Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

Move: It’s Like Couch to 5K for Your Ministry


I have a confession. I’m not where I want to be. In my case, it is my weight. I know I should lose some. I know a lot of people who run 5K’s and they have often suggested that I take up running and train to run a 5K. There is even an app called Couch to 5K to help you get from where you are, to where you want to be. I’ve downloaded it and I’m sure it would be great…, if I used it.

Maybe that is how you feel in your ministry. You began with a great vision, but somewhere along the line you got sidetracked, comfortable, stagnant. You know where you want the ministry to be, but you’re not sure how to get there. You long for something that can help you get from where you are (the couch), to where you the want the ministry to be (running).

I want to tell you that such a resource exists!

My friend Brannon Marshall wrote a book entitled Move, published by Awana.  Don’t let the connection to Awana scare you off. It is a resource not just for Awana, but for any children’s ministry you run and for any church (whether they run Awana clubs or not) and it is more than just a book.

The first thing to do is to take the Move Assessment. The Move assessment is the first step you want to take to help you begin the journey to get your ministry to where you want it to be. The assessment helps you evaluate where your ministry is now by looking at nine core principles:

  1. Centered on the Gospel
  2. Focused on Discipline
  3. Integrated ministry across age groups
  4. Works well within the church culture
  5. Creates opportunities for leader development
  6. Involves families and parents
  7. Cultivates an intentional atmosphere
  8. Provides opportunities for service
  9. Fosters a relational dynamic

After you have completed the assessment, then the book becomes a valuable resource to get you moving your ministry to where you want it to be, just like the couch to 5K app would help me to get moving. The book has three main sections, or themes: Sit, Walk, and Run

SIT focuses on foundational principles essential to any children’s and youth ministry.

WALK focuses on necessary relationships that ensure your ministry’s survival.

RUN focuses on how to transform surviving ministries into thriving ministries.

You will notice that it is a progression, because like running a 5K, or a marathon, you don’t want to start that journey at a full run. You need to first assess where you are as you sit, then begin to move slowly by walking, working your way to getting your stride as you run the race set before you.

Each chapter tackles one of the core principles and concludes with a discussion guide and suggestions for the next steps you can take related to your score on the Move assessment.

Just like it helps to have a buddy to run with, this resource is designed to be used by your ministry team to assess the ministry, and then work through the book.

Before your ministry can move as it was designed to, you need to make sure it’s healthy.

Is your ministry healthy? Is it where you want it to be?

I encourage you to take a look at your ministry by using the Move assessment and help your ministry to move forward. You can get the assessment, the book and more information by going to


MOVE: It’s like a couch to 5K (or marathon) for your ministry.


NOTE: Awana has included this resource in the upcoming volume of INCM‘s Dispatch which ships July 15, 2015. You can subscribe to Dispatch, or find more about it at


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