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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 encouraging Bible Memory:

Preschool-Kindergarten

  • 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, award the child a gem or button star which can be sewed or glued onto the bag.
  • Allow him or her to choose a favorite game to play with the family.

Grades 1-6

  • Offer a lapel pin for every 25 verses that have been successfully memorized and recited. Choose a shield or sword or some other applicable image.
  • Take a Swordbearer Picture with a knight. When a child of any age memorizes and recites 100 verses, take his picture and post it on a bulletin board with the other sword bearers. If you have a life-size knight, that is the perfect backdrop. If not, you can make a poster of a knight, paint a wooden knight cutout, or write out Ephesians 6 on a background.
  • Give your child a gift to help him or her grow spiritually. Consider giving a book (biography of a Christian, missionary story, devotional), a print or painting of their favorite verse, or a Fighter Verses Coloring Book.
  • Help your child plan a special celebration. Allow him or her to choose a favorite meal to have for dinner, invite a friend to play, have a sleepover, plan a family outing to a museum or nature preserve.

Youth (consider offering at incremental milestones: 50, 100, 150, etc)

  • Christian music CD of their choice out of a collection approved by staff/parents
  • Pocket-size Bible or Audio Bible
  • Pizza party (you may want to wait for a number of students to reach this level before giving the party)
  • Fighter Verses Journal or other journal to record reflections on the Word
  • Tickets to a worship concert

Whole family (or whole class) 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.

As you consider different incentive options, we recommend reading “Godward Recognition for Bible Memory” to ensure that you are fueling God-honoring thanksgiving rather than self-centered pride.

Download these Memory Verse Charts to help you track verses your children have memorized.