Sunday, January 09, 2011


Sometimes children's ministry security boils down to one alert person.

One of the many programs that make up our total children's ministry "umbrella" is Awana. This mid-week club attracts churched and non-churched kids and is quite popular. Although I'm the Children's Pastor, I am not directly involved in the "front line" of Awana. We have a couple that runs with the ministry each weeek and are doing a fantastic job. And if they need a guest speaker, I'm available. And that's where our little tale begins....

I was asked by the Cubbies (preschool) leader if I would tell the story for a couple of weeks, since they would be out of town. So I dug out an Awana church staff shirt (that remarkably still fit me!) and headed down to the church. This was my first opportunity to see first hand what I had heard so many glowing reviews about. It was a while before my turn to tell the story, so I asked the Commander if I could wander around. I peeked in the Sparks room and was greeted by several kids waving and saying hi. Essentially, I disrupted the group. Bowing out with an apologetic look on my face, I headed for the "big room", where the T&T clubbers were doing games.

After chatting with a few kids, I noticed the woman who was serving as secretary staring at me. I did not recognize her, but some of our Awana volunteers come from other churches, so I wasn't surprised. I smiled and said hello. She was pleasant, but reserved as she point blank asked me, "Who are you?" After introducing myself as the children's pastor, she eased up and began sharing her joys about serving with Awana. It was a wonderful conversation.

What impressed me the most about this woman is that she saw someone she did not know (me) and did not brush it aside, but very simply and directly asked who I was. Even though I had a shirt that said "Awana", she didn't know if I was a first time visitor, a parent, or a nefarious ne'er-do-well. I was an individual that she had never seen before and she cared enough to ask who I was.

And that is the foundation of security in children's ministry programs.