I have found that, if I want to motivate the young people to do things, I need to offer them some sort of incentive. They like to know that they are getting something out of the deal.
One thing I've also found is that, when looking for ideas for motivation, allowing the youth to do something mean to me works really well. For instance, for one of our activities where we are raising money for world hunger, I have said that if we make it past a certain amount, I will shave my head. And not only that, but the youth that is the biggest individual fund raiser gets to be the one to use the clippers on my head. I am not sure if they will reach the goal, but many of them are determined to do it.
As a part of our Confirmation program, sermon notes have been something that have been hard to get our young people excited about. For some reason, filling out a worksheet about the worship service is not at the top of many of their priority lists. So I've tried to find ways to make them more exciting or appealing.
Well, I've come up with an idea. And it does seem to be motivating many of the kids. This year we've started requiring our 5th and 6th graders to take sermon notes, though not as many as our Confirmation kids, but the reward is the same for them. And today we had our first young person reach the goal amount of sermon notes. It happened to be a 6th grader. Everyone was excited to see the reward. There were camera phones galore to document the event. I had even given my camera to one of the kids, and she snapped some good pictures. So, I thought I'd share one so you could see what the reward was.
Here it is: