URGENT - Awana Club Participating in Willow Creek Conference
Are They Heading Toward Contemplative/Emergent?
23, 2006 Awana Clubs has been a respected
and trusted Christian organization for many years.
Countless children have been Cubbies and Sparkies
and have memorized Scripture through the program.
With so much of the church heading into the contemplative/emergent camp, also known as the spiritual formation movement, what a tragedy it would be to see Awana being sucked into this also. Few things are stable these days ... is Awana the next to cave in?
few days ago it was brought to our attention that
Awana's Kevin White sent out a notice to an undisclosed number
of Awana youth leaders, letting them know about
the upcoming Willow
Creek Association's Student Ministries/Next Gen
Leadership Conference (February 27th). The notice
encouraged leaders to attend and told them where
they could register.
Today, we contacted Kevin White and asked about the notice. He told us Willow Creek (promoters of Spiritual Formation/contemplative) had contacted them and offered them a room or booth. White said he had sent out the notice, and Awana would be there at the conference.
Our concern is that this organization may be seduced into a spirituality that negates the very gospel message that Awana Clubs has tried to promote.
Worthwhile to note, on the Awana website, they are featuring a book by George Barna titled, Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions. On the front cover is an endorsement by Willow Creek, Bill Hybels. And the Awana High School program's 24/7 Ministries lists several recommended resources which they say "have similar ministry interests to 24/7." These ministries include Youth Specialties and Group Magazine (both emergent and contemplative) as well as Church Growth Institute, NavPress and Youth for Christ (which promotes the the Labyrinth).
If your children are part of an Awana Club, or if you know of a family who is, we encourage you to contact Awana Clubs and share your concerns with them about attending a conference that promotes the New Age and mysticism and also about their connections to these other organizations. The contemplative road is a slippery path to apostasy. May they heed the warning.
Contact Information for Awanas:
630- 213- 2000
1 East Bode Road
Streamwood, IL 60107-6658
- Notice sent out from Awanas
- September 13, 2005 Awana Letter to Parents Encouraging "Spiritual Formation at the Earliest Opportunity" (This link has now been removed.)
- More on Willow Creek and their Contemplative/New Age Connections
- Awana Ministry Statistics
Update - March 5, 2006: It has been brought to our attention that on the Awana's High School program 24/7 Ministries, they also promote an organization called. SonLife, which is another organization that pushes the emerging church movement.
- March 21, 2006: AWANA and Spiritual Formation
1. Integrating other spiritual formation initiatives into Awana?
2. Awanas Rorheim Institute Promoting Spiritual Formation
Update - May 8, 2006
Update May 26, 2006
Another Teaching Aid used by Awanas and produced by Youth Specialties
Note: If you are an AWANA parent or teacher, please contact AWANA Clubs headquarters and ask them not to go in the contemplative/emerging/spiritual formation direction but to continue ministering the gospel to children without compromise.