A New Year

This week marks the start of the Awana year and what an exciting year it is going to be. This past Saturday, August 15th, 2009, we celebrated our first annual Awana Kids Kickoff Day. Despite the rain, we had the opportunity to minister and spend time with 150 to 175 parents and children. The support that we received from the entire church was incredible and I am so thankful to all of those who came out to volunteer.

As we begin the New Year, I would like to highlight a few things that we, parents and leaders, can do to better the spiritual training of our children. First, we need parental focus. While it is our responsibility at church to teach and disciple the children that God places in our path, our success is determined by the direction in the home. Parents need to focus on the spiritual training of their children.

Also, we need to have a clear objective in mind when we are training our children or working in the children’s ministry. Our short term objective in Awana is to share the Gospel, teach children the Word of God, and teach them to hide God’s Word in their hearts. Our long term objective is to disciple children efficiently and effectively so that when they become adults they have a genuine committed relationship to Jesus Christ.

The Awana ministry at Gray Gables also needs a committed relationship between parents and teachers. Too often ministry leaders and parents are not integrating their efforts. Instead of coordinating together, they are working independently of each other. Parents, find out what your ministry leaders are doing and teaching your children so you can reiterate those topics in the home throughout the week. Let your kids see that your words and their teacher’s words match up with a way of life. Help them to understand that faith in Christ is carried out and not just spoken.

One of the most important helps in the training and discipleship of our children is that it has to be daily. They have to be taught everyday of every month of every year. Our work and discipleship of our children has to be intentional. Their learning must link together over time, elementary, to children’s-ministry, to youth ministry, and all of it has to align with the support that is being given in the home.

We have to be purposed in the decisions we make and the direction we take as it pertains to the Christian walk and how we exemplify that in the lives of young people. I read a quote recently and it accurately describes how we should not be as it pertains to children’s ministry:

I shot an arrow into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

We need to have a definite direction.

I look forward to what God is going to do in the coming year and I pray that you will join me in our efforts to make this another successful year in Awanas.