(These are the tokens for our Uptown store, a few people asked what they look like.)
I thought it would be helpful to get other perspectives on the topic of rewards and the roll they play in children’s ministry.
The first take is from one of my good blogging friends from Texas. His name is Kenny Conley, he is the Children’s pastor of a great church called Gateway Community Church. He has a fantastic blog with great insight from a guy who has been doing Children’s ministry for quite a while.
Here is what he had to say.
I just stepped into a new role at a new church and officially resigned the Bible Bucks system here. This was the third church I’ve done this. Why? Lots of reasons. Most of them probably stem from me being an idealist.
* I’ve never seen a kid grow closer to God because they brought their Bible every week or recited a
verse from last week (which they promptly forget by the next week). I’ve seen grow closer to God in a
ministry that had this system, but I’m not convinced that the reward system had much to do with it.
* It’s so freaking expensive. I’ve seen churches spend more than 4 to 5 thousand dollars a year (mostly
on the tons of crappy trinkets that get lost within a week). What would it look like if I had that
extra 4-5K to spend on a big blow-out party every 4-6 months for kids and their families… or update
some other areas of ministry that directly affect the kids experience in a positive way.
* Too often volunteers will use the Bucks to bribe kids to participate, be excited or be quite.
* Shouldn’t our programming be done in such a way that kids just have fun and enjoy themselves?
Great points Kenny. Thanks for contributing!
Tomorrow I will have some thoughts from another one of my blogging comrades with whom I share a deep affinity for the decade of the 80’s.
3 comments On Other perspectives on rewards.
kenny makes a valid point. i know much of the reasons we have a reward system in place is to draw mom and dad into the process. a sneaky tactic, but its definitely proven that if a child is bound and determined to earn enough bucks for a $100 gift card, they’re not accomplishing that on their own. instead mom and dad are coaching them through it every step. admittedly, that’s a small percentage. i don’t know how equipped i am to argue ROI. but i love the idea of mom/dad working so hard to help their child earn that prize. i think that reward is immeasurable.
I love you point about parental involvement. Thanks you for verbalizing an unconscious value. I think we should bring parents into the argument. I know part of what we are going to be doing with our reward system is going to involve the parents.
BTW the assistant pastor, and media guy spent the weekend a couple of week ago at Lifechurch and were BLOWN AWAY! They loved it. Wish I could have made it. Next time.
Wow, that would be interesting. What if someone could do a study to determine ROI? What a lot of us praise or complain about Bible Bucks systems are built mainly on subjection. It’s not like we have the time or resources to do such a study, but I would assume that the results for most churches who do Bible Bucks would build a case against it… but again that’s me being subjective.
I do like the sneaky agenda of parental involvement. I’d say that I’d do just about anything to get parents and kids talking about Jesus, and if it had to be a incentive program, then I’d look at doing it. Isn’t that the goal. 🙂