new material, beginning with the Mission: Grace in Action handbook?


The Author


  1. Bill,

    As a commander/ministry director I decided to wait until the upcoming year (2017/18) to start using the new curriculum for two reasons. 1. Because we still had quite a few 1st books left over from the older material. 2. I also felt that my wife and I would be able to observe the feedback, both positive and not so positive.

    I think if we as leadership are open to growing ourselves we will be open to new ideas for our clubbers. Like my grandfather always taught me, if you want to grow, and you are teachable, you can learn something from everyone you meet.

    I’m not sure which way to adapt the new curriculum for our program yet. We have a relatively small Awana Club program. We have had Puggles in the past, however this year we didn’t have any children that age to have the Puggles club. This year we only had Cubbies, Sparks, & T&T clubs at our church, with a total of 50 clubbers. With us having 30 or less clubbers each week for T&T I don’t think it would work for us to have Large group times for each book as I have heard suggested for this new program. We will more than likely still have a combined large group program for T&T with both boys and girls together.

    Andy Sullivan

  2. Two concerns(of several): First, kids don’t want to do the homework part. They have plenty from school every day. Adding this is making club “homework” instead of scripture memory, prasie/worship and fun. Second is if a kiddo doesn’t finish their book they don’t ever finish because next year they have to buy the next one to stay with their friends. Parents see that as wasteful.

  3. Bill,

    Some of the benefits that we saw at our club this year.

    1. All T&T leaders had a sense of what the topic and learning point of the evening was.

    2. There was time to engage with each clubber, not just those who came prepared. We had clubbers who would do nothing at home. But we could still discuss Explore questions and hear from each other after LG Group and then work on Memory. In years past those kids were silent and ignored as leaders focused on clubbers who had sections ready.

    3. Clubbers who started mid-year had a glide path that brought them into conversation with rest of the group. No more you are only there, I did that 3 months ago comments from kids.

    Difficulties we saw:
    1. Fast track was not effective for our club.

    2. As noted parents viewed Explore as more “homework” and they had enough

    3. When a leader had to leave mid-year the transition was rocky with subs or replacements. (We needed to do better training midyear as our training was all front loaded.)

    4. For those that did it properly incentivizing the silver and gold material.

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