I was surprised to learn today from a Christian brother that an Awana missionary recommended against the youth group programs that Awana has to offer. There’s basically a transition for Awana from elementary school to secondary school (middle school/junior high and senior high) and with that transition there’s a new name to the overall program: 24-7 Ministries. The name comes from the principle that we live the Christian life 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Within the 24-7 Ministries umbrella, there are two curricula:
- Trek – Middle School / Junior High School
- Journey – Senior High School
I’ll speak more to Trek because in addition to being an Awana commander, I’m also the Trek Director. Trek is built around three foundational concepts with respect to the ministry and how the students respond:
- Come See – Students come and see what Trek is about. There should be scheduled Trek meetings which serve to invite youth in to see if they want to be a part of the group. Pizza parties, game nights, etc.
- Come Follow – Students who decide to stick around start to learn how to apply the Bible to life. They are becoming followers of Jesus Christ. Trek has a curriculum that include Bible memorization, spiritual exercises, and Bible study.
- Come Serve – God expects us to serve (He has prepared our work beforehand – Ephesians 2:10). Trekkers should be engaged in ministry opportunities around the church and community. For instance, one of the areas my church’s Trekkers are responsible for is the puppet skits for the Cubbies, which kick off their lessons each week.
The Journey program takes application of the Bible to a deeper level. Also, the study of Biblical doctrine is more pronounced, which is expected as senior high should be better prepared to deal with those types of questions and topics. Both Trek and Journey, used properly, are excellent curricula for youth ministry.
If that wasn’t good enough, if a youth goes through T&T, Trek, and Journey, and completes the books for each year, they are eligible for scholarships to participating Christian colleges. The first award level can be completed by going through 4 books, which you could do in T&T. But the higher award levels require time in Trek and/or Journey. More information can be found here: