Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Leader Resource 3, Congregational Needs
- Five buckets, masking tape, and a marker
- Offertory basket
- Twelve one dollar bills of play money
Preparation for Activity
- Cut apart the items on Leader Resource 3, Congregational Needs. You may wish to print the leader resource in a larger font so the items will be easier for children to read.
- Use masking tape to label five buckets: (1) Rent [or Mortgage] and Building Maintenance, (2) Utilities, (3) Salaries and Benefits, (4) Materials, and (5) Community. Think about how you can explain each category to the children.
- Put the play money in the offertory basket.
Description of Activity
Tell participants you have slips of paper that each say something the congregation spends money on. Indicate the buckets and explain that each bucket represents a different category of expenses-a different kind of thing that the congregation has to pay for. Engage the children to help you explain each of the categories. Work with the group to read aloud (or, have volunteers read) the slips and place each slip in the correct bucket.
Next, give the group the basket with the twelve one dollar bills in play money. Say you want them to pretend this money was collected in the offertory today. Ask them to decide, as a group, how to spend the twelve dollars. Each dollar can purchase one item in a bucket. Say they have two minutes to discuss what they will do.
Stop the group after two minutes. What have they decided to spend the money on? Why? Does everyone agree?
Every year, leaders at the congregation create a budget. A budget is a plan for how much money to spend on the different things the congregation's needs. [Indicate the buckets.] It is hard work because there are many needs and people have different opinions about which needs are most urgent. Sometimes everyone does not get everything they want. Yet, we have enough and we have a lot to be thankful for. Congregational leaders listen to all members of the community to make their decision. Giving money to the congregation is a way to be a good steward. It is a sharing of treasure.
Speaking up for how we think the congregation should spend its money, and using your voice in the decision-making, as you just did, are other ways to be good stewards. Those are ways to give a gift of time and talent.