Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

Awana is Trying to Get Rid of Commander Bill!


Is Awana trying to get rid of Commander Bill?

Everyone loves a good conspiracy and people are talking. I have been asked what I am going to do moving forward. How I will handle this “attack” by Awana on me?

Before you grab your ‘pitchforks and torches’ to protest this, and post your disdain all over social media, let me explain.

As long as I have been involved in Awana, the name “Commander” has been used for the individual who oversaw more then one club. Consequently, I became known as “Commander Bill” locally as I led a local Awana club and globally as I sought to help others in their Awana ministries.

97898_lgIf you have tried to purchase a Commander role book this year, then you may have noticed that there was not one. What you found instead was a role book for an Awana Ministry Director. The Awana Home Office is making the move away from using the term Commander and the reason why is really quite simple. Awana has used the term Commander for several years but it really had no connection to any of the clubs. It did not connect to any of the motifs and there was no structure of similar reference positions below it. But most importantly, there are many churches that are not using the title Commander today. The local church is not required to use it. Local churches are using terminology which fits their culture and their organizational structure.

Neither God, nor Art Rorheim, has commanded, “Thou shalt be called Commander”.

So is Awana really trying to get rid of Commander Bill? No, they are not. They simply are not using the title “Commander” to reference the individual who oversees the local Awana club.

I have been asked on occasion that with the term Commander no longer being used by the Awana Home Office, what will happen to “Commander Bill”? I’ve joked about the options available. I mention that I could move to another site I have, (which has not used as much as I would like) but I am not planning to do that at this time. Just like the local church, there is no requirement to end the use of the term Commander. “Commander Bill” will be around for the foreseeable future and the local church may continue to use the term “Commander” in their club for as long as they desire. This is not a conspiracy by Awana to get rid of Commander Bill.

I hope this clears up any confusion or concern that may have begun over the absence of the title “Commander” this year by the Awana Home Office.


The Author


Add a Comment
  1. So, what happens to Commander College now?

    1. This was the last year for Commander College (101, 201, & 301). Awana is replacing it with a new training for Commanders (Awana Ministry Directors) which is being developed now and will most likely have some of the same components (sessions/information) as Commander College.

      Awana has also developed other leadership training called LEAD. You can learn more about that by going to

  2. Personally I think the new title is better and makes more sense. The individual clubs have ‘Directors’.

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