Interesting Lunch Encounter

June 10, 2010 at 9:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

            On Monday I played in the Dignity Memorial Golf Tournament for pastors.  Dignity is the largest network of mortuaries and funeral homes in the country, including the Olinger Funeral Homes here in the Denver area.  This has become an annual event for me and Pastor Wes, though he is currently out of the country and couldn’t play this year.  They put on a great event and treat us like royalty for the day.  I had a good time, though the team I played on was terrible, me included!  However, I had a great conversation there.  While waiting for the tournament to begin, I was approached by a familiar face; it was Michael Walker, pastor of Church in the City.  Though neither of us could figure out where we’d met before, he did introduce me to his teammate Bill McCartney, the former football coach at Colorado University and founder of Promise Keepers.  Since I was on the team immediately in front of them, and since the tournament ran slow at times, I was able to visit with them occasionally as we waited on the groups in front of us.

            When the tournament was over and lunch was served, I looked for a place to sit and, not finding anyone I knew, saw Coach Bill and another teammate of his sitting alone, so I asked if I could join them.  The other teammate turned out to be Raleigh Washington, the President of Promise Keepers, and they were talking about some statistics Raleigh heard from AWANA.  He understood that 90% of kids that finished the 4th through 6th grade program in AWANA remain in the church many years later, and he compared that to the 80% of kids in traditional youth programs that fall away from the church.  Though Raleigh hadn’t verified these numbers (and I haven’t either), he said if they are even half correct then there is something AWANA is doing right that needs to be pushed.  Coach McCartney said they are considering how to encourage AWANA programs for the children of men in their movement.  As a pastor, and parent, who has been involved with AWANA, I found the discussion encouraging, and was able to give some input from my perspective, including how much work the program requires of participants and how few actually finish it.  Promise Keepers is asking how they can effectively persuade the next generation to mediate daily on God’s Word.  As Coach said, after quoting from Psalm 1, “the church will be only as successful as its people are consistent in God’s Word.”  This sounds like a great development to me.  May God bless it!

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  1. Great post and encouraging encounter with Coach McCartney and Pastor Washington. Yes, 92.7 percent of alumni who participated in Awana programs for six or more years still attend church weekly as adults according to results of our national survey of Awana alums. They are also much more likely to pray regularly, study Scripture daily, serve in church, share their faith, tithe and volunteer in their communities.

    The full results of the Awana alumni study are found at http://www.awana.org/alumnistudy.

  2. Thanks Jeff,
    I appreciate your inptut. I believe that long-term change comes more from time in God’s Word than big rallies and events, as good as those might be. If PK is beginning to emphasize that, then it will certainly be for the best.
    As far as long-term change through God’s Word is concerned, AWANA does a great job. Keep up the good work!
    GG


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