I’m excited to be live blogging today at the Awana 2014 Launch, straight from the Awana Headquarters! I’ll be keeping this blog post updated throughout the day as our blog team learns more about what is going on. Awana has some VERY big things coming down the line, and I’m excited to share about those things with you. Follow the blog today to learn more!
Few fun notes for you from Awana:
- They currently minister to 2.3 children worldwide in over 28,000 churches.
- Awana plans to reach over 10 million children by 2020.
- Micro-churches and mega-churches are on the rise, while mid-size churches are shrinking.
- Side note: The average church size is 75 people (source: Moody Bible Institute).
Awana is excited to unite itself under one goal as they create a new vision to reach more children both in the U.S. and across the world. The Awana clubs you know and love will continue and thrive, but they are seeking to grow their impact even more by seeking to change lives.
Awana and the Church need to look at Mission through three different ways. Here are a few notes about them:
- Mission as Posture. In the Global North, the opportunities for mission as posture has never been greater.
- Mission as Presence. Having a presence in the world, and bringing people into your church. This does not mean filling up church schedules with events, but instead training people and giving them the chance to go out into the world to share the Gospel.
- Mission as Cultural Stewardship. Taking all of what we know it means to follow Jesus, and making resources to help people grow and be discipled.
The Big Question Change that prompted the change in Awana: Instead of asking: How do we plant more clubs? We are now asking: How do we reach more children?
Peter Greer is now coming up to address the entire Awana staff. Here’s a few notes from his talk:
- There is no immunity, regardless of your history, to the steady pull of culture to become lukewarm.
- Growth is what happens when we get the necessary pieces in place.
- Anytime we make ourselves the center of the story, we minimize the message of the mission.
- When we lose sight that we are only the messengers, we harm the cause of Christ.
- Don’t allow the people you are serving become pawns in the story you are telling.
- Passions of first generation can become the preferences of the second generation, and then become irrelevant for the third generation.
- The way we think about board recruitment directly effects the mission of the organization.
We’re starting off with some top-secret stuff that we can’t announce until June 16th! Suffice it to say that Awana is planning some great things as they seek to reach more children and youth with the Gospel.
Matt Guevara closed out the afternoon with a keynote session. After sharing several stories, he said this: “You should not commit yourself to any story for your life that is not itself worth the spending of the only life you have.”
Are you committing yourself to God’s story?
Overall, our time with Awana was a great one, in which I was able to meet many Awana staff and other bloggers whom they had flown in for this big day. Now that Awana has shared their new vision, they will be sharing how exactly this will all play out.
There are two takeaways you can get from all of this:
- Awana is keeping its clubs, but it is now aiming to reach more children with the Gospel. In order to do that, some new and exciting things are coming!
- The next big announcement will be on June 16th!