Here are 12 ways to help children develop a generous heart for giving their time, treasure, and talent back to God.
Make it one of your core values as a ministry. Show kids that giving is something you live, not just something you do. Show them by example that generosity is a lifestyle.
Teach lessons about giving. Teach kids the “why” of generous giving. Teach kids that we are stewards of all God has entrusted us with. Teach kids that God loves a cheerful giver. Teach kids that it is better to give than to receive. Teach kids that giving is an act of worship. Teach kids that giving is an investment in eternity.
Make giving a weekly part of your Children’s Ministry. Set aside a time in the service or class to take an offering. Make it a key component instead of an afterthought.
Take time to share a short thought about giving before the offering each week. Read and explain a verse about giving or share an example of someone in the Bible who had a generous heart.
Give kids opportunities to give toward outreach projects. Some examples would be participating in a special Christmas offering, supporting missions, sponsoring a child in a needy country, etc.
Let kids earn prizes at church…for other people. There has been a running debate about rewarding kids for spiritual disciplines. Have you considered rewarding them…but the prize is something they earn to give to someone else? You can see how we do this through our Five Loaves and Two Fish Gift shop each week.
Provide concrete, hands-on opportunities for kids to give. Kids love to give tangible things like canned goods, toys, clothes, etc. I will never forget last year when we were encouraging the kids to bring shoes for kids in Haiti. One girl came in, saw the sign, immediately took her “Sunday dress shoes” off, put them in the shoe bin, and walked out barefooted. Wow…we were blown away!
Get kids involved in giving toward building campaigns. Building campaigns are great opportunities to teach children to be generous givers. Many times God can use kids to lead the way. At one church I served at, we were raising money to build a new children’s building. We challenged the entire church to give generously…including the children. One of the 3rd graders went to his parents and asked if he could forgo vacation that summer to Sea World and instead give the money toward the new building. God used his generous heart to inspire the entire church.
Teach kids to give of their time. Teach kids that financial giving is just one aspect of generosity. It is also about giving of your time to serve others.
Give kids opportunities to give of their time. If we are going to teach kids to be generous givers of their time, then we must provide them with opportunities to serve. Too many kids were told to “sit still and be quiet” at church and that’s what they are still doing now as adults…sitting still and being quiet! And we wonder why we can’t get them to volunteer! Get kids involved in serving and they will grow up to be adults who serve. We have a strategy that we use to get kids involved in serving. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like a copy.
Teach kids to be generous with their talents. Teach kids that their abilities are on loan from God and were given to be used for His glory.
Give kids opportunities to be generous with their talents. Can they sing? Have a kid’s praise team. Are they a people person? Have them greet at the doors and welcome new kids. Are they good at sports? Teach them to be a great example for Christ on their team. Can they play an instrument? Have them play at church. Be intentional about helping kids find ways they can use their talents to bring glory to God.
Just think about how much the kingdom of God can be advanced now and in the years to come if the kids in our ministries become generous givers. They are ready…they are willing…they want to make a difference.
Below is a short video story of a girl in our Children’s Ministry who gets it. Generosity has become part of her DNA. God is using her generosity NOW to impact others…and I can’t wait to see what He is going to do through her generous heart in the years to come.