Matt Markins


As President/COO, Matt Markins will lead the senior leadership team to achieve the organization’s strategic goals by leading the day to day operations of the Awana global ministry. He has served Awana for three and a half years as the Vice President of Ministry Resources. Matt’s background in non-profit leadership has been primarily spent in the children’s ministry and mission arenas as a publisher and conference planner. Prior to his years on the Awana Global Leadership team, Matt was in leadership with Randall House Publishers where he co-founded the D6 Conference (a ministry that focuses on helping churches equip and inspire parents to join together in reaching kids with the gospel and engaging them in ongoing discipleship). Matt has coauthored two books, his most recent being Leading KidMin: How to Drive Real Change in Childrens Ministry which releases August 2016. 

Matts story
Matt knows firsthand the importance of reaching children at a young age. He trusted Christ for salvation when he was 5 years old.

“I clearly remember a kind gentleman sharing the gospel with me and teaching us through songs about the love of Christ,” Matt says.

In high school, Matt sensed God’s call into vocational ministry. He graduated from Welch College with a degree in theology, missiology and Christian education.

An advocate for family ministry
Matt is a speaker and workshop teacher at pastors’ conferences, churches and Awana conferences around the U.S. But his greatest passion is consulting with churches and nonprofits in the areas of strategy, discipleship, family ministry, marketing and communication, hospitality and organizational structure.

Matt first discovered Awana through his engagement with D6. However, Awana really came alive for Matt and his family when his boys were engaged in the ministry through his former church in Nashville, Tennessee. Matt and his wife, Katie, were thoroughly impressed with the spiritual fruit they witnessed in their own sons’ lives.

When describing the ministry, Matt says, “Awana not only equips churches to present the gospel to kids, students and families, but it also inspires them to be disciple-making disciples who thrive in lifelong faith in Christ. Our alumni, leaders and missionaries are training leaders in more than 100 countries to evangelize and disciple the next generation.”

Matt and Katie served for two years as T&T leaders, and Katie served as the Awana secretary for three years at their home church.

Family life
The Markins have two sons, Warren, and Hudson, and reside in suburban Chicago. Matt enjoys family time, traveling, carpentry, yard work, biking, and NFL football.