I've Never Planned a Recognition Service! Now What?

I know who you are. I talk to someone just like you several times during spring recognition season.

You’ve never planned or prepared a recognition service, and you have no idea where to start. You’re overwhelmed with the idea of a formal service, and you’d just like a simple plan.

The good news is that you’re not alone. The even better news is that you can make a recognition service as simple (or as complicated) as you’d like to make it. As long as children are being recognized for what they’ve learned and experienced this year in missions discipleship, you are on the right path!

Together, let’s plan a simple recognition service that will allow your GAs, RAs and CAs to be recognized for all their hard work this year.

Date/Place
Determine your time, date and location for the recognition service. Check your church calendar, talk to your church staff and WMU director, and let everyone know what you’re planning.

Vests
Order vests a size or two larger than the children currently need them. That way, they won’t outgrow their vests any time soon.

Awards
Calculate and order your badges soon. If you have no clue which badges to award, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you focused on learning the Pledge? Scripture verses? Song? Award the appropriate badge/patch to those who have learned what it means to be a GA, RA or CA.
  • Did we do any group projects this year that could match a badge? Check the WMU catalog or go to our web store and see what badges/patches are available.
  • Are there any special awards you’d like to present? Consider awarding the High Five badge to a child who has mentored another child, consistently done more than was asked to do or reached out to share Jesus in an unexpected way.

Prepare Your Children
If you want them to share something they’ve done this year, practice what they will say and walking on and off stage. Make sure they know what to expect before your event.

Invitations
Post your event on social media and in your church newsletter, and send home an invitation to parents. Whether your event is formal or informal, everyone loves to be invited!

And don’t forget to take plenty of pictures. You’ll want to remember the smiles and excitement for years to come!


Purchase your badges and patches now!

If you need ideas for missions projects to help children earn badges and patches, you can download our free GA Badge Catalog, RA Patch Catalog, or Children in Action Catalog.

For ideas about themes for GA recognition services and even more tips and ideas, we’ve recently published GA Recognition: Tips and IdeasYou’ll find charts, reproducible invitations, themes, clip art and great ideas to help make planning your first recognition service much easier.


Heather Keller is the GA and CA consultant at national WMU. Heather serves as a GA leader in her local church and displays her own GA badges and sash in her office at national WMU.

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