Awana Clubs - a Great Scripture Memory Program
As originally appeared in the CHET-SE newsletter
Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed. II Timothy 2:15
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
The spiritual discipline of scripture memorization is essential in the Christian home. Whether we are using it for teaching, correcting, rebuking or training in righteousness,we have found it to be an important part of each day as we raise and teach our children. Our family has been able to hide many scriptures in our hearts by participating in Awana. We enjoy singing portions of the Bible and working through Awana handbooks together, and we would like to encourage you to embark on a memory program, too.
Awana stands for Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed (from II Timothy 2:15) and is a kids club that meets weekly to play fun games, listen to testimonies and spiritual object lessons, and recite Bible verses to leaders. These verses, and other sections in their books are worked on at home during the week. As the kids (and leaders) work through their books, they earn awards in the form of patches, pins, crowns, jewels, bars and charms that they wear on a uniform.
Starting at three years old, clubbers learn Bible verses that spell out the plan of salvation. At the K-2nd grade level they recite the books of the Bible and longer passages of scripture. Every verse they need to learn from ages 3 through 2nd grade has been set to music, making learning easy and fun. We sing those verses in the car, taking walks, in bed, etc. fulfilling the Deuteronomy 6 mandate to teach the Lord's commands all through the day.
At the 3rd-6th grade level, more activities are added as clubbers complete sections on missions, health, patriotism and service, in addition to longer Bible memory sections and Bible study pages. They earn trophies after completing multiple handbooks. There are also big events like the Bible Quiz, where churches form teams to compete against other churches using their knowledge of the Bible, and Olympics where they compete in games.
Although few churches have the official Jr. and Sr. High program called Jr. Varsity and AKX, many clubbers still complete the handbooks on their own so they can continue on to the highest achievement - the Citation Award. Citation Award winners are receiving scholarships to Christian colleges; finishing all 10 handbooks is the equivalent of 2 years of Bible college!
For Awana's 50th anniversary this year, many of us (including our 7 year old daughter) memorized all of Isaiah 53 . It is amazing how much scripture you can hide in your heart when working towards a well defined goal with incentives in place. The accountability between family members, leaders and clubbers has kept us memorizing daily. The weekly meetings, the colorful handbooks, and the award system keeps kids motivated and excited about the Bible.
If you want to learn more about Awana, visit their web site at Awana.org or call a local club (the web site has a full listing of all the churches). Visitors are always welcome, and registration is ongoing throughout the year.
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