Not once have I heard a pastor say, “We need to give less money to those sharing Jesus around the world”. That would sound utterly ridiculous. I don’t know of a single church that does not give money to support missionaries overseas yet I know many children’s and youth ministries that never give a cent to missionaries or even talk about missionaries unless they themselves are going on a missions trip. We can’t expect these kids to grow up and suddenly decide it is important to give to missions. We need to give kids the opportunity to learn to love giving to missions.
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV
This includes children and teenagers and expands much farther than an ordinary tithes and offerings. I introduced missions giving to the kids in my church with BGMC (Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge). These kids really got it! They understood that with their giving they were able to help a missionary tell other boys and girls just like them all about Jesus. Throughout the days following that Sunday I saw and heard many stories of what these kids were doing or were planning on doing to raise money for missions. These kids are the definition of a cheerful giver!
What’s even greater is these kids will grow up learning to love giving to missions. It will become a habit of theirs to find ways to support missionaries and have joy in all of it! When these kids grow to become adults my prayer is these habits and passion stick with them through the years. That we don’t have to see missionaries going out trying to raise funds to do what God called them to do but that through the generosity of these kids in the future they will be able to go out to the world and make disciples of all nations without having to continually seeking financial support.
In Part 2 I will share creative ways to help your kids raise money for missions but for now I want to hear your thoughts on teaching kids and teenagers about giving to missions.