OceanSide church of Christ

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By Aaron Cameron


          “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth...”  It is with that passage, 2 Timothy 2:15, that we are told what we hopefully already know: we need to study the Bible to continue in our education of the Word, so that we can use it in bringing others to God. 

          One of the ways that we study the Bible is through the time the Elders have set aside for Bible study, which occurs twice each week.  Through our Catch a Vision Day, as well as the goals that the Elders have set before us, an Educational Incentive Program was created to help foster excitement and enthusiasm among Bible study students of all ages.  Through this article, we hope to provide the parents and members with details regarding the program and answer any questions that you might have.

          The Incentive Program can be broken down into two main categories: “Kids” and “Adults.”  The “Kids” program is for those students up through the high school class, and the “Adults” program is for the Adult class, as well as any other adult-level class that meets on Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights.

          Incentives will be awarded at the “Kids” level twice per year: on “Move-Up Day” in June, and again at the beginning of the year, in January.  The “Adults” level Incentives will be awarded in January of each year.

          There are four individual “Kids” awards.  The first is Daily Bible Readers.  Children will be required to read their Bible daily, in each week throughout the year.  We'll start this award at the 4-K class level, and assisted reading (parents reading to their kids or helping their kids to understand) is perfectly fine when needed.  The second award is called Exceptional Attendance.  Children will be required to miss no more than six class periods in each award period.  This award will be effective at all class levels.  The third “Kids” award is the Memory Verse.  If a child is in the 2-3 year old class through the 4th - 5th grade class, then he or she is required to correctly recite their memory verse monthly.  If a student is in the middle or high school classes, then he or she is asked to correctly recite their memory verse each week.  And finally, there will be a Most Improved Bible Class Student award.  Teachers of each class will submit names of the student in their class showing the most improvement through the half-year period.

          There are also four individual “Adult” awards.  The first is Daily Bible Readers, and adults will be required to read their Bible every day, in each week throughout the year.  The second award is called Yearly Bible Readers.  This one is for those who read the entire Bible, the New Testament, or the Old Testament all the way through in the course of a year.  Next, there is the Memory Verse award.  It will be for all those who learn their memory verse each week throughout the year.  And finally, there will be an Exceptional Attendance award.  Adults will be required to miss no more than twelve class periods per year.

          How will we keep track of these awards?  In the younger classes, attendance sheets will be used, in a modified fashion that will allow the teachers to track each category week to week.  In the Adult class, a sheet will be passed around with members’ names on it.  Simply check the boxes applicable to you.  It’s that easy!

          What are the prizes for these awards?  Well, you can see some of them in the bulletin board in the foyer.  Some of the others will be surprises that you will have to simply wait until your respective Award Day to find out about.

          In addition to the individual awards, each class will participate in the “Henry's Helpers” program.  A container will be placed in each classroom, and at the end of each quarter, the class who brought the most items to fill Hungry Henry's belly will win an ice cream sandwich party.  In addition, those who bring items each week will receive an “I Fed Hungry Henry!” sticker to wear for the rest of services, to facilitate recognition and participation.

          We also have two non-Bible school programs in place.  The Servant’s Corner will continue to be a part of the bulletin each week.  In addition, there will be a Shining Light Award, that will focus upon achievements our members accomplish within the community, such as citizenship awards, honor roll placement, or work-related awards.

          It is hoped that these incentives, and this program overall, will provide not only recognition and prizes for all ages, but also involvement and encouragement for families and friends.  Set aside a time each day to study a chapter or two from the Bible so that all members of the family can keep up with their Bible reading.  Help children learn how to budget their time to include Bible study, prayer, and other activities that will help in their Bible education.  Invite others to Bible Study; guests of all ages, to come and see what the excitement is about and help them to participate as well.

          Let’s learn all we can and grow on the vine in 2009.