My 5-year-old’s best friend goes to a Baptist church. She has invited my daughter to go to the Awana program there. From what I understand, they play games, do crafts, and memorize Bible verses. My daughter would like to go, since it sounds like so much fun, but I would like to be sure it’s not a wrong thing to do. My friend assures me that it is a non-denominational program, but I know there’s a big difference between non-denominational and Catholic-approved. Thanks!
Here is a quote from Awana’s web site about their purpose:
Awana is a nondenominational ministry that assists churches in reaching children and teenagers with the gospel of Jesus Christ and training them to serve Him. We supply programs, materials and training for more than 13,000 churches in over 110 countries. Our message to churches is simple: We’re here to serve you with a ministry that is all about fun with a purpose — to win and grow kids for Christ!
Awana is “non-denominational” in the sense that it is not affiliated with a particular church; but it does have an Evangelical Protestant understanding of the gospel and that understanding differs in some respects from the Catholic understanding. A five-year-old is not yet intellectually mature enough to sift out the incorrect non-Catholic teachings from the unobjectionable Christian teachings. While the decision is one only you can make, I cannot recommend Awana for Catholic children. A Catholic alternative to investigate is K4J (Kids4Jesus).