Where is the link between telling kids Bible stories, and teaching adults Bible doctrine? A young person sitting in a regular service for the first time may wonder what is going on. Experienced church goers have had years to learn concepts and jargon that pre-teens have never dealt with while listening to stories of David and Goliath, the good Samaritan, and Zacchaeus in the Sycamore tree.
AWANA clubs (please note there is no “s” at the end) bridge the gap. The lessons learned at handbook and council time give children introductory Bible doctrine. Concepts such as “Who is God”, “Why did God give us the Bible”, and What does God want me to know?” are introduced. Children learn about the creation of the world, man’s fall into sin, and God’s free offer of redemption.
AWANA emphasizes scripture memorization. The choice of verses is specifically designed to progress from salvation to Christian living. The introductory entrance book given to clubbers the first day they visit has all the verses needed to understand that we are born sinners and face the penalty for sin, but that God in his love has provided a means for us to receive forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Many clubbers learn these verses and can quote them in less than a month. A child who learns the good news of the gospel may not be saved immediately, but can carry the knowledge for the rest of their lives. Planting the seeds of the gospel is our most important work.
I have seen children grow in grace through the ministry of the AWANA club. Every child brought to Christ is a life that can avoid the ruin of sin.