When I first started as the Children’s Ministry director in my current church, East Lake Road Alliance, things were a little shaky in the kids’ department. We had a few faithful volunteers, but a dwindling crowd of kids and a serious lack of direction and excitement. One of the ways that we rallied the troops was through a simple sticker chart.
Now, I’m aware that there is a bit of controversy surrounding rewards and sticker charts in the Children’s Ministry world, but I think this was just what our ministry needed for the season we were in. Here’s why:
Provided a Focus
When you’re first getting started, there’s so much that you want to do to improve the program, but as we all know, change generally comes slowly, especially when you’re the new kid in town. These charts helped show what we were all about — to the volunteers, the parents, and the kids. We want kids to come, bring a friend, and get into God’s Word.
Provided a Cause for Celebration
When starting a ministry from the ground up, it’s easy to get discouraged. However, setting clear goals and throwing stickers around helps to create a reason to celebrate. Having kids come consistently was a big thing for our program and it deserved to be celebrated. The stickers not only encouraged the kids, they encouraged the adults as well.
Got us Moving
We displayed the sticker charts in a pretty obvious place — the hallway leading up to our main classroom. They were seen by almost everyone in the church and they clearly illustrated how things were going for the ministry. Each week as we put up more and more sticker charts to accommodate the new guests, more and more adults were inspired to jump in and help where they could.
Things Don’t Last Forever
Of course, we didn’t continue with the sticker charts forever, but they were a perfect way to get things moving in the right direction. As the Bible tells us, there is a time for everything, and getting out of slump is a perfect time for some sticker charts!
What About You?
Do you use sticker charts (or something like it)? How do the kids respond? I’d love to hear more about it in the comments section!