Like so many other churches, we have just kicked off our Fall programs - AWANA, Rally Day for Sunday School, and soon, Released Time classes for kids after school. Programs are not an end unto themselves; they are only as good as the truth taught and the leaders that lead them. The name, AWANA, refers to "Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed." So, what does that mean? It is based on 2 Timothy 2:15. The following comes from the Scotsman, Oswald Chambers (1874-1917), who was converted under the ministry of C. H. Spurgeon in London. He is best known for the devotional My Utmost For His Highest.
Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15, RV)
FIRST, "Rivet" God's Truth into Your Heart
How can a man or woman become a workman approved unto God? Read 1 Timothy 4:16 —“Take heed to thyself, and to thy teaching." If you forget everything else, do not forget that verse. The word “heed” occurs again in Acts 3:5 and 20:28. It means to concentrate, to screw your mind down, fix it, limit it, curb it, confine it, rivet it on yourself and on your teaching. It is a strong word, a powerful word, a word that grips, a rousing word. That is what we have to do if we are going to be workmen approved unto God.
Next, Intentionally Put Yourself into an Apprenticeship Role with Godly Leaders.
To be a good leader, you have to be a good follower. Hear Chambers,
But I want you to notice first of all who is talking and who he is talking to. It is the Apostle Paul talking to Timothy, or writing to Timothy, or sending a message to Timothy. Paul’s method was that of apprenticeship, that is always God’s method of training workers. In the old days when artists used to have apprentices, they used to put the boy in charge of mixing paints and in between doing this he would watch the artist paint, and slowly bit by bit, doing the hard work and watching the master work, he would learn to “take heed.” That was Paul’s method. Timothy had a good mother and a godly grandmother, and he was trained spiritually in this apprentice style. If you are going to be a worker for the cure of souls, God will bring you under masters and teachers. That is the method God always uses. He does not use anyone who is undisciplined. Thank God for every worker who was ever placed under apprenticeship!