Category Archives: AWANA

The Sheep and the Goats

One of my favorite Christian songs is Keith Green’s The Sheep and the Goats. The version on the Gold CD is better than the YouTube rendition, but YouTube has video, which is kind of cool. In my aspiration to be just like Keith Green, I’m working on the beard. Next will be the hair; once I have that, the only difference between us (apart from the fact that he’s dead) will be his piano and teaching skills, which I’m sure I can pick up while I am growing out my hair.

The AWANA players in action

Joshua (playing Jesus) tries to explain things to a Goat (Nate)

As is often the case, I hired the AWANA players (at double their usual rate) to dramatize the song, which they did with their usual flair.

The Sheep were a little slow to clue-in

My T&T kids (Truth & Training, 3rd-5th grades) have a little trouble with abstract thought, but this lesson from Matthew 25 is clear enough for anyone: Jesus closely identifies with the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the stranger, and the prisoner — and He expects us to minister to them as though we were ministering to Him. It is a little sobering, to think that I might be ignoring Jesus when I ignore a needy person, intent on my own agenda.

The problem with teaching AWANA kids is that you sometimes end up convicted by your own message.


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Kathy and Caden


Today was another AWANA Wednesday, and I awoke with a wicked sore throat. I texted my Prayer buddies: “I’m blessing you with my absence, this morning.” I could barely swallow the hot ginger-honey tea Kathy made for me — how could I handle being ‘on’ for AWANA this evening?

Our whole family is involved with AWANA at our church again this year. AWANA stands for ‘Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed’, based on 2 Timothy 2:15:

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

Joshua is Games Director, Rachel and Daniel are Sparks Leaders, and David and Sarah are Truth & Training club members. Kathy and I serve as Directors of the Truth & Training (T&T) program.

Kathy and Caden

It is hard for me, partly because I really throw myself into it. As a fairly extreme introvert, I’m often very tired after exerting so much social energy for the kids and the other leaders. Council Time, at the end of the evening, is my opportunity to teach from the scriptures for about 20-25 minutes; I’m always racking my brain for something to teach that won’t go over the kids’ heads.

Often I write skits, which are presented by some of the most dedicated student leaders, who seem to enjoy the challenge of memorizing the lines and acting out the roles I invent, with less than an hour to practice.

The All-Star Cast

The AWANA Players

This week I showed clips from the Gospel of Matthew (Visual Bible), but I didn’t think I would have the voice to do the additional explaining that seems necessary for 3rd – 5th graders. On top of that, I knew we would be missing some leaders for Handbook Time, and I dreaded having to substitute for one of them, with my throat feeling like it did.

Kathy posted on Facebook, and voila! I had three volunteers, who pitched in and listened to verses as if they were veteran T&T leaders. My good friend and nemesis Tung even agreed to handle the Council Time teaching, which was a huge relief.

One of the best things about serving in AWANA these past few years is that it has really stretched me in leaning on God for help. Rather than trying to do things in my own strength, the Holy Spirit routinely gives me the inspiration I need to come up with something fresh and compelling for Council Time. It was good to be reminded that God can easily bring others to stand in the gap for me when I fall down.


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