Give Tangible Incentives
Scripture memory should be valued because of the blessing of putting God’s Word into your mind. However, a few incentives along the way can also encourage those who have never tried Bible memory, as well as build community through shared celebrations. This is especially true for children and youth.
Here are some recommendations for incentives for children preschool to 6th grade:
- Fighter Verse Tote Bag—This blue bag features Proverbs 18:10 and a picture of a strong tower. Award it to each child in preschool and kindergarten (ages 2-6) after they have memorized their first five memory verses. For every five verses after that, awarded the child a gem or button star which can be sewed or glued onto the bag.
- Fighter Verse Knights—Children earn one knight figurine for every 25 verses that have been successfully memorized and recited. This award works well for children in 1st through 6th grade.
- Swordbearer Pictures—When a child of any age memorizes and recites 100 verses, take his picture. If you can get a knight to use as your Scripture memory program mascot, take the photo of the child with the knight. Then, choose a bulletin board or other location where all of the pictures can be posted.
For rewarding youth, consider providing some bigger incentives for higher levels of achievement. For example, at 50 verses, let the student select a Christian music CD of their choice out of a collection approved by your staff. At 100 verses, award the student with a pocket-size Bible. At 150 verses, award the student with a pizza party (you may want to wait for a number of students to reach this level before giving the party).
Whole-family incentives could also be offered throughout the year: pizza parties, family game nights, picnics in the park. However, these events should not create an attitude of “exclusiveness.” Rather, they should be occasions that celebrate the joy of Bible memory, rejoicing in God’s faithfulness and goodness. It should also be an opportunity to be encouraged and learn from the way He has worked in the lives of other people.