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Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

T&T Club Night Options

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Yesterday I mentioned that no two Awana clubs are the same. Your club may have a lot of self-motivated home-schoolers, it might have a lot of kids from the surrounding community who only attend a church for your Awana club, or you could have anything in between. Consequently, each club must determine the best approach to reach the children in their care. Today we share some options for you to consider.

Ellen Funk, Kids Quest Director at Community Bible Church in Kansas, was a field test site and has hosted three meetings with along with her Awana Missionary Joel Culberson sharing update information from Awana. She was able to share from her experiences and answer questions from a practical standpoint from many regarding the new T&T material and how to handle it. She offered the following options:

As a field test site, her club did the middle option below, but started Fast Track 15 minutes prior to the official start time and extended it 10 minutes into club time for a total of 25 minutes. They had hoped it would stay within this time frame, but always took longer because kids came not totally prepared.

Here are the three option she shares with others as practical options depending on the make-up of your club – game/activity time not included.

If a majority has strong spiritual discipleship at home & church consider the
Pre-Work Option:  

  1. Kids do the book work and memorization at home before any teaching is done
  2. Small Group
    1. Discuss what the kids have already done, memorization activity as review
      (20 min)
    2. Fast Track – verse recitation (10 min)
  1. Large Group master teaching on what the clubber have just finished
  2. Assign next section to do at home

If a majority of kids are new to church/spiritual disciplines consider the
Post-Work Option:

  1. Fast Track to recite last week’s verse & show book work (15-20 min)
  2. Large Group introduces the topic
  3. Small Group starts the memorization and book work
  4. Send kids home to finish up section requirements

If your club has a good mix of both churched kids AND those new to church/spiritual disciplines consider using the Mixed Option:

  1. (Last week’s Large Group introduced the topic)
  2. Kids come with the book work & memorization completed
  3. Small Group
    1. Discuss what the kids have already done, memorization activity as review
      (20 min)
    2. Fast Track – verse recitation (10 min)
  1. Large Group introduces new topic

 

Take a look at your club, talk to your Awana missionary, pray, and see how you should structure your club night to have the most impact on the children who attend.

 

The Author

10 Comments

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  1. Thanks for allowing me to contribute to your blog, Bill! It’s an honor to share our experience with others.

  2. I have a few questions for Ellen:
    How big is your T&T club?
    Were you using the new material for grades 3,4,5,6?
    How many adults were involved in the pre-club Fast Track time?
    What part of club did the kids miss if they were held up in Fast Track, or did you just start club late?
    THANK YOU!

  3. Hi,
    I’m confused by the new awards system which allows kids (I emailed Awana HQ this week and told them that I noticed that they didn’t say clubbers any longer and they said “Yes, we are in the process of moving away from clubbers in our materials. Since we have more than just churches using the materials – homeschools, schools and individuals – it was decided to start using the words kids or children instead. Thank you for your observation.” I found that interesting and just wanted to mention it)
    to move around in the book to do different sections and once they finish four they get awarded, so the awards now are accumulative and do not have to be consecutive. I understand that on one level, but when Awana wants us to do the All-Together Method doesn’t that counteract the benefit of everyone (hopefully)at least having completed each section on pace with the Large Group Time teaching. Even if they did move ahead at a faster pace they still would have completed the section that is being taught and discussed in small group. Am I missing something here?

    1. I have not discussed this with anyone from Awana, and I did not view the webinar on awards, but this is why I believe this method was selected.

      In a utopian society, each child would be at Awana each week progressing through the handbook at the same pace however that is not reality. The are some children who may only be able to attend every other week with no parental involvement at home (generally due to parental separation, but not always). This award scenerio allows that child to attend, complete the section for that week and earn an award, encouraging them to continue. They would not receive the book award unless they went back and completed all sections, and they would not have to cram 2 or more sections into one club night and could focus on just the one. Those focused on handbook completion and awards would go back and complete the section done by the club the week they were absent along with that week’s work.

      I hope that helps clear up some of the thinking behind the award system method.

      1. Yes it does, and I understand that for the hit and miss attender it is of great benefit to be able to earn an award this way. But for the majority of the kids in my club who are weekly it really works against the notion of the All-Together Method to have them potentially skip around so much that they may rarely have the “section of the week” done so that they could especially benefit from the small group time interaction. I’ll have to think this one through more as it applies to my club. Thanks for your input. Also, I sent you an email today with an attachment of what I wrote up that condensed everything that I’ve read or heard about the new program into just two pages. I would like to know if you think it covers it well enough or what more should I add or even delete! thanks, Tony

        1. Just like now they are supposed to go in a linear progression through the handbook, I would maintain that same standard and not allow them to jump around. I will have to watch the webinar on awards and see how it is stated, but I do not think the intent is to allow them to jump around at random.

          1. The new system stays with a linear progression however, it is not necessary complete them in that order. If they miss a week then the next week when they attend they complete the current week section. Awards are given after four sections are completed. These do not need to be four in a row, it is any four. If a clubber is motivated to finish the book then they will need to work on missed sections at a different time.

  4. I’d really like to know what you think after you see the webinar. I could have easily misunderstood…thanks.

  5. I watched that webinar and I think Tony may have misunderstood. It is as Karen said: the awards are designed the way they are to allow the “hit and miss” kids to earn one after 4 sections are completed – still linear, but not sequential. I saw no intent to allow kids to skip around, however, in one of the webinars, it seemed to indicate that the “quick memorizers” could be allowed to work ahead. I would not recommend that myself. The new Trek curriculum works the same way and we have no issues with kids wanting to skip around or work ahead.

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