We have a saying at Awana “We didn’t anticipate COVID-19, but we did anticipate the things that COVID revealed.” This is true for us; our team has commissioned 11 studies in the space that is called “children’s ministry” or “child discipleship.” Nine of those studies are complete, and two are in-process as of August 2023. The overarching question we’ve been asking in each of our research projects is this:

“What is it the local church does that leads to lasting faith in kids?” 

The motivation behind this question has to do with biblical faithfulness, stewardship of orthodoxy and formational fruitfulness. Our aim is to gain and share maximum insight as to how we (the broader church community) can most faithfully maximize and steward our discipleship investment in children. If we can become more fruitful as disciplemakers, then we can reach and disciple more children for the kingdom of God — no matter the cultural context.

This resource is written to accompany Chapter 5 in The Faith of Our Children, written by Awana President and CEO Matt Markins. We believe the content in this chapter is so important we’re willing to give it away, supported by a suite of practical resources to help the local children’s ministry leader evaluate their time, better understand parents, and start bridging the gap between theory and practice to better understand what their church context does that leads to lasting faith in kids.

Reading this chapter will be the best professional development time you’ve spent all week. So, turn off your notifications, grab your favorite beverage and drink deeply from the wisdom underpinning this rich research around parents and church leaders, what we define is a “stalemate,” and how our weekly time management might be impacting our desired outcomes. This entire exercise, including reading the chapter, will take you about 90 minutes.


The Faith of Our Children Sample Chapter Download