Spring Challenge

"All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as they had need."

(Acts 2:44-45)

tulipsRead Acts 2:44-45 with the children. Explain that God wants to use us to help those who are in need. Help the children choose a local mission or church project that they would like to support.

Challenge the children to undertake various ways to raise money for that agency or project. Set a time frame for their challenge — perhaps a month or six weeks. The children might even enjoy setting a goal for the amount of money that they would like to earn. Ask the children to come up with money-earning activities that they would be willing to do. Some suggestions you could offer include: cleaning out their closets and preparing for a garage sale; setting a jar in the kitchen or family room and encouraging everyone to drop their pocket change in the jar at the end of each day; designating some of their allowance for the challenge; offering to do extra chores at home or for their grandparents and/or neighbors to earn money for their goal. Encourage the children to share with their grandparents and neighbors the reason that they want to earn money.

At the end of the challenge time frame, count the money that has been raised. Take the children to the local mission or the church and invite them to present the money to the person in charge. Encourage the children to share with the leaders the ways they raised the money. If a local mission was chosen instead of a specific project, ask the person in charge how the money will be used.

Spend some time in prayer — both thanking God for helping the children raise the money and praying for those who will benefit from the gift.

Questions for Discussion

  • The Bible mentions that God loves a cheerful giver and that generosity is a spiritual gift. What does it mean to be a cheerful giver? What do the words "generosity" and "generous" mean? Do you consider your gift to be a "generous" amount of money?
  • How does it feel to be used by God to help others?
  • What did you learn about the mission or the project that you decided to sponsor? How does this project or mission receive income? (For instance, individual contributions, grants, bequests, fees for service, and other income sources may fund the project.)
  • Do you have any ideas for future projects?

Janet Zimmerman is an ordained United Methodist deacon, who serves as Christian Education Director at Church of the Lakes in Canton, Ohio.

Posted in2004.

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