Q&A with Chris Marchand: No More Uniforms and Patches?

Q&A with Chris Marchand: No More Uniforms and Patches?

Hey everybody I’m Chris Marchand the Executive
Director of Children’s Ministry here at Awana. And we had a question come in from Stephanie. And Stephanie is asking us about uniforms
and awards. Her question is “I was wondering if you have
any clubs have done away with uniforms and patches, and have continued to have a successful
ministry without those things, still going through the books, meeting in the same manner,
utilizing Sparky and T&T store, etcetera”. And part of what they’re trying to accomplish
is to feel more welcoming to visitors and those that they’re trying to reach. Stephanie, that is a great question. Thank you so much for taking the time to send
that in. The answer is Yes. One of the beautiful things about Awana is that it’s flexible enough that you can contextualize it for your unique ministry setting. So some of the things that we see is that
yes we do have clubs that run traditional awards. There are some clubs near some military bases
and that just works for them. Because that’s the environment that the kids
live every minute of their day in. On the flip side of that is we do have clubs
that don’t do uniforms. They do t-shirts for the kids and they have
different motivation and incentive structures that they use for their kids. I think a couple of guiding principles that
I’d like to share here is that number one, ask yourself what is going to foster a deep
sense of belonging amongst your kids? And really take some time even as your leadership
group to think through that. For some clubs it’s the fact that everybody
looks alike and uses or sorry and wears a uniform. For others it’s about having a t-shirt. Whatever the thing is, spend some time talking
about it amongst your leadership team. What is going to foster a deep sense of belonging
amongst your kids? The second thing that I would encourage you
to do even when it comes to motivation and incentives, find out what your kids are interested
in. Research your kids. Ask them questions. Ask them what they’re interested in. Or even some things that or even get some
suggestions from them about things that would particularly motivate them. I know of an example of a group, an Awana
club, where for every verse that the kids memorize they put one of these colorful fuzzy
balls inside of a mason jar and when that jar hits to the top, they then get to pick
an activity that they get to do. And so just looking at different ways for
you to be able to motivate your kids is just a great discussion point. So I encourage you to do that as well with
your leadership team and spend some time asking your kids about it. One of the last things that I would also share
too is that, please hear me. There is nothing greater, no greater gift
than you can give your kids than time with you. The candy bars will be eaten. The little trinkets will find their way to
a variety of different spaces. But you are there with these kids every single
day. So think about some opportunities that you
could have to really reward your kids with time with yourself. Again, Stephanie thank you so much for sending
in this question. If any of you have any additional questions
on any particular topic, we’d love to be able to respond to you. Until then, have a great day everybody and
God bless!

One Reply to “Q&A with Chris Marchand: No More Uniforms and Patches?”

  1. We do something really similar to the fuzzy balls in the mason jar but I use plastic gold coins and its a great tie in to storing up your treasure in heaven

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