VBS has been exciting this year…but seeing kids come to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior is supposed to be exciting. In fact,
it is supposed to be the heartbeat of our ministry. For that reason, we have placed a large emphasis on our children’s ministry by
beginning the initial preparation stages of developing an AWANA program. Some of you may be wondering what AWANA stands
for… “approved workmen are not ashamed.” This comes straight from 2 Timothy 2:15, where Paul says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The priority of this ministry is teaching our youngsters scripture beginning at a very early age and equipping them with scripture and discipleship through the most important years of their life. St. Ignatius of Loyola is quoted for having said, “Give me a boy [or girl] before the age of 7 and he will be mine forever.” There is little that is more important than shaping the minds of our children with the Scriptures at an early age. The wisest man in that ever was (Solomon) wrote, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when
he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). To train a child in righteousness he must be trained in God’s Word. It is impossible to separate the two.
Yet, we are witnessing a generation of parenting whereby the children themselves are allowed to dictate parenting decisions and parenting priorities. As a result, we see families justify a greater commitment to an extracurricular lifestyle than their commitment to our heavenly Father, the Church, or Discipleship. That troubles me, and this is why. We know that Satan is a powerful adversary and enemy, but he is also very good at what he does. He makes sin fun. Do you know why we are sinners? Because we choose sin. What do you think sweet little children chose? The problem is that we have a generation of parents that are little more spiritually mature than their children, and the only time they train them in righteousness is when it’s convenient. If, as parents, we want our children to become the men and women that God has called them to be, we must begin now training them in righteousness…and that is what the AWANA program is here to help you do! For your convenience, we have activities for the parents during the same time as well. If you would like more information, please contact me and I will personally help you get involved in some of these activities.
AWANA will be kicking off in September and follows the school year schedule, so it is sure not to interfere with family activities during the holidays or even in the summer. Later in the fall, we will be launching the UPWARD basketball program. Registration will begin taking place soon, and evaluations will be in November, while practices will be December. Having given the teams time to prepare, the games season will be beginning in January through February followed by the awards banquet tentatively scheduled for Sunday March 1st. Needless to say, children love this program! But…the best thing about it is that it is centered
around reaching these kids for the sake of the gospel and showing them that life in Christ is not only awesome but can also be fun and rewarding.
Let’s get connected church family, let’s make our children’s program a priority so that we can draw nearer to the heart of God. Jesus says, “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me” (Mk 9:37). Now you know what Jesus says…what do you say?