This resource is part of a series of interactive, intergenerational ideas for engaging people in faith practices through worship and/or midweek gatherings, brought to you by Worship Ministries and Faith Formation Ministries as part of the Faith Practices Project.
Generosity is freely sharing with others the many gifts God has given us. A spirit of generosity arises from gratitude. As we imitate God’s own generous nature, our generosity overflows to bless the people around us.
Below you’ll find a variety of intergenerational ideas on this faith practice. Choose from and then use the ideas to shape a summer series, plan a midweek gathering, weave into an all-ages small group study or house church gathering, and more.
There are so many ideas here that you probably won’t need them all. To help make choosing easier, we’ve organized them into three categories:
- Gather activities provide an introduction to the practice through reflection and connection.
- Grow experiences offer an opportunity to explore the practice in community in a way that can be repeated at home.
- Go resources encourage and equip participants to live out the practice.
For a list of other Scripture passages and songs you might also include during your gathering, see the Build-Your-Own Worship Service (or Series) on Generosity.
Pair a reading of the picture book Mama Panya’s Pancakes by Mary and Rich Chamberlin with the story of Elijah and the widow from 1 Kings 17:8-16. Where do you see generosity in these stories? Have you ever experienced the generosity of someone who freely shared what they had with you? What was that like? What might the story of the widow’s oil teach us about God’s generosity? When might be a good time to remember what you know about God’s generosity?
Invite one or two people in advance to share with the group a story about their experience with generosity. What did they learn about God through that experience?
Provide each person with a copy of Psalm 103 and some coloring pencils. Invite everyone to note, as the passage is being read, all the examples of God’s generosity that they hear in Psalm 103. If you were writing another verse to this psalm, what other examples of God’s generosity would you include? What can we learn from God’s generosity?
“Bee” generous. On page 3 of this Hunger for Good devotional guide from World Renew you’ll find the story of Eddy, a beekeeper who lives with his family in Guatemala. Eddy’s beekeeper training was made possible by the generosity of others. As he cares for his bees, Eddy is able to watch the ways in which they use their gifts and work together for the good of the whole hive. Share a bit about Eddy’s story and the way in which God designed bees to work together. God has uniquely gifted each one of us too! Provide each table group with a stack of hexagon-shaped papers on which to print or draw their answers to the following questions:
- To whom can I give my time and attention this week?
- What skill or talent do I have that I could use to bless someone?
- What things do I have that I could share with others?
- How might I be more generous in my thoughts and actions this week?
- How might I be more generous in the way I practice kindness this week?
Attach completed shapes to a wall that has been designated for this activity. The resulting honeycomb shape will serve as a reminder to “bee” generous. Pray together over the generosity commitments you have made.
Everyday ways. We have opportunities each day to practice generosity with our time, talents, belongings, kindness, thoughts, words, actions, and money. Working in small groups, brainstorm everyday ways in which you can imitate God’s generosity to you by being generous with people like these:
- family and friends who may be near or far away
- newcomers in your community, church, school, workplace
- people with whom you disagree–in person and/or on social media
- people in need
- people with whom you interact because of their work (cashiers, custodians, delivery people, transit drivers, etc.)
Ideas could be captured on chart paper and then shared with the full group or noted on individual sheets of paper that participants could take home as a reminder of what they might do. Note: Check out the wonderful Family Wallchart (p. 3) from stewardship.org.uk that inspired this activity.
Send people home with faith practice resources they can use to continue the practices they’ve experienced during your time together. Some ideas:
- A link to the page 365 Acts of Kindness from HappyOrangeProject.com. It contains a year’s worth of ideas for practicing generosity.
- The World Hunger Dinner for Good packet includes recipes and ideas for hosting a generosity-generating dinner.
- 5 Ways to Practice Generosity with Your Family—a free, printable resource for households with children
- Faith Practices: Holy Habits That Help Us Love God and Our Neighbor, Listen to the Spirit, and Become More Like Jesus—one booklet per person or household