Using Motivators in Children’s Ministry
The effect of disability on every child is unique. Many children with disabilities have difficulty being motivated to learn and do things that don’t intuitively seem like things they should value. Ask me to run a marathon and you probably won’t see me jumping up and down in excitement. I can run, but it’s not something I love. However, tell me that you are going to give me a new car if I run a marathon, and I’ll start training tomorrow. Motivation is a key component to life.
Typically-developing children as well as those with disabilities do not come pre-programmed to value learning God’s Word or memorize catechism questions and Bible verses. That’s part of the teaching-learning process. In children with disabilities, the process of imparting the value behind discipleship is more complex and often takes longer.
If you have a child who loves airplanes more than anything else, but there are no airplanes at church, then church probably won’t be a place that he loves. However, that same child might be delighted to work for a few minutes for a toy airplane as a reward for sitting during the Bible story. Learn your students and use what they love to add motivation and value to what you want them to learn.
And remember, this is the discipleship process. Over time and through the years, you will fade reinforcers when internal motivation appears and then target other areas of church life where positive reinforcement could foster a greater love and commitment. #learnwhatyourkidslove #wewantthemtolovechurch #addingmotivationincreaseslearning #engagingdisabilitywiththegospel