"Encourage families to have conversations at home about stewardship issues, including money, possessions, and giving."
Giving Is a Year-Round Practice
For many congregations, autumn is stewardship season. However, in order to think of stewardship as a formational experience, it must be an ongoing, year-round conversation. Encourage your families to have conversations at home about stewardship issues, including money, possessions, and giving.
Starting Conversations about Money
Talking about money makes some people uncomfortable, so creating a conversation box of discussion starters might help ease into more conversations. Write down questions, such as the ones below, on strips of paper. Use index cards or cardstock, so that you can reuse the questions. Find a small container (small plastic box, Chinese food take-out container, paper bag, etc.) and decorate it. Fill the container with your questions. During mealtimes, commercials on TV, carpooling, etc., each member of the family can draw a slip of paper and answer the question or statement. Ask everyone else to share their thoughts.
18 Questions to Talk About Money and Giving
(Write these on slips of paper)
1. If you never had to worry about money, what job would you want?
2. How might being wealthy affect a person's ambition? For the better? For the worse?
3. Why do antiques cost so much?
4. What's something that's really hard to do, but feels really good once you've finally done it?
5. Is saving a habit like looking both ways to cross the street? Should it be?
6. What is a FICO/Credit score? How does it affect your financial life?
7. If you found $20 would you try to find who lost it or would you keep it? What about $2,000?
8. Is a credit card the same as cash?
9. What does financial hardship mean? How is that different than having to less money than you want?
10. How do you define success?
11. Would you prefer to have money or candy on Halloween? Why?
12. Do you share some of your money? How do you decide with whom to share?
13. Do you count your change and check your receipts? Why or why not?
14. Does money buy happiness? How long does happiness last?
15. Is money good or bad?
16. How do stores price the things they sell?
17. Do you lend - or give - money to friends? Family? Why or why not?
18. How much is too much?
A Reminder From Scripture
As 1 Chronicles 29:14 says: "All things come of thee oh Lord, and of thine own have we given thee." This is an easy verse to remember, but difficult to live out. Adults can help children and teens reflect on God's gifts, and the way we view money in our lives. It's never too soon; and it's never too late.
Sharon Ely Pearson is a 30+ year Christian formation veteran, currently serving as an editor and the Christian Formation Specialist for Church Publishing Incorporated. Wife, mother, grandmother, and author, she enjoys connecting people with each other and the resources they need for growing in the knowledge and love of Jesus.