In a recent conversation with children’s ministry leaders the Sunday school offering came up. A few people mentioned that they collect a dismal amount annually, and are unsure if it’s really meaningful to kids. A few stand out ideas rose to the surface that could bring new energy to this age-old tradition.
A Noisy Offering
Ideal Park CRC has something called a “noisy offering” that is initiated by the children but involves everyone in the congregation. Each year the kids choose an animal or a project to support from the World Renew catalog. They use large metal tin (the kind used for popcorn) to collect the offering. After the regular offering is taken during the church service someone comes up with the tin and shakes it so that the change inside rattles. Everyone is invited to come forward to drop in their change or bills. Each week a tally is made of how close they’ve come to their goal, or how many goats they’ve been able to purchase.
A Missional Project
At Fairway CRC this year the Sunday school director hopes to get kids involved in an ongoing service project or mission that can be worked on each month—like the kid’s food basket program, or visiting older members at a care facility or at home. The offering may prove to be a meaningful way to fund their special projects and she plans to talk with parents and kids about ways that they can earn money throughout the week so that what they give as an offering is something they have worked for.
At Graafschaap CRC the education director would like to energize the kids around a cause that they could champion in the congregation. She’s hoping that this year the children’s offering can be used to replace the Styrofoam cups used during coffee hour with paper cups and the regular coffee with fair trade coffee! She’s hoping that the congregation will get excited about the cause too, and that kids will see that what they give can have a transforming effect on their church and the planet for God’s glory.
What about your Sunday school offering? What do you see as its purpose? How do you energize the kids to get involved?