New Children’s Ministry Program
We are really excited to be rolling out a new Sunday morning Children’s ministry program for the first time in 8 years. When Real Life started public worship services 8 years ago we recognized God’s calling to engage with Him in ministry to the children of our church family. We adopted the Awana Clubs program as our method to accomplish this ministry.
Awana has been a great program, and we’ve seen many children make professions of faith and submit themselves for baptism over the years. We’ve had the privilege of watching some of those kids mature into faithful young people who love and serve Jesus.
So you might ask, why change then? Well, we believe we can do even better. While RLC has moved from infancy as a church toward adolescence, we have refined and strengthened our standards for ministry as a whole and youth ministry in particular. A few weeks ago Pastor Jonathan described the “plumb lines”, or standards if you prefer, that we are now using to measure our youth program. They are:
- Parent Equipment – We provide tools and training so families are equipped to disciple their children.
- Gospel Empowerment – We fully rely on the gospel as the only power that can change a life.
- Bible Engagement – We expect children to learn and obey God’s Word so we find creative ways to teach the Truth.
- Children Excitement – We create a fun atmosphere that children want to be a part of.
- Safe Environment – We have systems in place to ensure the safety of every child.
Awana measures up adequately against these standards, but it is very volunteer intensive and expensive. It also is designed to be the one and only children’s ministry program for a church, which has always created some tension with our Sunday evening youth program. So, we began to ask ourselves if there where any better options. Thankfully the answer is, YES!
We are going to begin using The Gospel Project curriculum on September 11th. This exciting new material is better aligned with our plumb lines, while providing a very high quality experience for our kids. Check out the intro video to see the vision for this curriculum.
We have prayed over this decision and carefully evaluated all the alternatives. We are fully convinced this change can result in a stronger children’s ministry that better prepares our kids to face the challenges of living out their faith in the real world. Nevertheless, I recognize that some people will find this change unsettling. After all we have never gone through a change like this before. On behalf of the entire children’s ministry team I’m asking for your patience and indulgence as we go through this transition. For us, as leaders, there is a lot of change to process, but we believe the changes your kids experience will be minor, and positive.
If you really want to see your children continue to work through the Awana awards system, there are a couple of options you can check out. If you are homeschooling your children, Awana offers a curriculum for home-school families that follows the regular club progression. You can find all the information at awanahomeschool.org. There are also a number of other churches in our area that have an Awana club. You can find them with the Awana Club Finder.
We look forward to continuing to minister to your families as we grow together in Christ.