Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

In the changing culture of 1950s America, Awana was founded by Art Rorheim and Lance Latham to reach kids with the Gospel and invite them into a life of discipleship to Jesus Christ. While their work began on the north side of Chicago, their vision was audacious: that all children and youth throughout the world will come to know, love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

More than 70 years later, having endured highs and lows ranging from seasons of revival and rapid growth to world wars, persecution and pandemics, Awana is excited to celebrate a monumental milestone on this journey: reaching 5 million children around the globe each week with the Gospel. 

Thanks to partnerships with more than 66,000 local churches across more than 100 denominations in 133 countries, expressions of Awana ministry programming vary widely, though all focus on sharing and engaging the truth of Scripture and the ways of Jesus. God has been faithful and generous to Awana as we remain rooted in the Bible.

There’s no telling how many leaders, children and families have been impacted by Awana, though the stories appear to be endless. There are Vika and Timur in Ukraine, Diana in Venezuela, or even Estrella in Peru, all of whom have come to know the Lord and taken upon a life of discipleship this year.

We share all of this to simply say thank you. Thank you for your commitment to follow Jesus and share His Good News with others. Thank you for participating in, leading and supporting the efforts of our ministry. Thank you for taking the time, taking a knee, taking discipleship to the littlest and the least. Thank you for investing in child discipleship, the most crucial need in the Church today.

As we reach this milestone, we can’t help but consider the children who have not been reached. We long to soon celebrate reaching 10 million children (and beyond!) each week. Let’s keep partnering together for the sake of the Gospel and the glory of God.

Through prayer and necessary financial partnership, we have incredible opportunities to reach tens of millions of additional children right now.

Will you please join us in this effort? Click here to help us reach the next five million children.

Matt Markins – Awana President & CEO

O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1

Our Growth Over Time

Since the founding of Awana in 1950, the organization has always sought to reach every child everywhere. In 2007, Awana implemented its Leader-based Strategy to equip native local leaders in any context to reach and disciple children. Since then the number of children our ministry reaches each week has grown exponentially.

View The Chart
  • 5,162,724 Children Reached

  • 68,316 Church Partners

  • 134 Countries Engaged

Reaching the Next 5 Million

Is God stirring in your heart to be part of reaching the next 5 million kids? Your partnership in prayer, weekly service to discipling children or generous giving makes an eternal impact in the lives of kids and we want to ensure every child is reached! Together we can reach more children with the Gospel and pass on lasting faith for generations to come.

God-sized Opportunities to Reach the Next 5 Million

God is doing so many incredible things in and through our ministry all over the globe! We're excited to share a few of these opportunities below as we prayerfully expand our ministry to reach more kids.

Up to 31 Million MORE Children!

Across Africa, seven countries have invited Awana to train and equip teachers and local pastors to implement our Bible-engagement programming in public schools. The long-term opportunity connected to this strategy could impact up to 31 million children across Africa!

Through our pilot programming, we have already heard remarkable testimonies of children and teachers who have responded to the Gospel and begun a life of discipleship. As a result, school enrollment, attendance and even grades have increased significantly while children are growing in Christlikeness, decreasing violence, bullying and even adolescent pregnancy.

This is a God-sized opportunity unlike any we’ve had before. For every $650 gift, an African public school will be equipped to share the Gospel and God’s Word with children today and for generations to come.

Click here to learn more about this opportunity!

Elevating Child Discipleship in the U.S.

Despite the rapid acceleration of post-Christian culture in the U.S., we’re taking significant steps to inspire, equip and resource pastors, children’s ministry leaders and parents to reach and disciple more kids.

We’ve rolled out Brite™, a digital Sunday curriculum for local churches and a new family discipleship resource, Talk About™, to help parents lead Biblical conversations in any and every moment of daily life.

Providing Hope & Humanitarian Care in Ukraine

The ongoing war has radically disrupted ministry in Ukraine and surrounding countries where Awana has served for years, but we have seen our teams and local church partners respond with resilience and fervor.

In and around Ukraine, our missionaries, local church partners and staff have met the spiritual and humanitarian needs of children and families – especially those displaced – in radical Christlike ways, by sharing the hope of the Gospel and meeting immense tangible needs.

Seeing God at Work

In addition to these huge opportunities, we have a front-row seat to God at work in countries, churches, and children’s lives all around the world. We’re just beginning a five-year project in the Philippines to reach 500,000 additional children. In Cuba, God has presented an opportunity to more than double our local church partnerships in the next year.

Kids continue to come to know Jesus through Awana in restricted countries around the world.

About Awana

To many in North America, Awana is known as a “mid-week ministry” to children and youth. The reality is that Awana is a leader in global child and youth discipleship in 134 countries in a variety of curricula and leader equipping networks. Awana partners with ministries like Compassion International, World Vision, and numerous denominations in more than 68,000 churches, engaging 5.1 million children and students weekly.

More from Awana

  • Join Us in Prayer
  • 2021 Annual Report