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A Conference for Northern California Churches
March 7-9, 2019
Hosted at Redwood Chapel
19300 Redwood Rd.
Castro Valley, CA
The convention starts on Thursday, March 7th, with an exclusive pre-convention seminar on Thursday. This is a separate registration from the convention. New this year, your church registration includes attendance to the pre-convention seminar for the church Pastor and one Administrator.
Registration and Exhibit Halls open at 4:30 pm and the General Session kicks off at 7:00 pm led by Allan Taylor.
On Friday, March 8, registration opens at 8:00 am, exhibit halls open at 8:30am and workshops are available from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. The General Session is at 7:00 pm led by Dr. David Whitaker.
Registration opens at 7:30 am on Saturday, March 9. Take a workshop at 8:00am or check out the Exhibitors. The General Session is at 9:30am and is led by Dr. David Eckman. Workshops resume at 11:15am to 3:45pm. The convention ends at 5:00pm
Lots more information can be found at: bassconvention.org/index.cfm
It has been another year, and another Awana Ministry Conference is now done and checked off for the year. I hope that if you were able to attend one, that you were able to be inspired with new and fresh ideas for your own classrooms. Even though I taught workshops I also was able to gather new ideas that even I wrote down that I want to use in my own class. It also has prompted me to get this website updated!
With the help of my tech minded son, I will be working over the next few month updating the overall look of the site, updating photos and the most updated handouts from my various workshops. If you are coming to visit, please leave a comment saying hi, and where you heard about my website.
Have you ever spent hours, even days preparing for an event or on you class lesson and then came away not satisfied that you did your best? Maybe each week when you show up to teach your Awana club, you find it more of a burden that a joy. Last weekend we had our area Awana Ministry Conference where I was one of many leaders who presented workshops. I have been doing this for several years, but this year after all the workshops were done and my supplies were packed up, I didn’t really feel I had done my very best. Instead of feeling joyful at the end, I felt a sense of disappointment in myself. What can we do when we face situations like this or when we feel we have done less than a stellar job in our ministry?
David is know as the man after God’s own heart, he had his share of disappointments and struggles. In Psalms David appeals to God by asking him
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my concerns.
See if there is any offensive way in me;
lead me in the everlasting way. (Psalm 139:23-24 HCSB)
We need to ask God to help you reflect on what is truly in our hearts. Could our hearts be filled with wrong motives, a flawed focus or selfish ambition? If you have volunteered to teach in kids’ ministries, Awana or a ministry like Vacation Bible School because no one else would, you are doing it out of obligation rather than willingness. Maybe you decided to lead a children’s ministry because you felt you were the most qualified and other could benefit from your expertise. Pray with a humbled attitude and ask God to reveal to you what truly reflects from your heart. How does God want me to grow spiritually from this experience when I allow him to lead my heart?
Once we have had time to reflect and examine our hearts, we need to ask God to renew our spirit. Here we see David plead with God. David knew that only God could do what he couldn’t.
Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10 (KJV)
Ask God to give you a renewed passion for those areas you are serving him. When teaching children or leading a workshop becomes a burden, it’s time to seek out the Lord and ask for Him to help us. If service or ministry becomes about us, we need to have our pride cleaned out. Once our heart is open to His leading only then can we begin the renewal process by shifting our focus and adjusting our motives that God desires us to have.
David then humbly asks God,
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51:12 (HCSB)
Restoration can only happen once we admit our sin and short comings and are willing to make a Godly change within our hearts. Our salvation is a precious gift, and it is the basis for why we serve in ministry. When we are restored we can joyfully serve in a ministry. We can volunteer as a leader or teacher with the assurance that God will be there to encourage us along the way, give us the strength to carry on, and keep our focus on Him.
As you reflect and ask God to search you heart, be open to His leading. Be ready to be renewed and restored so that your joyous spirit reflects Christ in all you do.
…He has NAMED us and tells us who we are.
Awana Ministry Conferences will be held at locations all around the US this fall. Each one is hosted by a local Awana missionary team and provides a unique experience focused on inspiring, training and connecting local Awana leaders. Pastors, Awana Ministry Directors, Secretaries, small group leaders, and anyone else involved in an Awana club will find value in attending this event.
My previous post was 3 reasons why leaders don’t want to attend Awana Ministry Conferences, this time around I want to post 5 reasons to attend your AMC. Ours is in 2 weeks, and I have 4 workshops to present! I am still finalizing handouts, making displays, and gathering supplies. I love getting ready for AMC, but not so sure my family does as I try to manage them and get all my projects done for conference.
- Get Inspired! This year the theme is “One Mission, Many Methods.” Awana knows that there are no two clubs alike, and this year they want to help churches personalize their own clubs. God’s message is always the same, but the way we present it can be adjusted to be meet the needs of those we are sharing the Gospel with. Attend a workshop that can you discover how to tailor your club to your specific needs.
- Spend Time with Other Awana Leaders. It’s always nice to find like-minded people all in one place! Even though we are all at different situations in our daily lives, you will find leaders who are just as passionate about Awana and reaching children and youth with the Gospel of Christ. You might even make a life long friend!
- Meet your Awana Missionaries and get to know them! Take a few minutes to thank and encourage them for all their hard work they do for your church and others in their area. Find out how to support them through prayer and financial support.
- Learn about how God is using Awana all over the US and the World. Find about new partnerships such as Operation Christmas Child. This year come and learn about what exciting changes are in store for our tween club, Truth and Training.
- Be Encouraged! Even thought it’s the beginning of the year for most Awana clubs, attend a variety of workshops to be encouraged. Whether you serve as a commander, leader, listener or secretary, there is a workshop for you that will provide tools and ideas to keep you going for the whole year.Bonus Reason….The AWANA store! If you are lucky to have an AMC with a store, take time to look at all the Awana has to offer for your club. You can preview books, purchase gifts and almost anything Awana related!
Want to find out if there is an AMC in your area…visit awana.org. There you find dates and locations, and how to register to attend.
Every year Awana offers Ministry Conferences all over the US to provide leaders the confidence and tools to serve in Awana. States from California to New York will be hosting 100’s of these conferences! Awana Missionaries, Ministry team members, pastors, teachers, and more have been preparing for months to bring unique workshops that can help equip leaders to bring the gospel of Christ to 1000’s of children all over the world! I am always excited to plan and prepare workshop especially for Cubbie Leaders!
I encourage leaders that I meet to attend an AMC (Awana Ministry Conference) in their area. Whether you are new leader or season Awana director, there is always a workshop for you. However, often the response I get is not “Oh I am so excited to attend this year!” Rather there are three main reasons I hear that leaders don’t want to attend.
The first is pretty common among seasoned leaders…”Why do I have attend? I have been to a lot them for the past 20 years. “Conferences are for new leaders.” Awana leaders who often have serve for many years. They are the ones who could tell the simple history of the 4 colors, what a Citation Award is and who started Awana. They have endured countless revisions and rewrites to the curriculum. They could probably teach a lot of the workshops at conference with their experience!
Years ago I was speaking with my a friend of mine. I had a great admiration for her because she seemed to know everything about…well, everything! I mentioned my son, who was in 4th grade at the time, didn’t want to go to his Sunday School class because he told me knew everything already about the Bible. And he knew all the answers each week. She laughed with me as we both knew that was not the case, but understood why he said that. He had been attending church since he was born, started Awana at 3 and studied Bible in school, so to him he felt he knew everything about the Bible. She reminded me that despite herself being an adult, and being a Christian who grew up in the church, with hours of her own Bible study and classes, she herself was still gleaning from God’s word. And remarked that even today she learned something new from God’s word! Are you one of those leaders who is like my son, you have done Awana so long, you don’t feel you need to learn any more?
Why not think of the AMC as a way to glean new information. Maybe you will find out about the latest curriculum change in Awana, yes, it happens and it’s happening this time in Truth & Training. Perhaps you will get new ideas to spruce up your lesson time or ideas for helping children do more than memorize a memory verse. How about learning how to reach out to those parents who aren’t there very often. Maybe you need a class just for you, how to recharge your own spiritual relationship with the Lord. Attend the AMC this year by asking God to help you discover something new for you this year in Awana.
The second reason I hear that people can’t attend is that they don’t have time. Oh, how I understand this and yes, there is so much on our calendars. In three weeks we will have our AMC, and I am still putting together what I want to present in my workshops. I still have to be a mom, take care of my house and my family, prepare and teach in both Awana and our children’s program Wednesday. I also have to take care of school paperwork that will be due at the end of September, remember appointments, and other commitments. Oversee my other ministries at church, and make sure they are not neglected. On the day of our AMC, I will be missing two major events that I would love to be at. But I can’t, I have a commitment to Awana. And I am ok with that. Of course, there are times when you cannot attend a conference and I don’t want to guilt any leader for making the decision not to attend the AMC. When you can attend make every effort you can to come. Rearrange your schedule if possible, and put it on your calendar just as soon as learn about it. You will always be blessed coming to conference!
The last reason I often hear is several wrapped into one..I don’t know if it’s for me, I don’t know what to expect or I can’t afford it. New leaders are often excited about going because they want to get ideas or help, but some shy away from it for just that reason. They are already overwhelmed and aren’t really sure they need more advice on what to do! Until recently leaders weren’t really sure if there would be workshops they would be interested in. Conference can be pricey especially now when leaders are on limited incomes or have to take a day off from work just to attend.
Attending conference should never be stressful! But I know some leaders come and are overwhelmed the minute they walk up and get their registration packet. We have all been there. Trust me I know, I remember my first conference, it was overwhelming and when I went home that night, I had more information that I knew what to do with. If you have new leaders attending with you, help them know what to expect and encourage them. Many missionaries are now putting workshop descriptions online so that leaders can see them ahead of time when they register. Leaders can then decide which ones are best for them. This helps eliminate the last minute scramble before heading off their first workshop. Conferences are also a great place to make new friends and receive lots of encouragement for the new year in Awana!
Cost can be an issue, and some leaders simply can’t attend because of this. Commanders can work with their church to help assist those who want to attend but can’t due to the cost. Some churches help by paying some or all of the registration fee. While others allow them to pay a little at time to help cover costs. What exactly do the fees cover you ask? Often times it’s for food, materials and rental costs of the facilities. If cost is an issue for your leaders talk with your Commander or Awana Missionary about it and see what suggestions they have to offer.
As I said earlier I am all about Awana and kids, and I love the AMC. It’s a place where I can go to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in awhile. I am always inspired by the key note speakers, workshop leaders and leaders attending the workshops. I get to be part of an amazing organization who goal is to reach all children and youth with the gospel of Christ so they come to know, love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ!
Awana Ministry Conference are in full swing for us in California, how about in your state? We did a Mini conference last night in and even though it was small, it was nice to be about to talk directly with Cubbie Leaders and find out about their clubs and answers their questions. Over the next month, we will complete three more conferences in our area with more happening around the state. I will add new worksheet and new workshop displays as I can. If you are stopping by say hello, and follow Cubbie Corner!
Hi Cubbie and Puggles Leaders,
The Awana Ministry Conference is coming up soon! Our team has one in Turlock, California this coming Saturday and the on the 11th in Fremont, California. I am busy preparing four workshops specifically for Cubbies and Puggles Leaders.
Want a little sneak peak at what I am going to present? Well, still pulling it all together, but you can get a little peak at what is in each workshop….
Busy ALL the time! Keeping Cubbies & Puggles busy all the time learning about God’s Word. Topics that we will cover are Preschool Traits, Positive Discipline Ideas that work, Busy Box Ideas and class management. This is a two part workshop. Did you know positive discipline begins with you, the leaders? How about needing a couple of ideas for what to put in a busy box? Then this is the class for you.
Handbooks and Honeycombs: The new updated curriculum is awesome, but as with anything, sometime you need to tweak it to fit it for your club. But how can you do that without changing it all together? Confused about how the new Award system works or recording sections? Those will questions will be addressed, as well as lots of ideas on enhancing a Bear Hug Handbook Activity. We will be using the the “Honeycomb” handbook and Teaching plans in this workshop.
ALL the buzz about Story Time!: Do you want to make your Cubbie/Puggle story time meaningful and memorable? Using the updated Cubbie Curriculum we will discover creative ways that will want our preschoolers to share God’s word with everyone. As a leader in Cubbies I seemed to always struggle in this area, but I didn’t know why. I grew up knowing it, but presenting it was a whole different concept for me. I would rather do craft, game or snack time than tell the Bible Story. Over the years I have gained the confident to share God’s words to these precious little ones. Whether you are a seasoned teacher, or new to God’s word yourself, you can teach God’s word with confidence too!