Our Guest Blogger today is Dona Eggar, wife of Awana President/CEO Jack Eggar.
I love children. And that is a significant reason to be an Awana Commander.
But it isn’t the reason I stay engaged in this position. I could love children and make a difference in their lives as a leader. And that’s a huge commitment to love, pray over, and stay attuned for the moments to share God’s truths and of course, the most important one, that “God loves us and sent His Son”.
The reason that I am an Awana Club Commander in our church is that I get to be a voice and mentor to the adults who are in the lives of these children. And what better gift can I give the children than adults and teens who love the Lord and are growing in Him, and who model that in front of these little ones.
Each of our leaders, young (7th grade -12th) and old (college-seniors) know that children are important to God. And that therefore children are important to me. And because I get to model their value in my actions, reactions, planning, organization, conversations, greetings, goodbyes, discipline situations, time, eye contact, etc., they “catch” how to share the love of Christ in a holistic way.
Then there are the parents. Because my husband and I raised four children we are very aware that kids aren’t perfect. And of course, neither were their parents! Touch point with adults. I use it often!
In our club, parents can pull up the registration form online, print it out, and fill in all the information at home (we have one registration per family). I ask that they come to our registration, however, turn in the form, and get the children’s materials. This allows our leadership to mingle with the parents of the clubbers. It gives us an opportunity to share how important spiritual training really is. I tell parents that while we love having their children come to our Awana club for an hour and a half each week, they will only get as much out of the teaching as the parents are willing to put in to training. And it is, after all, their job to train their children. I want parents to know without a shadow of a doubt that God has given them this responsibility and privilege. But quite honestly, it helps to build relationships. I can share tips such as listening to the CD in the back of the book that the children while in the car. The children love to listen and hey, Mom and Dad and little brother and sister will learn right along with them!
I get to invite parents to come to our children’s programs, explain our wonderful children’s church and other kid events. I can relate special activities for the 5th-6th graders that will lead into youth group. I get to promote VBS, Ladies Bible Study, our Wednesday evening eleven week commitment classes for Adults in Alpha (with a meal before with their children), and other avenues for growth. That opportunity for intentional contact is powerful. As an Awana Commander, I am responsible to use my influence and the trust that people already place in me to lead parents to a saving knowledge of Christ and a place to grow in Him.
So do I love children? You bet! And the best way I can show that love and value is by helping provide Christ-like ones (Christians) who are all working together to point them to Jesus Christ.