BibleBucks storeYesterday was the grand opening of our Bible Bucks store. I think all but 1 family was in attendance for this much anticipated event.

In cooperation with our 2013 theme from Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation,” Children’s Ministry began a Bible Bucks program to positively reward our students to encourage the use of their Bibles, “The Good News”.

Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Students received their Bible Bucks from their teachers in Sunday School, Club345, Wednesday Night Light, Children’s Church, and any special services each week as follows:

Attendance = 1 Buck
Bring your bible = 1 Buck
Parents bring their bible with them to church = 1 Buck
Bring a 1st time friend = 5 Bucks
Bring a 2nd time friend = 1 Buck
Bring a 3rd time friend = 1 Buck
Answer and return a weekly Bible Detective Question = 1 Buck (will be added throughout the year on the pew clipboards)
Answer and return the weekly “My Bible Journal” page = 1 Buck (will be added throughout the year on the pew clipboards)
Recite the Lord’s Prayer = 5 Bucks
Recite the Apostle’s Creed = 5 Bucks
Serve in some way for others through church activity (ex: making sandwiches for the hungry, visiting New Hope Homeless Mission, etc.) = 2 Bucks

For instance, if Junior goes to Sunday School (1 from Sunday School teacher), brings his bible (1 from his Sunday School teacher), Mom brings her bible to church (1 from Ms DeDe), attends Children’s Church (1 buck) and brings his bible (1 from Ms. DeDe), Junior has earned 5 Bible Bucks for that Sunday morning.

BibleBucksAs the year goes on, there will be other opportunities to earn more Bible Bucks. For instance, in April the 3 students who bring the most new people will earn a stack of Bible Bucks (to be determined.)

The Bible Buck Store is open on the 4th Sunday of each month after the last worship service on Sunday where our disciples will tithe 10% (1 buck minimum), save 10% for another time (1 buck minimum), shop for special holidays, and purchase special items like VBS t shirts, field trips, school supplies, toys, and other discipleship tools. The premise is that “we tithe 10%, we save 10%, and we can spend the rest.”

Bible Bucks remain at the church in each student’s file, located in the file box, placed in the breezeway next to the Sanctuary.

The congregation can get involved with our store by donating funds or toy items. They can also volunteer to help stock and run the store on a once a month basis.

A fellow blogger wrote, “If a child looks forward to coming to church for any reason whatsoever, God is going to do something incredible in his/her life. It is our intention to offer our youngest disciples opportunities to learn about stewardship, giving, grace, Bible verses, regularly using their bibles, bringing friends, love, forgiveness, perseverance, friendship, and most importantly, Jesus.”

Borrowing a collection plate from the church office we situated a fine man of faith at a pulpit to collect the tithe. That was the first station in the hallway outside the Bible Bucks Store.

Further down the hallway, a fine woman of faith was situated with a file box for the students to save 10% in the student’s mini file folder before entering the store.

Youth and Dads guided the students in front of 5 tables, color coded with paper, with the greatest priced tables first in the door to lowest priced items at the exit. We had tables labeled with $25, $20, $10, $5, and $2. The toys (many were donated from a local grocery store when they needed to move their Christmas merchandise) were on the higher price range. The faith related stuff was on the lower end, because I want them to buy THAT stuff! Freebies I receive at conferences, trainings, along with fellow ministry friends who place huge orders and have leftovers, make up the lower-priced, faith-related items, along with office supplies.  What kid doesn’t like office supplies?

BunnyHBndOur youth director picked up blue and pink bunny ear headbands to offer to any youth who “hopped in and helped” at the grand opening.  Perfect incentive to involve the youth!

Once the students paid for their items at the exit, they stopped back by the “saving lady” and re-deposited any unspent Bible Bucks to save until next month.

The students who returned later in the day for other programs spoke highly of the Bible Bucks store and are already looking forward to next month.

I got the template for the Bible Bucks at  http://www.kidssundayschool.com/Main/Resources/BibleBucks/biblebucks.php and printed them on red card stock (just because that’s what we had the most of already in the office supply closet after all the Christmas printing was finished).  Then, delivered a stack of the red Bible Bucks with the “guidelines” to each leader in all the KidMin programming areas.

Goals (1) Kids getting used to bringing and using their own bibles, (2) Kids getting used to inviting others to everything, (3) Kids to begin financial habits that were biblical, (4) involve adults in a very infrequent entrance to service that may grow into something greater.

Oh, and I’m not going to buy junk for the store.  No outlay of precious funds when we all have basements and closets full of stuff (games, stuffed animals) that we don’t use anymore.  But we will place hand-made gift certificates for upcoming programming events and marketing items for the church.  Any other ideas for a Bible Bucks Store?

Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

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