We are so excited to say that the First Baptist Church Youth Ministry leaders have voted to launch Awana Clubs here at First Baptist for the following reasons:
1) the Awana mission statement so nicely dovetails with the mission of our own Youth Ministry,
2) it is a well-established, evidence-based ministry designed to be fun and engaging for kids, and
3) it is a tool to grow and sustain this church and the greater body of Christ.
Awana’s mission is to equip leaders to reach kids with the gospel and to engage them in lifelong discipleship.
The Youth Ministry’s mission is to provide Christian educational language, activities and other opportunities that allow God’s adults to reach, teach and communicate with God’s youth.
Some of the Youth Ministry Leaders who’ve done research on Awana programs, visited Awana programs at local churches, participated in training, met with this region’s Awana Missionary, David Roach, and who’ve been praying over the past year for youth programs, came up with the following description of Awana and why we are tailoring this program to our needs at First Baptist:
- Youth-Centered: Sometimes we must step outside of our comfort zones and do things differently. We need to transform our minds in order to better reach our youth.
- Engaging: Awana engages youth, parents and ultimately, families.
- Volunteer Support: Volunteers are supported through diverse scripted materials and training (both online and face-to-face) and through the reading of various texts.
- Evidence-based: Awana has over 50 years of not just evidence-informed testimonials, but also of researched-based data and documented outcomes supporting their mission of engaging youth in life-long discipleship.
- Consistent Messaging: through its evidence-based curriculum that is centered on showing God’s love to children.
In the words of Rev. Dr. Bill Leonard at his post-convocation discourse Nowadays, “…in the church, we need to talk about thriving, and not just surviving. We thrive by telling the Jesus story to the people and, we need to find new ways to tell the Jesus story.” Awana is one of those new ways for First Baptist Church.
We started our Awana Clubs in October 2017 on Thursdays from 6:00 – 7:00 P.M., with participants in Sparks and Trek/Journey. The following are few impressions from FBC Awana leaders, volunteers, participating youth, and grandparents:
“AWANA is an effective way to offer youth a solid and biblical foundation giving them a strong knowledge of the word of God which helps to build confidence, self-esteem, character, and belief in God and self. The training of the leaders and staff fosters a safe environment where young people can grow spiritually, physically, mentally and socially. It provides an alternative to secular social clubs designed to meet the human desire to belong to a group. ”
- “Learning scripture has been interesting.”
- “Game Time is FUN!!”
- “Thank you so much for the patience, generosity, and love you’ve shown towards my grandchildren.”
- “Awana provides an opportunity for youth to receive a Christian education that they can understand, process themselves, and build upon due to the intentionality that was put into the crafting of the curriculum to tailor it to youth at multiple levels of development.”