Tithing is not a common word for children. They only hear about it in the context of church, or Christian home life, when we refer to it as “giving back to God.” And since children are concrete thinkers, it may be difficult for them to understand how placing money in an offering envelope will somehow reach God—someone they can’t physically see or touch.
So, how do we clarify this concept of tithing—giving back to God ten percent of what we earn— with young children? You explain it by making it a simple, consistent part of your week, such as through:
- Weekly Allowance. Does your child receive a regular allowance from you? If so, you can begin teaching her the biblical plan for tithing by using that money. Rather than giving her the full amount in dollar bills, give a portion of it in coins. Using this method will make it easier for her to see how to take out the ten percent of the whole. She can set that amount aside, in an envelope or container, for giving at church the next time you attend.
- Teachable Moments. Another idea for teaching about tithing is to try this activity the next time you’re at church with your child. Spend a few minutes looking at things inside the building. Allow your child to help name some items that requires money to either purchase or keep them working and looking nice. You may need to help her think about things used in her classroom, too, which may not be visible at the moment.
One question that is sure to come up from your child is, “Why do we need to tithe?” Explain that God uses the money we give at church to help share His love with other people. One place we teach about God is inside the church building on Sunday mornings and throughout the week. Maintaining the use of church buildings and programs takes a lot of money!
Let’s take a look at some of these items…
- Chairs, tables, and lights throughout the church building
- Toys, crayons, and construction paper used in children’s classrooms
- Bibles and other resource materials
- Books, DVD’s, CD’s found in the church media library
- Snacks provided during class time
- Piano, organ, and other musical instruments used during the worship service
- Cribs and changing tables used in the preschool area
- Electricity—for lights, air conditioning, heating
- The church building itself!
Remind your child that everything we have comes from the goodness of the Lord, including our money. When we’re obedient to give back to God, “He is faithful to supply all our needs” (Phil. 4:19).
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