I tell you the truth; this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything — all she had to live on.
— Mark 12:43-44 (NIV)
IN TODAY'S SESSION...
The children learned the importance of stewardship in congregational life. In an adaptation of a biblical parable, The Most Generous Gift, the children heard a story about a poor woman who gives one "mite," a coin worth less than one penny yet half of all she has, to the donation box after hearing a sermon by Jesus. Jesus proclaims that her gift is more valuable than that of the wealthy who gave much more, because she gave all she could.
The participants made gifts out of salt dough as expressions or welcome to newcomers to the congregation, and also learned a way they could contribute financially. We started a collection jar — Penny Jar: Our Gift of Stewardship — that will be available each week for the children to contribute pennies. At the end of the program, or when the jar is full, the money will be donated to the congregation as a gift from the group.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about...
Here are some questions related to stewardship for your family to discuss.
- What does stewardship mean to each of us?
- What are some ways we contribute to the congregation?
- What are some other ways we could give of our time and our resources to enrich our faith community?
- Do family members ever get money as gifts for birthdays or other special events? How do we encourage one another to donate some of the money to the congregation?
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try...
Discuss the importance of giving to the congregation and share with your child(ren) stories about how you have given your time, talents or treasure to the church. If children receive an allowance, talk about giving a percentage to the congregation. Take this opportunity to nurture a culture of generosity and stewardship within your family when your children are young.
A FAMILY RITUAL
Once a month, have a family meeting to discuss how the family will work together in support of a congregation project. If the congregation has a published mission, perhaps begin the meeting by reading that aloud. If there is not a current project, perhaps volunteer as a family to host coffee hour. The children can help bake or choose the snacks to be purchased.