AWANA Clubs Closed for the Year

 

 

Happy New Year AWANA Families! The New Year holiday gives us an opportunity each year to reflect on that which has happened and look ahead at what is approaching on the horizon. As individuals, we make changes that help us to become better people; As Christians, we make changes that help us to become better followers of Jesus; And as ministries and churches, we have a chance to make changes in the same way. 

At Grace, we want to be better followers of Jesus this year. We want to be better stewards of God's provisions this year. We want to be better at discipleship this year than we have ever been before. And in striving to be all of those things, we have decided to make a change that involves AWANA.

After hearing from various leaders, volunteers, and families involved with our program, and spending weeks over weeks in prayer before God, Grace Kids and the elders of Grace Church have decided that for the time being, we will discontinue our Wednesday Night Club Program. 

AWANA is an amazing ministry! Thousands of men and women, and boys and girls, owe large parts of their salvation to attending a Club Night, whether a few weeks ago or many years ago. The ministry engages young people's minds with stories and activities, and has a long history of changing the very nature of Children's Ministry. But as we look at the excellence to which God desires for us to strive, and couple that with the mission of Grace Church and the mission of AWANA, which we are not fully able to engage, we feel that we cannot continue to promote and maintain a ministry that we cannot meet the needs of on a weekly basis. 

Please take some time to read a bit about the decision below, and hopefully some of your immediate questions can be answered here. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Pastor Bob at bmorton@graceforgranger.org or via phone at (574) 272-2040. 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

 

1) How did the Elders come to this decision?

At the end of the last AWANA year, there was concern that Grace Kids could not sustain the ministry as currently constructed. We faced the task of replacing two large group teachers, a games director, and individuals who meant a great deal to the leadership of the program in various ways. Over the course of the Summer, the Elders decided, given the interest in the program, to move forward with the first semester of Club, and pray for additional leaders to enter the equation. As the end of this past semester neared, it became clear not only were there no more additional volunteers in those key leader roles, but that many of our regular volunteers were feeling burdened with the amount they were being asked to do on a weekly and monthly basis. Just before Christmas, the Elders affirmed that it was time, albeit regrettably, to discontinue our club meetings for the foreseeable future.

2) Why not wait until the end of the AWANA year?

Our most difficult months to staff each ministry year are February and March. Each year, they are markedly harder to staff and serve in than other months of the year. This fall, in many ways, has felt like most Februaries and Marches. Between our current volunteer struggle and the extremely limited number of people in key leadership roles, we were entering a season where excellence was not going to be attainable on a weekly basis through the winter and early Spring.Therefore, we wanted to give families an opportunity to change their Spring plans to accommodate a new club or additional family opportunities while we reinvested in our ongoing Sunday morning ministries.

3) What if my child is planning on finishing his/her book for a final award?

One of our two primary desires in making this move is to ensure that each child can finish their AWANA year at the level of involvement they choose.

If your family attends Grace Church, children who want to finish their current book will be able to recite verses and receive their awards on Sunday mornings, prior to our KidChurch programming.

If your family attends elsewhere and your child wants to finish his/her current book, we are currently exploring options to allow children to memorize verses and allow us to maintain our integrity in signing off on individual verses.

If you would like more information on either of these options, please mark your desired update on the form below.

For those individuals who desire the club atmosphere to finish out the AWANA year, there are several club options in our area. The best way to go about finding these options is through AWANA's Club Locator found HERE

4) What is going on with the AWANA Grand Prix?

This year, we made the change that everyone pre-paid for our annual Derby Car Grand Prix. We are currently in conversation with another local Club, who wants to partner for one massive event. More information will be forthcoming in the coming weeks. In the event that your family CANNOT or CHOOSES NOT to participate, we are happy to refund your Derby Car payment. Please indicate so on the form below.

5) What is next at Grace?

It is important to note that this decision is neither a departure from AWANA nor the ministry's mission. We are not "cutting ties" with AWANA so that we can replace it with something of our own design or another ministry entirely. We are, in a sense, taking a step back from the maintenance phase of a ministry, and asking how we, at our current capacity, can best Serve God, Grow in the Bible, and Share Grace with the world. Many of our elders share the belief that, while we would LOVE to continue doing all the programs we have always done, we need to simplify and excel before we expand again. So, what's next is a reinvestment of key people, time, and resources, into our Sunday Morning programming, utilizing a rejuvenated and properly stretched team to improve our KidChurch atmosphere to make it engaging to everyone from a first-time Kindergartener to a long-attending Fifth Grader. Additionally, we want to make sure that every family, not just AWANA families, is being properly equipped for the discipleship that happens in the home on the days in between Sundays. After a season of growth in those areas, then it will be time to seek expansion to another evening of programming. If you would like to share some ideas on specifics that you would like to see on Sunday Mornings, please leave your notes on the form below.

 

 

Response Form 

 

Enter the name of your OLDEST clubber *
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If you'd like a phone call, please enter your phone number
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If you have other questions or comments that are not best handled in person, please feel free to write them here. *