Effective Theme Nights

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Wrap-Your-Leader Night in Sparks

As  I’ve been speaking at AMCs (Awana Ministry Conferences) this fall, I have asked leaders to suggest topics for the Life Threads blog. What would they like to read about? What would help them? One of the topics that popped up several times was: How do we plan an effective theme night?  So here are some suggestions.

1. Plan at the beginning of the year – or at least a month or so ahead of time.

2. Choose one theme a month that takes clubber/parent effort – not every week. If you want to have themes every week (and many churches do), plan for the other three weeks to be leader-driven rather than clubber driven. You don’t want the clubbers/parents to grow weary in figuring out how to dress backwards, upside-down or inside out.

For instance your month might look like this:

Week one (leader driven) – Pass Two Sections Night (points for kids who do so)

Week two (leader driven) – M & M Night (Games are played with M&Ms, Large Group Lesson is on Mary and Martha)

Week three (leader driven) - Thanks Night (Kids write thank-you notes to the Awana missionaries)

Week four (clubber/parent effort – but leaders need to participate, too) – Crazy Color Night (Clubbers see how many different colors they can wear.)

3. Publicize your theme. Listing it on the beginning-of-the-year calendar won’t do the job. Many parents have lost their calendars or didn’t look at them in the first place. Send home a notice, email, put it on your church Awana Facebook page, etc.

4. Award team points for each team member/leader who has participated in the theme. In other words, when everyone shows up dressed as a Bible character or in their team colors, acknowledge that they’ve made the effort. (That sounds elementary, but I’ve actually been at churches where the leaders have totally ignored that the kids were dressed for a theme night.)

5. Have clubbers who have participated parade around the room – or maybe even the church. Are adults gathering for a midweek Bible study or is the choir getting ready to practice?  Let the kids parade their crazy hats in front of them.

6. Make sure judging is fair. If you’re giving prizes for the craziest crazy hat or the funniest funny shoes, ask someone who doesn’t know the clubbers to judge. (Maybe one of those adults who is at the church for a Bible study.) No, these prizes aren’t that important, but it can be a problem when leaders judge. They might choose the director’s daughter … because she IS the director’s daughter or they might ignore the director’s daughter (even though her hat clearly is the craziest) because she IS the director’s daughter. Yes, it happens – both ways – and kids pick up on it.

7. Take pictures. If you have permission ( you MUST have permission), you can use them on your Awana website or Facebook page. Or you can decorate with them (or do a DVD compilation) at your end-of-the year Awards ceremony.

8. If necessary, allow the kids to “dismantle” their theme wear before games if it would be safety hazard. For instance, if they’re wearing oversized shoes or a multitude of safety pins to keep their costume in place.

9. If possible, use the theme in games. For instance, if you have a Crazy Color Night, you could play a game in which someone wearing red from each team runs around the circle, or someone wearing beige, or someone wearing green polka dots.

10. Have fun!

 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 at 4:00 pm and is filed under Club ideas, Commanders/Directors, Leaders, Resources, Teaching, Theme Nights, Training. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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Linda Weddle

Linda Weddle

Author, Speaker, Workshop Presenter

Linda Weddle's 30-plus years of experience as a teacher, curriculum writer, author, speaker and ministry leader make her an important voice on ministry to children, youth and families.

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