Each fall every church I’ve ever served has presented a teaching campaign for stewardship for the congregation. The campaign would have a theme, a date of commitment, mailings, emails, sometimes a book to read, perhaps testimonies to encourage folks to consider their obedience of regular giving to the local church according to the scriptures. I’ve learned that if we can teach the holy habit of generosity to children as part of their discipleship it follows the scripture, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) Teaching our children God’s way of handling money is a life skill taught best by the family, so let’s give our families the promptings and tools to do so.
This year the children K5-5th grade received an offering folder with the following teaching attached:
“For God so loved the world that HE GAVE…” John 3:16
GOD GAVE his son Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. JESUS GAVE his life so that when we believe and choose to follow him so closely we become more like him, we are better at life. It is wise to teach our children to be wise and generous. Teaching is best learned when practiced and shared with our families.
As the McEachern Memorial UMC family is asked to make a commitment (promise) financially to support the church each year, children are included. In its most simple form, stewardship is taking care of the world and the church on behalf of God.
Invite your kids to serve the family and their neighbors to earn dollar bills toward a $20 goal and return the folders by Sunday, November 10 or when your family is able.
Generosity Conversation Starters:
• How do you think God wants us to take care of the church?
• How are we ministers to others for Jesus?
• What are some ways the church can help take care of the world?
• What are some things you can do to help the church in its ministry?
• What can you do to help take care of God’s world?
• How can I be generous with my family?
The sense of belonging to a community is an important aspect of faith development for children (and all ages). This can be an asset in exploring how we use what God has given us to include creation, abilities & talents and resources (financial and relational).
Children need approval of family, friends and teachers and hands-on exploration of concepts, being able to relate Bible stories to their lives and the issues of today. It is important that we encourage questioning and exploration, while sharing our own faith and understanding of stewardship in an honest, open way.
One’s understanding of personal stewardship is a continuing journey that should begin in childhood. Most children already have a sense of wonder of how to respond with thanksgiving to God who created them and the world in which they live.
Generosity, charity, sharing, Thanksgiving and abundance are reinforced in many of the themes found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Be encouraged to think about how to use your gifts and how to be more generous as an example to our children. Because we serve a generous God, we should grow in our generosity.
How are the children involved in your local church’s stewardship campaign?
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7