In Matthew, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14). Did you know that the probability of a person committing their life to Christ is highest between the ages of 5 and 12? We sometimes forget that children can encounter Jesus and have their lives transformed by the gospel, just as we do as adults. At Awana, children have a chance to come meet Jesus.
The Awana mission is to reach children with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and engage them in lifelong discipleship. Many people think Awana is only about scripture memorization. That is an important part, but Awana is so much more. The children get to play games, participate in large and small group discipleship, and engage with teachers who love them and want to develop relationships with them. As leaders, we pray that the children we teach will experience the transformative power of the gospel of Jesus, and learn to know, love, and serve Him.
There are many aspects of Awana that I love, but here are some of my favorites:
Investing in the children: It is so exciting to watch the kids journey as they grow in their knowledge and understanding of the gospel.
Partnering with parents: It is rewarding to partner with the “chief disciplers” in a child’s life, and help them in their role of training their child in righteousness.
Kids are fun!: Whether it is watching them put the books of the Bible in order using popsicle sticks, listening to an unexpected dissertation on the authority of scripture (it has happened!), or just getting to hear about their favorite basketball player, it is always a joy to peek into a child’s world a few times a month.
Children are uncomplicated: The faith exhibited by children is always a great reminder that at it’s heart, the gospel is simple.
Meeting new children: I love meeting children who come because they have a friend who cares about them and wants them to know Jesus too! There is nothing else like seeing the wonder and excitement in a child who has newly discovered that the King of Kings wants them for a child.
God uses Awana to teach and grow me: As those of you who work with children know, there are always lessons in humility and patience. However, God tells us that His Word is “active and living” and even when I am sharing the same verse for the 10th time with a new child, God always has something for me to learn from His Word.
I am excited to begin a new year of Awana, and I’m grateful for a wonderful team of volunteers who love our children and are willing to invest in their lives. Please pray for us as we kick off a new year this Thursday, September 8th. We will be reconnecting with families and friends from last year, and meeting new children and their families. Please pray that everyone we meet would see the grace of Christ in us!
I will leave you with the Awana theme verse, which is a charge to both the children and to us as leaders: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. —2 Timothy 2:15
Learn more about Awana.
Debbi Tuck is this year’s Awana coordinator. She is a member of NSCBC and is passionate about helping kids know and experience the Gospel.