I saw this article about a kid who received the “Catastrophe Award” for the most excuses given for not having her homework. It made me think about awards we should not give out in our youth ministry that would shame or embarrass kids.
The You Did Not Bring Your Bible For The 20th Time Award
We preachers can say things off the cuff and mean nothing by it but our kids interpret our words differently. This award is indicative of saying, if you don;t bring your Bible, you’re not in the club. A kids may bring his Bible to youth for an 90 min and leave it sit under his bed the rest of the week. We got our pound of flesh from that kid but I would rather that kids not bring their bible for those 90 minutes, when I demanded them to, and rather a cultivate a love of God’s word (written and spoken) so they’ll encounter God’s word for 90 minutes throughout the week.
The You’re So Uncommitted Award
I was the worst at this. I would almost berate a kid for not showing up for an event. Maybe it was the pressure of the numbers, maybe it was my own Pharisaical heart, no matter, I handed out this award to liberally. Kids get enough of the “you don’t measure up” speech. Jesus is the standard not our program schedule.
The You Don’t Love Jesus Enough Award
This is closely related to award # 2. Come to the program = you love Jesus. More program = more love. This is another subconscious message we send to kids whose faith sometime hangs by a thread. Let’ not let our words but the last string that holds them.
I am not advocating to not preach the truth or to build the program to the best to four ability, but let’s not build it by giving out awards that kids do not deserve.
Have you given out some awards you are not proud of? Share them below.