This excerpt is copied from “Children and Stewardship: Practical Ideas” written by Sharon Ely Pearson, Building Faith.
A Child’s Point of View
One’s understanding of personal stewardship is a continuing journey that should begin in childhood. Most children already have a sense of wonder of how to respond with thanksgiving to God who created them and the world in which they live. Theirs is an “attitude of abundance”, according to John Westerhoff when discussing healthy stewardship with children in Will Our Children Have Faith? The question is not only, “How can we teach stewardship to children?” but “How can we encourage children to continually respond to God’s creation by caring and enjoying what God has given them, personally and in the world around them?”
The sense of belonging to a community is an important aspect of faith development for children (and all ages). This can be an asset in exploring how we use what God has given us to include creation, abilities & talents and resources (financial and relational). Children need approval of family, friends and teachers as they begin to develop their own “theology of stewardship.” They need hands-on exploration of concepts, being able to relate Bible stories to their lives and the issues of today. It is important that we encourage questioning and exploration, while sharing our own faith and understanding of stewardship in an honest, open way.
In teaching stewardship concepts with all God’s children, it is helpful to build upon different focal points:
- Stewardship of creation
- Stewardship of ourselves and our bodies
- Stewardship of talents and spiritual gifts
- Stewardship of time and priorities
- Stewardship of our relationship with others
- Stewardship of treasure and material possessions
Stewardship Pledge Cards
Just as adults are asked to make a commitment (promise) financially to the church each year, children should also be included. In its most simple form, stewardship is taking care of the world and the church on behalf of God. Questions such as the following help children discuss their roles as stewards:
- How do you think God wants us to take care of the church?
- How are we ministers to others for Jesus?
- What are some ways the church can help take care of the world?
- What are some things you can do to help the church in its ministry?
- What can you do to help take care of God’s world?
. . .
Valuing all Gifts
We must also use the gifts of ministry that they have offered. Adults are asked to help with various church activities and projects so they can utilize their gifts in service to the church and the world. Children can help with clean-up days, dinners, visits to homebound members, special mission projects and more.
If we want to nurture children in an understanding of stewardship, we need to find ways to help them experience stewardship and the joy of giving of oneself. We must take the gifts our children can give seriously and let them know how much such gifts are appreciated!