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 encourage those who have never tried Bible memory, motivate those who need help persevering in memorization and build community through shared celebrations. This is especially true for children and youth. Incentives need not be expensive and can be seen as celebrations.
Here are some recommendations for incentives for children and youth that can be given by churches or parents:
- Award toddlers through kindergarteners (ages 2-6) a Fighter Verses Tote Bag. This blue bag features Proverbs 18:10 and a picture of a strong tower. Encourage children to memorize five verses to earn their bag. For every five verses (or more for older children) after that, award the child a gem or button star which can be sewed or glued onto the bag.
- 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 metal knight as your Scripture memory program, that is the perfect backdrop. If not, you can make a lifesize poster of a knight, paint a wooden knight cutout or write out Ephesians 6 on a background.
- 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, play a favorite game with the family or plan a family outing to a museum or nature preserve.
- 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, a worship CD, tickets to a worship concert, a Fighter Verses Journal to record reflections on the word or a Fighter Verses Coloring Book.
- Set a higher goal for rewarding youth with bigger incentives. 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).
- Plan church events for families several times throughout the year to celebrate Bible memory. These events should be occasions for all families to 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. Consider planning a pizza party, family game night or picnic in a park.
As you consider different incentive options, we recommend reading this Godward Recognition for Bible Memory to ensure 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.
Fighter Verses Knights
For many years, churches have used the Fighter Verses Knights from Children Desiring God as incentives to encourage children to hide God’s Word in their hearts. Unfortunately, the Fighter Verses Knights have been discontinued and are no longer available.
We are sorry for any disappointment or inconvenience this may cause you and your church. We recommend using the list above to help you brainstorm a new incentive or tradition your church or family can use to encourage Bible memory. If you are interested in a replacement that is more similar to the knights, you might want to check out these options:
May the Lord bless everyone who treasures His Word up in their heart!