When churches teach on money and generosity, the target audience is usually adult attendees. And this is understandable. Adults certainly need to hear about God’s design for them and their money. However, adults aren’t the only people in your church who need to learn about generosity. Children do too.
They are often overlooked when it comes to teachings on money and generosity. While mom and dad are learning about generosity, Johnny is learning about Moses (not a bad thing on its own) in his classroom. Children are detached from the important teachings God gives us about money.
If your church hasn’t made it a point to teach generosity to children in the past, let me give you five reasons you should incorporate it into your teaching curriculum. The following reasons benefit both the youngest generation in your congregation but also benefits the church overall for the long run.
1. Children can understand biblical concepts.
You already know this. Children soak up biblical teachings. They latch on to the stories and easily memorize Bible verses. They can understand God’s basic pattern for managing financial resources—give, save, live. If they can understand how Jesus forgives sins, they can understand generosity.
2. Generous, adult disciples point back to their childhood as the time they learned about giving.
I have listened to numerous men and women tell their generosity story. A large number of them start with, “I started giving to my church at a young age.” Every Sunday, they would take a coin to place in the offering plate. God took that seemingly small act and grew it into a life characterized by generosity. Don’t underestimate what a child’s small, consistent giving can become over time.
3. Generosity allows children to see that they are a part of something bigger than themselves.
Children, who give, start to understand that they are participating in a larger mission. When a child gives there is ample opportunity to show them how that act connects to God’s greater mission and the happenings in the church. Which leads me to my next point.
4. Parents can leverage the lessons for ongoing discipleship in the home.
When a church teaches its children about generosity, they are teeing up several discipleship-oriented conversations for their parents. Why is it important to hold our resources loosely? How does God use the resources we give? Why do we prioritize giving? In general, why do we give? Teaching children about generosity in the church is a gift for parents desiring to point their children to Christ.
5. Encouraging generosity provides a tangible way in which God and His Church are made priorities.
For children, the act of generosity is an easy way to practice what they learn. We want them to make God and His Church the priority in their lives. There are few better ways to demonstrate this than through regular giving. Their gift may be small, a quarter from their parents, but the action communicates something significant.
Children can understand the biblical principles of money and generosity. They can grow into an adult who points back to this moment as the start of their generosity story. Don’t overlook the children. Teach them what God says about this important topic.