Written by Jon Imbeau, Executive Director of Awana 

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”  – John 13:35

Working in ministry with children and youth can be exhausting. There is an urgency to share what we know before we lose their attention, and a hope that it will result in the intended impact. I received this letter from an Awana family recently, 

“We live in a time when it is becoming increasingly difficult to sit down with our kids each night. I can tell you that without Awana in our home, we would not have made the effort to sit down and work through biblical truth with our kids each night. The curriculum is so good for getting parents involved. And then on top of that, it has us mentoring teens as they grow into leadership themselves. We are so blessed to have had our kids be able to attend club and to have been encouraged to work with them at home and then to have our teens become leaders in the program. We are serving the Lord as a family and each one of our children has come to Christ because of the time spent in the Word as we have worked through the Awana resources”.

As the Director of Awana, I seek to challenge and encourage other leaders in ministry. I want leaders to be always mindful of their intended impact and always thinking about how to focus their ministry efforts.  I think the most appropriate place to start this challenge is with the question, “What is at your core?” 

In a recent conversation with a distant relative, I found myself explaining the heart of Awana. What do we do? This isn’t a difficult question to answer— but as I reflect, I am realizing that this is a good question to keep asking as it brings us to the core of who we are.

Long-term Discipleship

For almost 70 years, Awana has partnered with churches to share the gospel and engage in long-term discipleship with children and youth.

This is the foundation of all of our curriculum, from Puggles all the way to Journey; the gospel truth is woven through all of it. In fact, over 32,000 kids in Canada heard the Good News from Awana leaders during club time last year alone. However, our relationship with children and youth doesn’t end after a presentation of the Good News. 

Age-appropriate Discipleship Curriculum

At Awana, children and youth have an opportunity to know Jesus through the Bible, but also through relationships with committed leaders and friends. Each year the journey continues through age appropriate curriculum that develops their understanding of who God is and how it applies to their lives. We don’t want kids to stop learning at David and Goliath. The material is designed to draw them into a deeper understanding of the Bible each year.

Our goal runs deeper than head knowledge. We want kids to love the One who authored the words. 

Fun and Engaging Approach

We strive to make our ministry fun and engaging—merely memorizing verses has never been the M.O. of Awana. Our leaders work with kids to help them understand how to apply and live out the verses they are learning. What starts as an act of discipline translates into passion for the relationship. 

Awana Partners with Churches

Along with our partner churches, we teach kids the Gospel and engage in long-term discipleship with them. Through this, they will learn what it means to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ. For us, this is what we do and it points to who we are. We believe this is the heart of discipleship.

As we engage in conversations throughout the year we hope to challenge and encourage you to examine the core of your own ministry.