How Adventure Club Came to Be
Adventure Club’s systematic theology for kids midweek program started here at Grace Community Church of Sun Valley, CA, and is now being used in churches all over the US and internationally. The development of this curriculum was an incredible effort that did not arise from a vacuum. So how did Adventure Club begin? Several milestones along the way led providentially to what Adventure Club is today.
The first milestone was the decline of our previous mid-week curriculum, Awana. After using Awana here at Grace Community Church for over twenty years, our children’s ministry team and elders noticed some concerning changes in their doctrine and materials that could not be ignored. These changes trended toward a lack of biblical quality and a watering down of crucial gospel truths. There was a heavy focus on Bible memorization, but not an equal zeal for biblical meaning encouraged in the materials. Furthermore, elements of the teachings of Spiritual Formation, like Contemplative Prayer, were creeping into Awana's curriculum. (see link below) Spiritual Formation is a false system of doctrine that teaches communion with God through mystical practices. All of these things, among others, caused our team to desire a transition away from Awana for our children. In the future, we will be highlighting some lessons in Adventure Club that guard our children against these pitfalls.
The second milestone on the way to Adventure Club was the success of Generations of Grace, our Sunday morning Bible narrative curriculum. After successfully developing and teaching Generations of Grace here at Grace Community Church for over a decade, we decided to develop our own mid-week program to complement it. We wanted to implement a faithful philosophy of children’s ministry into our materials, focusing on biblical understanding and not just rote memorization. Our goal was to create a theological curriculum rich in sound doctrine and strong in the gospel.
The third milestone in Adventure Club’s journey was the release of Biblical Doctrine, the systematic theology text from John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue, published by Crossway (GraceBooks link). This exemplary work of theology laid the doctrinal foundation for Adventure Club to build upon for children’s ministry. From this strong foundation, Adventure Club grew into its form today. Adventure Club is one of the only children’s curriculum that teaches a true systematic theology to kids in every major area: Theology Proper, Christology & Pneumatology, Anthropology, Hamartiology & Soteriology, Bibliology, Ecclesiology, & Eschatology. As a mid-week program, Adventure Club has become an essential part of our mission to teach our children the whole counsel of God.
Since Adventure Club’s publication in 2018, over 100 churches worldwide have implemented the curriculum in their children’s ministries. And the list is continually growing. We praise God for the influence He has given to Adventure Club. Our chief end in all things is to glorify Him by being faithful to His Scriptures and zealous to see children saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim 2:4).
Awana's lesson on prayer - click here
Biblical Doctrine by John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue - click here