Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

Journey: Disciple

Josh01The fall of 2016 brings a new era for Journey as the material is updated. The first book of this “new” Journey study is focused on Disciple and Josh Griffin has been working with AwanaYM to produce this new book.

I enjoyed hearing Josh’s heart for discipleship at the Awana Vantage Conference recently. He shared many stories of the people who had an impact on his life. He mentioned that it wasn’t the curriculum that discipled him, it was the teacher and their life. That is a principle that we all know. Our actions speak louder than words. We need to be authentic with those we are teaching. Share stories about your life with them, especially ones when you were a child, or youth, it will help make that connection with them.

In 1 Corinthians, Paul urges others to follow him as he follows Christ. Our lives need to be an example for others. If our lives contradict the curriculum we are teaching, which one do you think the children and youth will follow? Which one has a greater impact on them, the curriculum, or your life?

Discipleship is all about relationships, and that is where discipleship opportunities are unlocked. We are not just a curriculum facilitators, we are role models and that is not something that we should take lightly.

Josh challenged us to think about “that child” in our ministry. What if we focused on the potential in that child? Our perspective and how we approached that child would change. If we are authentic and honestly seek to reach out to them and build a relationship, then we unlock the potential for true discipleship.

It was a good reminder that it is often the times we do not realize that we are having an impact on an individual’s life that the most memorable lessons are learned by them. If we never take time to build relationships, then those discipleship opportunities may be lost.

Remember that people are watching you, what you post on social media, how you behave when you think no one is watching and that is what we are teaching the next generation. May we be examples of Christ that others may imitate.

I am looking forward to seeing the new Journey material. If you are interested in learning more about the new Journey material, then visit


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