Rewards in Children's Ministry
One of the thoughts I am considering for next school year is to get rid of "Bible Bucks" on Wednesday nights. I asked my Wednesday night workers about it and half were against the idea. It is so rooted in most children's ministry that we cannot imagine the absence of it. I was encouraged when I read an entire chapter in Show Them Jesus by Jack Klumpenhower. He shares many of the reasons why I would like to stop. Here are some thoughts from Klumpenhower on rewards in ministry:
It wouldn't do to teach that God's rewards in salvation come freely, by grace, but that rewards in the church come by being good and memorizing verses.
God's greatest rewards are based on his generosity, not what we've earned. Our class would work the same way...In my class the bucks were a gift, not a reward.
Creating a Good-News Environment
- A good-news environment is sin-aware
- A good-news environment is grace-aware
- A good-news environment focuses on the heart
- A good-news environment helps kids to find Jesus delightful
We shouldn't let fun become a tool to keep kids interested so we can feed them good news on the side. Jesus isn't a side dish.
four ways the good news affects our daily behavior: gratitude, confidence, hope and comfort.
I want to teach them the good news, which tells us (1) the best rewards are not material but spiritual and (2) there are never earned or deserved by our religious behavior.I don't know if I will make the change this Fall, but as I continue to think and process the message that is sent to our kids through rewards, I anticipate a change coming soon.