There has been debate about whether children should be rewarded for things like bringing their Bible to church, memorizing scripture, bringing guests, listening to the lesson, etc. Both sides of the debate have made valid points.
One push back against giving rewards is that it can instill in children wrong motives for spiritual disciplines.
But recently something happened that caused me to think about giveaways in a new paradigm.
We gave away several bicycles in our services. The following week stories came back that several of the kids who had won a bicycle had turned around and given it to a family in need.
Wow!!! What if this was happening every week??? What if kids were striving to get rewards so they could turn around and give them to someone else! I believe it could change not only the reason we give away rewards, but could also change the children who receive them.
Yes...we are going to give away rewards to children. But...we are going to tell them up front to turn around and give the prize to someone else that week. Whether it's a piece of candy or a bicycle, we're going to ask them to let God lead them to someone who needs it. I believe this can instill a heart of giving in our children. Their motive for getting rewards can shift from themselves to others. I believe it can plant seeds of living for others for a lifetime.
We are going to hold the kids accountable and the following week ask them to give a report on who they gave their reward to.
We are truly going to start having "give"aways. I'll keep you posted and update you on how it's playing out. Think of the potential. I believe it will have a major impact on the kids and the people who they give their rewards to.