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Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

The Ultimate Challenge

This year, Awana made the move to revamp T&T to try to reach the 5th & 6th graders who were dropping out of clubs. Yes, the change brought much controversy as Awana tried to communicate to clubs, but some clubs were not aware of the revisions until late. It also seems that T&T has been in a state of change ever since it was introduced 8 years ago.

Change is difficult, especially as we, as leaders, need to learn how to implement the change effectively to reach the children with minimal confusion.

Change is also difficult for Awana. I summarize it as the Ultimate Challenge. Estimating how many supplies are required and trying to have them on hand for clubs to use. Unfortunately, Awana did not do well as some supplies have run out and clubs are waiting to receive them. Mainly the new Ultimate Challenge Jersey Uniforms. Yes, even I am waiting for the youth sizes that I ordered and I have given a clubber an adult small to wear until the proper size arrives.

I mentioned to a fellow commander today that the move Awana made to try to keep “tweens” interested, may be working the opposite way as they earn, but cannot receive their uniform jersey because they are not available.

Now, I am a pretty easy going guy and my solution was to provide adult smalls, which were available, until the youth sizes arrive. I do have a small club so it is not as big a financial burden as it might be for other clubs.

So, instead of putting a negative spin on it, let’s try to think positive. There are more 5th and 6th graders involved in Awana than Awana may have realized. That means that the local church is having an impact via Awana to reach, disciple and maintain them in club. Maybe we are not losing as many as some thought, or maybe seeing the new uniforms and materials is motivating them to stay involved (although I realize that not having them available may be a detriment).

While the transition has not been as smooth as many would have liked, and even though I have not specifically spoken to anyone at Awana HQ about the shortages, I do know several there, and I am sure that they are more troubled by the shortage than we are on the front lines of ministry and they are doing all they can to fulfill orders to get clubbers the uniforms and supplies they have earned and are eager to receive.

It hurts, and I have personally endured wondering if I would have the uniforms and supplies I needed for club. So as a former President said, “I feel your pain” and so does the staff at Awana. Let’s rejoice in the knowledge that so many are being reached for Jesus and look for Awana to fulfill all of the orders and have stock on hand to meet future orders soon. Keep the Awana staff in your prayers as they try to meet this Ultimate Challenge and get supplies to all who need them. As well as praying for others in the local clubs as they serve to reach these children and explain that they need to wait for the uniforms.

So, being about 1/4 of the way through the Awana year, how are you handling the transition to the new format, uniforms and awards? Has the transition been as you expected? How have your clubbers responded? How are you meeting this Ultimate Challenge?

The Author

4 Comments

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  1. They must be out of some the the sizes for the 3rd and 4th graders too. This week I didn’t receive one of the sizes I ordered. What was confusing is that it didn’t say Back Ordered. Guess I need to call.
    I’m finding it to be expensive. The awards, Badge Magic, and new shirts every two years….Esp. since our church takes on all expenses except for shirts and books (also sponsors many in this poor area) That said, I am very glad the ages were separated!
    With the economy as it is here, our budget is most likely to be cut next year as the clubs are growing.

  2. Not related to this, but Bill, I’m getting a LOT of postings from you on FB. Too many. Can we just check in on your sites when we have time to study Awana subjects?
    Respectfully,
    Sharon

  3. I know that various items go in and out of stock. Cost is a factor and Awana is aware of that and does what it can to minimize it. The Badge magic is not required, but is an option to use – it is good, but an option.

    With the economy, many churches and clubs are facing budget cuts (I’m not immune). Time to trust in God to provide our needs, and maybe time for us to discern between need and want.

    Also, I apologize if you are getting to many posts on the FaceBook page from CommanderBill.net. I try to keep those posts minimal, and if you want to “unlike” the page to avoid those posts, please feel free to do that. I have begun to send out a weekly newsletter which shares what articles/posts I have made to the blog during the week as well as other articles of interest and things about the website. So you can subscribe to the newsletter by clicking here.

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