The statistics are staggering—only 9 percent of Christian youth and one-third of Christian adults believe in absolute moral truth. The stakes could not be higher for our kids and the future of the church. As researcher George Barna states, “The church must focus on children and children’s ministry. We have virtually lost a generation. We cannot afford to lose another one.” Awana clubs are rooted in the idea that children can have fun while learning God’s Word—that capturing a child’s sense of fun enhances his/her learning.
What is Awana?
Awana stands for “Approved workmen are not ashamed” (2 Timothy 2:15). Awana was founded in 1950 as an international, nondenominational Bible-centered children’s and youth ministry. The program is committed to evangelism and the discipleship of children and youth. It is an effective way to spread the gospel to the homes of churched and unchurched families alike. Awana is dedicated to the training of parents to fulfill their role as the spiritual leaders of their children.
The five principles of Awana are:
• Awana is centered on the gospel
• Scripture memory is a key element
• Awana is exciting and fun
• Children and youth are trained to serve
• Awana is built on volunteer leadership
“Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you—they are your life….” Deuteronomy 32:46-47
Age two to fifth grade is a critical window for faith development. Most kids establish a lifelong moral and spiritual belief system during these years. Churches and parents need to intentionally build children’s lives on a solid biblical base that supports them throughout life.
When is Awana held? How much does it cost?
Awana is the children’s component for First Church’s Wednesday Night Downtown. Awana begins at 6:00 p.m. and concludes at 7:30 p.m. The cost for the year is $40 per child, which includes their handbook, uniform, supplies and awards. Scholarships are available, please contact Jan Miller to discuss options. Awana is open to all children that are age 3 by September 1 through 5th grade. The 2016 kickoff is Wednesday, Sept. 7 from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Awana officially begins on Sept. 14 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. (Family meals will be served every Wednesday night in Stephenson Hall beginning at 5:30 p.m. with a reservation. )
Ultimately, programs don’t change lives. God’s Word does. God’s timeless truth has transformed the hearts and minds of children, youth and parents through Awana for over 60 years. A national survey found Awana as important to alumni’s spiritual foundation as all other church activities combined. Among adults who participated in Awana for at least six years, 93 percent still attend church weekly, and most regularly pray, study Scripture, witness, serve and give to their church. Around the world, Awana ministers to 1.5 million kids in a given week in 22,000 churches from 100 denominations.