What is the Theology?
In the Bible, giving is a command (Leviticus 25:35–37), an expectation (2 Corinthians 8:12–15; 1 Timothy 6:17–19), and a blessing (Psalm 41:1–3; Proverbs 11:24–25). Yet, because giving is not always intuitive or easy, the virtue of generosity must be cultivated and practiced, even from an early age (Proverbs 22:6). Parents, and indeed Christian communities, might therefore do well to be intentional about including children in their practices of giving in ways that are theologically and scientifically informed.
What to Consider
- In what ways can you model and explain generosity to the young persons in your church?
- Research suggests that young children have a deeply rooted instinct to share and to help others, from very young ages. What influences might complicate that instinct as children grow up?
- How can your church encourage kids and help them to consider the history and experiences behind those in need of generosity?
How to go Deeper
- Make space for adolescents to serve alongside adults in local service projects such as volunteering in soup kitchens, visiting nursing homes, or cleaning up local parks.
- Ask the young people in your church how they would like to practice generosity, and then empower them to do so.
- If there are children in your congregation, invite them to go deeper by addressing them directly in your sermons on money, giving, and generosity.
- Share with your community the ways in which giving can become not only an act of generosity but of self-care.
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