How Traditional Truth Trackers Works
What materials do preschoolers go through in Traditional Tiny Trackers?
In Tiny Trackers, the children memorize one verse per week. The topic for the week comes from that verse, as does the lesson, illustrative story, and puppet show. All the children in Tiny Trackers purchase a memory book which contains their topic and their verse for the week. The topic for the children is a word found in their memory verse. For instance, one week the children will learn about the word “Others.” They learn what that word means, and they have a Bible story to illustrate that word. Their verse (part of Phil 2:4) uses that word and a puppet show helps the children learn more about that word.
There are a total of thirty weeks of Tiny Trackers verses and lessons. At the beginning of the year, those weeks will need to be put on a calendar and given to the parents of the children.
What materials do elementary children go through in Traditional Truth Trackers?
The Scripture Spies children purchase a Scripture Spies Memory Book used for the entire year, and the Faith Force children purchase a Faith Force Memory Book also used for the entire year. Another book both Scripture Spies and Faith Force purchase is the Truth Trackers Devotional Book. The children purchase three of these devotional books throughout the year.
What happens during Scripture Spies and Faith Force?
Scripture Spies and Faith Force are made up of four different segments: Devotional Time, Memory Time, Lesson Time, and Game Time. Every day during the week, the children have Devotional Time; and on the night of Truth Trackers, the children have Memory Time, Lesson Time, and Game Time.
The Scripture Spies and Faith Force devotions, verses, and lessons are divided into thirty weeks. As you look at the Memory Book and Devotional Book samples, you can see a numbered week at the top of the page. Your club will need to print off a schedule for the year to tape in the Memory Book. This helps the child and the parents match the week number with the correct date. This also helps the club stay together on the devotions, verses, and lessons. Here is an example of a schedule:
Week 11, October 17
Week 12, October 24
Week 13, October 31
Also on the example memory books, you will see the week number printed. Below the number is the doctrine and the specific topic the club is studying that week.
There are six doctrines the children cover in one year. Below you can see a chart which explains what doctrines the children will be learning each year. You will also notice the books are not numbered by grade but are color coded. That is because all grades go through the same material at the same time. The Scripture Spies cover the same doctrine as the Faith Force. The Faith Force material is a little more advanced. Their verses are more difficult.
One year your club may be going through the green books, which covers the doctrines of Salvation, God Created, The Bible, Growing Spiritually, The World, and The Future. All the Scripture Spies would have a green Scripture Spies Memory Book with the green Truth Trackers Devotional Books, and the Faith Force would all have a green Faith Force Memory Book with the green Truth Trackers Devotional Books.
2. God Created
3. The Bible
4. Growing Spiritually
5. The World
6. The Future
1. My Struggles
2. The Law
3. Jesus Christ
4. God’s Goodness
5. Solving Problems
6. Evil Forces
1. God’s Nature
2. God’s Greatness
3. Christ’s Death
6. The Holy Spirit
Devotional Time takes place every day as the children, in coordination with their parents, schedule this “time” into their own daily life. This time is used by the children to spend time with God. During this Devotional Time, the children complete their devotions from their Truth Trackers Devotional Book. Their devotions teach the children from the Bible the doctrine and topic they are learning in Truth Trackers.
Below is a sample from the Truth Trackers Devotional Book. Your club should explain to the children these guidelines for Devotion Time:
- The children need to set aside a time every day to spend with God. Completing their devotions is not a last-minute-before-Truth-Trackers-starts-project. These devotions must be done everyday.
- Help the children know “how” to do their devotions. Walk the children through one day’s devotional.
- Explain to the children what Devotion Time is. This is not just a completion of a project for an award. They are spending time with God. That means God talks to them through their devotions, and they talk to God through prayer.
When a child comes to Truth Trackers, the leader or secretary must sign the book and record the child’s completion of their devotions on the child’s Record Card.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: Do all the 1st-6th graders go through the same devotional books?
Answer: Yes, we have the 1st-6th graders going through the same devotional books at the same time. The books are designed so that all ages (6-12 year olds) can use them and the younger ones with the parents help. (No matter what kind of devotional material younger children use they need parents to help anyways.) Our experience has taught us that the younger children (and older) need the parents help in reminding them to do their devotions and assisting whenever they need help. As you know, most children won't establish that daily time with God without the encouragement of a parent.
Question: The devotional books are clear, simple and yet have purpose. However, my first thought is about overlap between the Sunday school devotions and these. What should we do about that?
Answer: We encourage churches to do the Truth Trackers devotions because they help the children understand the doctrine their verse and lesson teach. If other children’s ministries have requirements for devotions, you should think about either eliminating those devotions or making those devotions optional. We advise you to evaluate all your children’s ministries, define the purpose of each one, and then coordinate the materials and requirements of ALL your children’s ministries. Many times the leaders in each of your children’s ministries do what is best for that particular ministry. This can cause children and families to be overburdened with requirements, and it can cause the children’s ministries to be less effective.
Question: What if a child misses a day or misses a week of devotions?
Answer: Your club will need to decide how much grace you will give. It is important to give grace with devotions. However, this needs to be a real incentive and one of the goals is to help the children learn the discipline of spending time with God everyday.
Questions: What is the parent’s responsibility in devotions?
Answer: The parents need to schedule a time every day for their children to spend time with God. It is the parent’s job to instill spiritual discipline in the life of a child. Then the parent must remind the child to do their devotions. Children might find it difficult to understand a verse, a concept, or another part of their devotions. Therefore, it is important for parents to be available to assist their children with their devotions.
Question: What is the leader’s role in devotions?
Answer: The leader is not the parent. The parent needs to be helping the child do the devotions, but the leader can encourage the child and the parent to be consistent and faithful to spend time with God. The leader can look over the child’s devotions and explain any days that they found hard to understand.
The Truth Trackers night is divided into the last three sections. One of those sections is Memory Time. During this time, the children come prepared to say the verse section they have memorized for the week.
Schedule of the Night
Option 1 – Small Group Schedule
Memory Time - Small groups meet, children say their verses, and visitors are evangelized with the Forgiven Tract. (20-30 minutes)
Game Time – Children have a time to get their energy out. (20 minutes)
Lesson Time – Children sing songs about the doctrine the club is on and hear a lesson that teaches them the doctrinal topic. (20-30 minutes)
Option 2- Registration Table Schedule
Registration/Memory Time – The children check-in, say their verses, show their completed devotions, and visitors are evangelized with the Forgiven Tract.
Game Time/Lesson Time – Children sing songs, hear a lesson that teaches about the doctrine they are going through, and play a review game (for instance, a verse review game).
The difference between these two options is the memory Time. Here are the benefits of the different options.
- Option #1 takes more workers, more time, but allows for personal discipleship.
- Option #2 takes a fewer amount of workers and allows for some workers to go back to the adult service.
No matter which option you choose, you will have someone who listens to the children recite their verses. If the child successfully recites his/her verses with only two helps, the leader will sign the child’s book. On the sample books below, you can see the place where the leader is to sign and date the section.
Scripture Spies/Faith Force Memory Book
Scripture Spies/Faith Force Memory Book is set up so the children say ONE NEW VERSE and review TWO OLD VERSES every week week. However, the children are only to review the last two old verses they have COMPLETED. This means that if your club was on Week 3 (like the above example), a child in that club would first recite the verse in the gray box (on the left side of the page) to a leader and then and recite the last two weeks that a leader has signed. If the child recites all three verses with only two helps, the child has passed his section for the night.
Here are some frequently asked questions about verse memory:
Question: What if a child misses a week of Truth Trackers?
Answer: The program is designed so that all the children learn the same verses at the same time; however, there is enough time during the club Memory Time to make up missed weeks. As long as the child says the assigned week first, he can make up missed weeks.
Question: What if a child doesn’t say his/her section for the night?
Answer: Your club should encourage the children to work hard each week to say their weekly section for the club night. Though the verses are simple and there is not a large requirement of memorization, one of the realities of a memory program is that some children will not come prepared to say their weekly section. If a child is not prepared to say his week’s section that night, then encourage the child to work hard on being prepared for next week’s section. Then next week he can make up his last week’s section.
Question: How can a child recite the TWO COMPLETED WEEKS if he has not said any previous weeks or has not said any verses for a couple of weeks?
Answer: You’re right, they can’t. The child is only required to say the previous two weeks he has ALREADY said. If the child only comes to Truth Trackers for the fourth time within a couple of months, then he will only say the two weeks he has completed over those 4 visits, even if those weeks are in a different doctrine.
Question: Why can’t the children memorize as many verses as they want?
Answer: The memory program for Truth Trackers is meant to be different. We focus on qualitative learning, rather than quantitative. Most children who can spit out 4-5 new verses a night are not really retaining them anyway. The Truth Trackers goal is qualitative, long-term memorization. Also, this is a meant to be a family memory program. It helps families memorize together when everyone is working on the same doctrines and verses.
Question: Do the children learn the verse during lesson time?
Answer: No, the verses are not learned in lesson time. The children come prepared to say their verse and to present their finished devotions the night of Truth Trackers. Then, the doctrine the verses teach are reinforced in lesson time. The week's verse and devotions correspond with the lesson's topic. In other words, the lesson wraps up their week of learning about a particular topic in their devotions and memory verse.