The school year is in full swing, and so is the AWANA club at First Baptist Church. Every Wednesday evening, children of all ages, from preschool to sixth grade, gather at the church from 6:30 – 8:15 p.m. for a fun-filled Bible club.
First Baptist Church partners with Crossroads Church for the club, a relationship that’s brought kids from the two congregations together for three years. Neither church had enough adult leadership to make the club happen on its own, but together, children are able to learn about the Bible in a fun setting outside of Sunday morning services.
“AWANA’s focus is teaching the Bible to children on their level. Teaching the Bible and Bible stories enables us to teach the children about right and wrong and doing what is right,” First Baptist Church Pastor Chris Tjapkes, who leads the club, says. “The children learn how to get along with each other, honor their parents, teachers, elders, not to steal or lie or be dishonest.”
According to Tjapkes, the club is a diverse group of kids from many different nationalities, which assists in the lessons of acceptance and getting along. The club doesn’t just teach kids about the Bible. It also teaches them about each other.
Kids in the club learn Bible verses, hear the stories of the Bible and play games. They also earn awards for memorizing verses and accomplishing tasks set by the leaders, which relate to the teachings of the Bible. Working together to accomplish these goals kindles new friendships and helps the children grow.
Throughout the year, special nights are held, such as “Crazy Hat Night” or “Backwards Night.” One year, First Baptist Church held the club in the old middle school building in Perry. These special nights mix up the routine of the week while still providing a constructive, educational environment. The next special night is the “Trunk of Treats” on Oct. 31. Kids can bust out their Halloween spirit while learning about Christianity and each other.
For more information about the AWANA club, contact First Baptist Church at (515) 465-4669 or Crossroads Church at (515) 465-5478.
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