By Kristin Schultz
There are so many ways to reinforce a child’s faith walk. We read Bible verses with the kids. We play games that illustrate and reinforce biblical truths. We talk to our kids about how much Jesus loves them. We pray with our kids.
Another way to help students remember what it means to be a part of God’s family is with prizes!
Why give out Prizes in Children’s Ministry?
First, who doesn’t love presents? Second, giving Christian prizes in kids’ ministry lets students know that you care about them and want to support them in their faith walks. In addition, a tangible item is a physical reminder that we are interested in them and in their faith development.
Such prizes help build trust and encourage relationships. Helping children grow in faith is a team effort involving us as children’s ministry leaders as well as the kids’ parents, grandparents, friends, and other family members. Children today face more stress than ever before. Showing them the importance of faith and trust in God can help children in difficult times.
What kinds of prizes?
It’s important to be thoughtful when giving prizes or rewards. You’ll want to give something that is meaningful and age appropriate and of course you want the gift to connect with the child and speak to where the child is in his or her walk with the Lord.
But you also want the prize to be fun! Being part of God’s family through Jesus brings us joy and is a cause for celebration! Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Dog Tags with Bible verses on them
- Bracelets that can be worn as a constant reminder of Jesus’ love
- Books and activity books that engage children and reveal aspects of God and his character
- Backpacks and tags that are a visible witness to the kids’ friends about the love and salvation that is ours in Jesus
Whatever prize you choose, make sure that it is age appropriate and suited to the child’s abilities. You might also consider personalizing the prize with a note of encouragement for the student.
When should I give out these prizes?
Children’s ministry prizes can be given out throughout the year. Gifts are most impactful if they are tied to a lesson or concept or to a student’s achievement. For example:
- Reward students for memorizing certain verses or names of books of the Bible
- Reinforce lessons with prizes that can be worn or used over and over
- Recognize students who have excellent attendance records
- Thank children who went above and beyond or helped a friend without being asked
- Encourage kids who show passion or interest
- Extend the event with a take-home item that relates to the event’s message or theme
No matter when you give out prizes, rewards, or small gifts in children’s ministry, it’s important that it has a purpose and delivers the Gospel-centered message that you share across your ministry events.
Children are eager to learn about the God who made them and loves them so much he sent Jesus to be their best Friend. Thoughtful prizes and personal messages reinforce the Gospel message for students long after they’ve gone home.
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