Spiritual Research Network

Thursday, February 23, 2006

URGENT - Awana Club Participating in Willow Creek Conference - Are They Heading Toward Contemplative/Emergent?

URGENT: Awana Club Participating in Willow Creek Conference
- Are They Heading Toward Contemplative/Emergent?

LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH PROJECT - February 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?

A 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
Fax:630-213- 5986
Email Addresses
Related Links:
-Notice sent out from Awanas-September 13, 2005 Awana Letter to Parents Encouraging "Spiritual Formation at the Earliest Opportunity"
-More on Willow Creek and their Contemplative/New Age Connections
-Awana Ministry Statistics

Lighthouse Trails Research Project
Deborah Dombrowsk
Lighthouse Trails Publishing