When I was a little girl, one of the highlights of my week was placing a few coins from my allowance into the ”plate” during giving time. I had learned from the very beginning that placing money in that plate made God happy and was an important part of how Christians served others and shared their faith. It was visual and concrete in ways small children could understand. Giving some of my money made me feel not only a part of my congregation, but a contributing member who was making a difference.
My parents of course had lots of conversations with my brother and me over the years regarding giving that also helped us understand more abstract concepts like sacrificial giving and generosity. The basics though were reinforced every week in concrete ways as we saw the adults in our church place their checks in the plate.
Most churches today have transitioned to online giving. For adults, it’s just easier. Our children, however, no longer see giving done in the concrete ways they can understand on a weekly basis. Online giving is just too abstract for small children to understand. For older children and teens who may be ignoring part or all of what happens in worship, they may not even hear the little giving ”promo” given each week. It may even be they have never heard sermons or Bible class lessons on giving – especially sacrificial giving and generosity.
Please don’t be the church who doesn’t correct this issue immediately. The longer these trends continue, the more damage that is done. Damage that will become more difficult to correct as children spend more time in this bubble where giving doesn’t happen. Online giving is here to stay, but there are ways your congregation can compensate. In our next post, we will share some ideas you can use in your congregation.