Teach Your Children Well (and Teach Them to Tithe)

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My oldest son has a part-time job and I’ve realized that our church doesn’t have anything set up to receive his tithing.  Sure, he can drop cash in the offering, but there’s isn’t any communication, offering envelopes, or focus on his tithing. I realize that this is certainly the responsibility of my wife and I to teach him, but how cool would it be to have a focus in our youth ministry around tithing?

Within denominations, we seem to do a pretty good job of communicating assessments and the proposed cost per member or per family.  I’ve been in plenty of churches that carry on that tradition and make it very clear how much each family has to commit to financially in order for the church to meet its financial obligations. I know that most Sunday schools have offerings as well. What I don’t see is much on the topic of youth tithing.

I’ve done some checking and there are resources and articles about tithing and how to share the topic with a youth group.  Honestly though, until my own son started earning money, I didn’t realize how infrequently this is brought up with the youth of the church.  I’ve had pastors tell me that they get criticized for preaching on the topic to the congregation, so they aren’t going to be easily persuaded to bring it up with the younger members of a family.

There have got to be some youth leaders who have tackled this topic head on. I would love to hear how they did it. It has nothing to do with helping our churches meet their budgets. It has everything to do with following the commands and the practices of Christ. How do we help parents address this topic?

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I also have kids that tithe but it is not on the forefront of their mind; I believe that the real issue is that we are living in a society and driven by cultural humanistic desires. The kids (and many times the parents too) live in a world of "I Need or I want". Rather than what can I give away or live without. I have never been a person who spends needlessly, but still believe that as Americans we can still do with less, even the meager ones, have way too much. We need one shirt, but buy three "just in case". We need one store item, but purchase on a sale "just in case". The root of the problem with tithing is changing the belief that "we need" to one of "they/others need". If we can come up with a way changing that mindset early on, we will have a generation who not only believe, but understand the value of tithing. It's not only the youth, we fall way short as adults too. but AS the Jewish Talmud says "to teach it to the youth is to teach it to your great-grandchildren" I hope someone submits some ideas that have worked for them.

Not a youth leader, just a treasurer.

 

A few years ago we decided to give the "Kingdom Kids" envelopes (includes a picture to colour and a message). We drirected their giving to buying gifts from the CRWRC gift catalogue. We give the children "charitable receipts", and celebrate (cake and ice cream) with them whenever they make a purchase from the catalogue. We also provide a powerpoint presentation to show what they have purchased recently and what they have purchased over the years. We also give a three-part bank to each child as they enter primary school. Sections are for spending, saving and giving. Giving has increased several fold.

For older youth, once they are in high school they receive regualr envelopes, as most youth now have part time jobs. Not as successful with the youth as with younger children.

 

Perhaps we should offer cake and ice cream to the congregation whenver thier giving increases significantly (as a whole)?

Reg. This made me laugh. :)  I appreciate the ways you are including the children into the life of the congregation through giving.  And I wouldn't mind some cake.

Community Builder

Does anyone have any incentives to tithing they've tried, for youths age (14-19)?

At a youth group meeting we discussed tithing and why we do it. Then I shared what someone from church had shared with me and for the past 8 years we have been doing this as a family.

 

EVERYTIME you get money (a cheque, cash...whatever) you take CASH for tithing - 10 percent (some were wanting an amount) that cash goes into an envelope, the remainder of the money is yours to do what you need to do in the month.   At the end of the week or month you put your cash in the collection plate stating what cause your money will go towards.   This way you are never thinking oh I still have that money, when you may have spent it all ready and then realize at the end you have no money for church. Take off what is the Lord's first and then the remainder is yours.

After one year, our family was very surprised how much we had given and never missed it. It is a small step but something that has stuck with me for years. A valuable lesson and way to get the youth looking at their resources a little differently.