Awana Simulcast – An Unintended Consequence

For several years I have attended Awana conferences and via the forums, at conference and other venues, I have encouraged people from the same church to attend different workshops and then gather to share what they learned in those workshops, spreading the knowledge gained at a conference.

With the simulcast, it was stated that approximately 20,000 people were participating in several locations. With Awana, myself and others using Twitter and Facebook to instantly share key points from the simulcast, and also with myself and others posting their notes on web sites, it allowed countless others the opportunity to be a part of a learning opportunity when they could not attend.

Individually people are sharing what they learned and expereinced with the simulcast with others in their clubs and across the US. We need to take this to the “traditional” conferences still being held,,encouraging people to attend different workshops and then come together to share what they’ve learned. Conference isn’t an individual activity, it is a time to nwetwork and share form our own experiences, and a great way to do that is to share with others what you have learned and sharing web sites like this and Awana’s Club Clinic (and Resource Site) so others can learn, improving their ministries.

Working together and sharing with others we can do GREAT things for the Kingdom.

Awana Simulcast – My Thoughts

From the beginning, when Cindy Craig opened the Simulcast Conference, you felt and knew that you were a part of something big. While Cindy seemed out of place and kind of stiff in the beginning, she did appear more at ease as the day progressed. But then what do you expect? It’s not like she is in front of the cameras for a simulcast everyday. Cindy was a good host.

The emcee was an interesting selection. It was Dennis Lee, a ventriloquist with several “assistants”. Personally, I am not a big ventriloquism fan. He did a good job and the dialog between himself and his puppet/dummy was used well to set up the next portion of the conference. So the conversational aspect was good, but again, personal preference, I am not a ventriloquism fan. I am sure that others really enjoyed it and felt it enhanced the conference.

A simulcast can be fairly impersonal as the “live” component is in another city. I felt that Awana did a good job of trying to make it interactive by using Twitter and FaceBook to try to get interaction. Several people participated in that portion of the conference. I tweeted throughout the simulcast as did AwanaHQ and a few others. I even commented on the shirts being worn by Larry Fowler, Shawn Thorton and Art Rorheim seeking thoughts and I was pleasantly surprised to have Shawn Thorton respond to that tweet. That was the first time I had a conversation with Shawn.

The general sessions and workshops were quality and had good information (my rough notes have already been posted). The final session really showed the impact Awana is having worldwide and hearing from Art Rorheim about the beginning of Awana and why he believed God has continually blessed Awana were eye opening and a great way to share for the many who did not know the “bigger picture” of Awana.

Depending upon the location you were at, you may have had different experiences, but overall, it was a very good day for the very first simulcast that Awana has held for a conference.

Many do not know the challenges that Awana faced and had to overcome over the last month or so to make sure the simulcast happened. With all of that pressure, Awana produced a premiere event. If you were unable to attend, you really missed a historic moment and a great day.

Well done Awana!

Awana Simulcast Workshop 2 – Rethink

Shawn Thornton, Senior Pastor of Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, CA spoke on ReThink
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Shawn helped taught us to rethink our role in Awana. So often we focus on our role in Awana and making it through the night. He helped us to rethink who we are here on Earth.

Ambassadors are:

– Sent
– Building Bridges
– Serving Others

Don’t ever think that you are just a leader, director, etc. Rethink who you are in your ministry, you are an ambassador of Jesus Christ sent by God to a special group of people.

In the rush of Awana night THINK I have been sent by God to minister here!

You need to engaging the kids in your care through the entire Awana night. Don’t stand in the back during gametime, be on the line interacting with the children. Sit with the kids during large group time as well. The night is more than just listening to verses. Build bridges!! You build bridges into the lives of the kids entrusted to you by interacting with them and you are building bridges between the kids and Jesus Christ.

Great leaders are not interesting to those they lead, they are interested in those they lead. So think about yourself, are you more concerned about them listening to you, or you listening to them and engaging them in their lives? If you show them you care, then they will care about what you say. Rethink how you interact, or don’t interact, with the children around you.

You have been sent to serve the special group God has before you.

You are not “just” a worker in Awana, you are an Ambassador for Jesus Christ!!

Awana Simulcast Workshop 1 – Recalibrate

Larry Fowler Executive Director of Global Training spoke on: Recalibrate

What’s your job in Awana? It is not a Spark’s leader, etc… but to get the Word of God into the heart of a child

Simply reciting the verse is not the target.
Remembering is a better target
Target is not long term memory, it is the heart

Less Recitation – More Memorization
More recitation – less remembered
Neither: We want to get As much of God’s Word as we can – As deep in the heart of a child as we can – In as many children as we can  (from BTO)

3 things to recalibrate

1)  Recalibrate the target – not recitation, not remembering, but the heart
What is your target?

2) Recalibrate the Aim

Get closer, it improves your aim, build relationships
– love them
– show emotion
– model

How to aim for the heart:
– Teach meaning
– Ask questions
– Encourage repetition

3) Recalibrate your tools

Use props, Music CD’s, 3×5 cards (flash cards), anything to help them get it deeper.

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