Taylor Lassiter, Awana Missionary to North Texas, shares ways to publicize your Awana ministry for the coming year. Thanks, Taylor, for sharing your thoughts.
It may be the middle of summer, but before you know it, the Awana year will be here! If your church starts Awana around Labor Day (as most do), then you have less than 6 weeks to get ready for the upcoming Awana year! (As you scurry to plan in recruiting leaders, organizing your calendar, and ordering supplies, don’t fall into the trap of forgetting one of the most important aspects of building a healthy Awana ministry — reaching the kids!
Jesus tells a parable of the master instructing his servants to “compel people to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23, ESV). Awana leaders may become so busy in preparation for the hordes of children they expect to come that they ignore some strategic opportunities to publicize the ministry to reach even more kids and families. As you get ready for the upcoming year, consider these three important areas where you can help your club launch with excitement and “compel” kids to come to your Awana Club.
Publicity Within Your Church
Don’t assume everyone in your church knows about Awana! You may have had some families who have recently joined and have never heard about Awana, or longtime members that assumed they know all there is to know about Awana. With the relaunching of the Awana website (awana.org) to reach kids, equip leaders, and change the world, this is a great opportunity to re-educate your church.
- Give opportunities for early registration. Having a table in your church foyer for 2-3 weeks with opportunities to register for Awana will help your visibility. This will also help families know that Awana is an important ministry that should not be overlooked!
- Make an announcement during Sunday morning services. It can be difficult sometimes to get time during the worship service, so use any time you have to your advantage. Be creative, using a skit or video from the website. If possible, do this two weeks in a row in case families were absent, using different techniques to message the importance of Awana. Consider having different people announce different weeks to give variety.
- Let people know Awana isn’t a “verse memory club.” While scripture memory always has been and always will be a fundamental value of Awana, many Awana leaders fall into the trap of making scripture memory the only focus of their ministry. Let parents know Awana is about the gospel, outreach, and long-term discipleship in the church and in the home. Make sure you message the right thing!
- Let parents know they can bring other kids! Often church families think Awana is just for the families in the church. Make sure to let families know that Awana is a great opportunity for them to reach out to their neighbors or friends from school. Invite adults to bring any kid from anywhere!
Publicity in the Community
Once your church body is on board, publicizing in the community can boost your outreach. Consider these avenues:
- Advertising in local schools. Some school administrators will allow church groups to put information about non-profit kids clubs. Don’t miss this opportunity to incorporate your T&T Clubbers in this as a service opportunity.
- Community events. Look for places where kids might gather or attend with their parents. Does your town have a pumpkin patch, apple orchard, or something similar? Consider posting information or ask if you can hand out brochures about Awana and your church.
Social media is a powerful tool to help publicize your Awana ministry. Look at your online resources as ways to extend your reach.
- Church website. Is there clear information on your church’s website about Awana? Does it contain information about Awana, which clubs are offered, the time you meet, online registration, and contact information? Work with your church staff and webmaster to get the best information online about Awana.
- Targeted social media ads. You can purchase targeted social media ads for a relatively low cost. Consider targeting families with children nearby your church. Make sure your Awana ministry and local church have an online social media presence, such as a Facebook Page. Encourage your leaders to “share” information about Awana and to invite families to your church and to Awana through social media.
Don’t forget this most important part of preparing for club growth! Ask the Lord to bring in many kids and families who need to know the love of Christ this year. Trust God to bring the right people, and prepare for a year of God’s work!