I have been to the home office of Awana several times, for Commander College, Vantage conferences, a blogger summit, and for an
interview to become an Awana missionary. Of all of the times that I have been to Awana, I never had the opportunity to personally meet and talk with Art Rorheim. I see many of my Awana friends posting pictures of themselves with Art and I have to admit that I am a little jealous. The closest I got was to sit at his desk during a lunch break at a Vantage conference. I want to thank Dorinda Bennett for thinking of taking me up to Art’s office that day.
While I cannot memorialize Art from personal encounters, what I can do it to share what I saw through the history of Awana. Having visited the North Side Gospel Center where Awana was birthed, I was amazed to see how small a facility it was based on pictures of the many youth in the building that I had seen. I was mesmerized as I could envision them filming the video several decades ago about Awana to share with other churches who were interested. Art Rorheim and Lance Latham were pioneers who simply used what they had to reach the youth of Chicago. It was not anything fancy, it was basic, simply meeting a need to reach youth.
A passion to reach kids, not an obligation, and trusting God, Art leaves a legacy of reaching millions of people for the Kingdom of God that will last for generations to come.
Awana has established a website to memorialize Art at artrorheim.org. You can see his biography, photographs, and leave a gift or note. You’re welcome to leave a thought here as well in the comment section below.
I would also encourage you to donate to an Awana missionary. These are men and women who live on faith, many far short of their support needs, in order to carry on Art’s legacy, spreading the good news of Jesus through Awana.
Let me leave you with this thought, a question I believe that Art would ask ….. Who have you told about Jesus today?