The Sunday School Offering

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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.

Creation Care

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? 

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This past year, our kids and congregation brought in non-perishable items each week for a local food bank.  We weighed all the items each month or so and kept track with a North American animal of that weight-- so at 395lbs we had a harp seal, 621lbs polar bear, 794lbs grizzly bear, etc.  The deacons came on board and encouraged the whole congregation to help too, we ended up donating a total 1129lbs of goods... a (smallish) moose!

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing, Jamie. Love the way you kept track of how much you raised! 

A few years ago, at First CRC Orillia, the stewardship team provided envelopes for the Sunday School classes. Parents received the tax receipt and the children received a letter showing how much they had donated for the year, We used the "World Renew Catalog" and about every six months the children decided what they would buy. We then purchased the items and asked "World Renew" to send a letter thanking the children. In addition, the stewardship team would bring cake and ice cream to the Sunday School to celebrate and to confirm what items had been purchased. . A PowerPoint presentation of the children's ministry was shown to the congregation during "children's time" at front of church. Giving went up substantially.

Also we gave each child a bank that had three compartments. One for giving, another for saving and a third for spending.

 

 

That's awesome, Reg! It's so important that kids feel that they are part of the whole church community from a very young age and that their gifts and contributions matter. 

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