Tuesday, May 13, 2008

AWANA Clubs as a Bible Curriculum - Part II

Yesterday I gave a little history of how our family has been involved with AWANA Clubs at our church. Again, let me say that I can only speak for the one program that we have attended at our church. The curriculum, I believe, is the same throughout the AWANA ministry. Today I will begin talking about the problem areas.

First, we as parents do not like the “bits and pieces” approach to Scripture memory. Many times, a few words out of one Scripture verse will be used as a kind of answer to a question. This sometimes takes away the context of what is being said. Here is one example: In AWANA, they memorize Hebrews 13:5. They are supposed to memorize this part. “Be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” This is supposed to support the statement, “Jesus will always be with those who have belived in Him as their Savior.” I do believe this, but does this verse prove it? Read the entire verse: “Keep your lives free from the love on money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrew 13:5) I wish they had used Matthew 28:20, which better addresses the statement.

A second problem area in AWANA Clubs is actually related to homeschooling. My children are rather young. My children do not have any close friends who are not being raised in Christian homes. There, I said it! We do not close ourselves off from the world, but it happens that most of their friends have church homes. We do know some kids who are not in church, just not closely enough that their parents would send them off with us for an evening. Yet one thing that has to be completed is bringing a guest to AWANA. My kids were able to get around this one year. We had some friends that were looking for an AWANA club, and we told them about ours. They ended up coming on the second night of AWANA and joining, so we were able to use their names as our “guests” that night, but I’m not sure that is what AWANA really wants you to do. I have also seen a couple of families “trade-out” nights. They were involved in AWANA Clubs at nearby churches. Family A chose one night to come as guests of Family B. In return, Family B came as guests of Family A on a different night. This way, they were able to get that requirement checked off, though it doesn’t sound like that is what AWANA is wanting to have happen.

(Reposted from my HomeschoolBlogger page 6/13/08)


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