Cheerful Giving Reaps Great Rewards
"The one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
(2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
This is the time of year when farmers and gardeners plant seeds. They plant the seeds expecting to reap a harvest of crops or beautiful flowers.
Ask the children how many seeds they think a farmer or a gardener may need to plant. Any guess is acceptable; the children do not need to give a specific answer. Ask them what would happen if the farmer or gardener was lazy and planted only one seed. The children should understand that the seed may or may not sprout, and that the planter's expectation of a bountiful harvest would be quite minimal.
Giving our money to God is like planting seeds in God's harvest. God can do amazing things with whatever amount we give to God. The Bible verse above (2 Corinthians 9:6-7) suggests that God cares deeply about our attitude of giving money. God understands that children do not necessarily have a lot of money. However, if they give with a cheerful heart, God is pleased and can do great things with their offering.
Encourage the children to determine an amount of money that they would like to give to God through their church. This money can either be given as part of a regular offering or as a special offering. You may want to convert the money into dimes. Encourage the children to look upon the dimes as seeds that they will be "planting" in the offering plate. Offer a prayer that God will bless their offering and that a bountiful harvest will result to benefit God's kingdom!
Dear God, help me remember that one way of serving you is to cheerfully give money to you through the church. Thank you for all that you have given to me. Bless my offering and use it to help change people's lives in our world. Amen.
Questions for Discussion
- Why is it important to give money to God?
- What does it mean to be a cheerful giver?
- What are some of the ministries supported by our offerings?
- Can you think of a particular ministry or need that people might have? Would you like to dedicate your offering to this cause? If so, talk with a church staff person who can help you find a United Methodist organization/project that specifically works in this area.