We just finished another night of Awana. This is probably our 9th or 10th year of Awana at Westwood. We do try to adapt some to best fit our kids and our church, but otherwise we run it pretty traditionally. The life of the program has definitely hit a plateau and in our preschool ministry this has been a really tough year. It is healthy to evaluate everything we do. Doing something just because we always have is not cool.
Here are the two things that I love about Awana:
– Content: Two of the focuses that we have identified to be consistent in every age group ministry are solid Bible doctrine and developing a Biblical worldview. I really do believe that this is the best content available that concentrates on these two core areas. Helping kids hide God’s word in their heart in an intentional and systematic way will have long-lasting impact.
– Family Connection: While most families are probably like mine and not nearly as intentional as we should be, Awana has a great family component built in. I didn’t even truly realize this until my oldest daughter started Cubbies. Their handbooks are designed for us to read at home and learn the verse together. In Kidmin we are always looking for a tool for parents and kids to use together. Awana has this built in, but like everything else it requires the parents to engage.
Here are our two main realities we are evaluating:
– Money: We are spending lots and lots of budget dollars on the elements that Awana wants you to use. As budget gets tighter and tighter, these become difficult choices to make.
– Uniforms/badges/awards: We’ve observed that a large percentage of kids are kind of over the uniforms and the badges and such. This really hit home when I realized my four year old really didn’t care much about her vest or badges and neither did her friends. We spend a lot of money on all of that for kids to not totally care. I think it would be great to consider some alternative rewards.
Do you use Awana? What are your loves and realities?