There was one Wednesday night a few years ago when I left Awana just after the opening. It surprised some, shocked others.
The battle rages on about families who choose to participate in another event on an Awana club night. Many are outraged when families opt to skip Awana. On this night, I walked away from Awana for a greater purpose.
On this particular evening, I knew that a few children would not be attending Awana because of a school event. The school was not far from the church and so I decided to walk away from Awana that night and attend this school function, watching some of the “Awana kids” perform. I had people in place at the church and the directors knew where I would be and how they should end the night.
As I walked into the school where the performance was being held, one of the many comments made were, “don’t you have some place else you’re supposed to be?” Truthfully, yes I did, and so did they, but on this night, I felt it important to be where I was, at the school. It showed the parents and children that I cared about them, not just that they attended Awana. I made a decision to connect with these families in a way that they did not expect.
The 2016 Awana Ministry Conference theme was the Great Connection. It is all about relationships. We want the children, and families, in our ministry to have a connection to the Lord Jesus. If we are going to have an influence in their lives, then we need to show we care, we need to take the time to build relationships with them. We need to make a connection, like I did that night that I walked away from Awana.
You may not need to walk away from Awana to connect with families in your ministry, but let me ask, how are you connecting to those in your ministry?