Editor’s note: My Faith Story dog tags are one of CTA’s newest resources for children’s ministry. They’re a perfect teaching tool to use in any Sunday school, day school, or midweek ministry program. This article tells the story of how My Faith Story dog tags came about and it originally appeared in our Grab N Go newsletter. Keep reading to see how My Faith Story dog tags can help your kids learn more about Jesus!
It’s no secret that Sunday school teachers have one of the most challenging jobs in the church. They spend only an hour or so with their students each week, but they are tasked with teaching what seems like a million different things—the Ten Commandments, Bible stories, Christian love, Jesus’ forgiveness, and so much more.
These teachers are undoubtedly dedicated to their students, but do their efforts make a difference? Of course, there is no SAT exam or other standardized test that will prove what children are learning in Sunday school. How do we know what is really sinking in to the hearts and minds of the children?
Susan Cutshall, the Director of Children’s Ministries at St. Luke United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky, recently faced this question. Her team had certain goals for their Sunday school students, but they didn’t have a way to motivate the kids or to keep track of their learning.
But, one day during a brainstorming session, a light bulb went off. “We needed a way to see if the students were learning what we wanted them to learn, but we didn’t necessarily want to test them,” said Susan. “One of our team members said that his daughter’s school used a reward system based on dog tags and immediately we all thought, ‘God Tags’!”
Beginning in kindergarten, each student in St. Luke’s Sunday school receives a chain and is invited to start earning God Tags. Teachers award the God Tags for a variety of memorization tasks and Christian outreach activities. For example, reciting the books of the Bible, memorizing the Ten Commandments, bringing a friend to church, and participating in servant activities are all God Tag achievements.
“Many of our kids participate and it really floats their boat,” commented Susan. “Some kids are so excited and they want to get all the tags right away! They wear the God Tags to church or to school. Then other kids might ask, ‘What’s that?’ and it gives our kids a chance to talk about it and share their faith.”
Susan’s God Tag program was extremely successful at St. Luke and word of the program quickly spread to other churches. St. Luke didn’t have the resources to provide God Tags for other churches, but Susan still wanted them to be able to utilize the program. That’s when she contacted CTA.
“We couldn’t really get into the business of designing and selling the tags, so I immediately thought about CTA and shared the idea,” said Susan. “We are so pleased that this idea will now be easily available to many churches and many children at such an affordable price.”
CTA has just released a line of My Faith Story tags based on Susan’s program. You’ll find tags for praying, Christian service, memory work, and other special achievements. Each My Faith Story tag also comes with a Ministry Message that deepens the students’ learning.
“The tags are something that we want to be really special to the students,” commented Susan. “We don’t want the kids to memorize it and forget it. We really want them to have heart knowledge instead of just head knowledge. We know this might take a while. They might know it and it’s just head knowledge at first. But if we plant a seed, eventually it will become heart knowledge. Someday, it will come to mean more than just the words they are saying.”