MOPS on the Central Coast needs you!

Mother of Preschoolers have partnered with Awana to provide quality curriculum material for the children in their care during regularly scheduled MOPS meetings. Awana Puggles materials have been modified to meet the need and will be widely used in the MOPS ministries worldwide. Goleta MOPS is but one of 15 area chapters. See below and consider a role in the need at Goleta MOPS or go to the MOPS website to get in touch with a chapter near you.




2017 IS THE
to launch

It is too late to start earlier. That may seem simplistic, but 2016 may have been the best year prior to 2017. If your church had started an Awana club ministry a year ago, you would have been on the cutting edge of a revolution in relational discipleship in weekday kids ministry, particularly for grades 3-6.
Newly developed training materials. The new Awana Basics training materials allow for flexibility to align your Awana clubs to your vision as never before. While the intention of Awana has always been to allow for the ability to design your club ministry to fit, training has not promoted the tailoring of your ministry, leading to a “one size fits all” impression. Basic training looked like a list of do’s, and sometimes dont’s with little room to customize.
Large group/small group format. To foster the discipleship model inherent in the Great Commission and modeled by Christ himself, all recent revisions in the study materials emphasize mentoring relationships to “make disciples” of Christ a reality in your children’s ministry from grades 3 through High School.
Integrated Large Group Lessons. Large group lessons for clubs Grade 3 and up are now fully integrated with small group studies to encourage greater participation and more meaningful discussions in their small group sessions.
Essentials study guides for newcomers or students new to the Christian faith. An abbreviated cost conscious version of the student study is available for those kids that are just beginning on their discovery trip allows those new kids to be a part of the discipleship focus without feeling overwhelmed or out of touch with the group. This has been available for the Jr. High/Middle School clubs (Trek) and is now available for Sparks Kindergarten book, T&T (grades 3-6) and Sr. High (Journey) as well.
Fully developed digital record keeping. Awana’s digital cloud based record keeping system has been updated to conform to all new materials as well as available for churches opting to continue with previous handbooks.
Reformatted student handbooks for grades 3-6. New T&T materials provide the option to have all grades work from the same handbook rather than having 4 different closely graded handbooks in play all the time, allowing clubs to form small groups in whatever fashion best suits their club dynamics. Also, all supplemental material is imbedded within the lesson of the night rather than isolated at the end of the book making both access for the clubber and locating this extra credit material easier for those keeping records and guiding the small group.
Three year Middle School option. A full three seasons of material for middle school (Trek) is available for churches wanting to conform to public school structures, whether 5 or 6 year elementary, 2 or 3 year post elementary or 3 or 4 year secondary systems.
Comprehensive Special Needs materials. As special needs are recognized at an increasing rate, methods and materials are now available to meet a wide variety of needs with training in recognition, dealing with and instructing these amazing kids including a broad spectrum from Down’s syndrome to sight and hearing impaired to emotional and social disorders to ESL at all ages.
Expanded extra credit material. Beyond the basic content and Bible memory work, literally hundreds of additional scripture passages are provided for the high achiever or motivated student, all of which relate to the subjects covered, as optional memory work and supplemental material for the leader to further engage students in broader understanding.
Sooner is better than later. As with every good initiative, there is no time like the present to move ahead. Seize the moment. If necessary, start small, perhaps one grade or age group and expand your ministry year by year. Determine what age groups in your ministry, whether preschool, early elementary, Tweeners, Jr. High, High school or all of the above would provide the greatest positive impact. What groups have a ready or easily engaged volunteer staff or where does the greatest opportunity lie in you target demographic? Check out or contact your Awana missionary. Go to “Find your Missionary” at the website.


Awards Ceremony at Calvary Baptist Santa Barbara

Last night we were privileged to attend and take part in Calvary’s Final Awards Ceremont for this club year. Calvary has run Awana for 31 uninterrupted years, since 1986 and had a great year with some 80+ children discipled for Christ this year and several new volunteers entering service. Thanks to long time directors John and Fern Sikich who continue to serve in this vital ministry and to Pastor Christian Schalesky and his wife, Jillian for their active support and participation.

Awana’s Corporate Culture

Identifying within a corporate culture is an important aspect of ambassadorship. The theme for the 2017-2018 corporate calendar for Awana is Identity. The Theme for this year’s Awana Ministry Conference, [named], is all about inculcating our identity in Christ into everything we do as staff and volunteers in children’s and youth ministry. Adopting and adapting to the culture we live in is an important aspect of this identifying exercise. But equally important is defining and identifying with the culture of the local church you serve, whether it be as an Awana leader, a small group leader, a vocational minister or any of the many servant roles in your congregation.

At Awana we take this aspect seriously and have identified five cultural values by which we serve.


If you have not already engaged in determining values for your ministry culture, let us encourage you to start with these as an example of what can be and will serve to motivate and unify your team as you begin the planning process of another ministry season.

IF you have already developed a set of cultural values, take some time to deliberate as a team to review and perhaps flex to ensure that your values are aligned with the vision and mission of your church.

I woke up yesterday morning with this song running through my head.  May have had something to do with spending some valuable g’pa time with alilly Jane, age 10 months the previous afternoon. Too much fun!

As I lay there debating whether or not to push myself out of bed or delay a bit (it was 4 am), it occurred that this little song speaks to us about integrating into our roles in ministry or life endeavors requiring cooperation with our team members. In an earlier post, I mentioned our oldest grandson has entered the world of competitive robotics.

Video clip here

As teams from their respective schools took their places, filling numerous roles (grandson Bennett’s team was some three dozen teens), it was clear that each knew his/her role and assumed it with fervor and expertise. As I laid there pondering the Wheels on the bus, the thought crystallized that not only are all the members of our ministry teams in Awana clubs need to be diligent in fulfilling our roles in children’s and youth ministry, but also need to be moving with the flow and objectives of the greater community of believers we serve, the local church. If one wheel of the bus is turning in a direction inconsistent with the rest, it will impact the entire trip in a negative way, and if the club is moving at odds with the direction and trajectory of the church, both will be unfavorably impacted. The bus travels best when all the wheels are moving together to the same destination.