It is important to teach children about sharing at an early age.
Parents teach children to share their toys and games with others, but have they taught them to share their talents and God-given gifts with others?
God has blessed all of us with talents and gifts, so many that we might not know what to do with all of them. Stewardship and giving back to the church and others is a great way to share the abundance of gifts we have been blessed with.
Stewardship and giving does not always have to include money. Stewardship can include singing at a nursing home, packing personal hygiene or school kits, mowing an elderly neighbor’s yard, or volunteering at a homeless shelter. There are many possibilities when congregations start teaching children about stewardship.
Here are a few ideas to assist the youth in your congregation in understanding how they can give back:
- Children’s offering envelopes: Send a letter to the families in your congregation who have children explaining the importance of sharing our gifts and how they can help others in the community and congregation. Include with the letter special offering envelopes for the children. Many children love to put the envelopes in the offering plate, and providing special envelopes for them will excite them about giving to the congregation.
- Work day: Provide child-friendly cleaning activities at your congregation’s work day. Give them a project to work on such as sweeping the floor, raking leaves or painting. Allow them to complete the project with as little help as possible, this will show them they are capable of giving back.
- Kindness cards: During Sunday school have the children think of one person in the congregation they would like to write a letter to. This person could be someone who helps with Sunday school, the pastor, a friend, an elderly couple or a new member. Any of these individuals will appreciate receiving a card from one of the young people.
- Volunteer activities: Encourage the children to make announcements during worship about collecting supplies for school kits and hygiene kits. Once all of the materials are collected, have them pack the materials and deliver them to a school or a homeless shelter. For older children, have them host a “Parents Night Out,” where they provide fun activities for the children to do while the parents enjoy a night out together. Assist the children in your congregation to volunteer wherever they would like. Ask them about their passions and help them get in contact with charities in the community.
These ideas are only a few of the thousands of ways children can give back to the congregation and community. Spotlight the children in the bulletin or at worship for their hard work and continue to encourage them to share their gifts with others.