More on "And Your Children..."
The last post was all about the implications of Peter saying the promise of the Holy Spirit offered to those who repent and get baptized is also for their children, especially in relation to the idea of infant baptism.
Whether believing parents decide to baptize their children or not, the broader implication of Peter's statement is that children are involved in the life of the church. At Littleton Christian, we're on a constant learning curve around what that means. This year, starting in January, we made a subtle change in our services that we hope leads to some great conversations among parents and children, and to a lifelong habit for these kids: we decided to wait to dismiss kids to their age-appropriate classes until after the offering has been collected.
Today, our bookkeeper brought a big bag of coins into my office... coincidentally (not), ever since we made this change in our service, more and more change has been showing up in the offering plates. I'm absolutely PUMPED about this. That's how I learned to give - I watched my parents give, and the older I got, the more I realized they gave to our home church as a first priority - it was automatic for them. And they gave me a chance to give - to put a quarter or whatever into the plate when it came by. I cannot think of a time in my life when it was not easy and automatic for me to give the first 10% of any income as an act of worship. Thanks, mom and dad.
Parents, you've got a huge opportunity here, to teach your children that all that you have is given by God - he's simply entrusted you as a steward of it. You can teach them how giving money is a symbol of the rest of your life - as believers, our first and our best is to be used for worship of the Provider of every good and perfect gift, the Author of Life, King Jesus.
Maybe, parents, you just give once a month. Maybe you give online, or have an automatic draft from your bank so you don't have to think about it. That's fine. Maybe you don't want have your kids throw change in the plate. No matter what, those silly silver plates can be a sign you use to teach your kids that God has called all of us to contribute to his worship and mission through this church. Feel free to hold on to it for a minute. Have your kids huddle around it with you and whisper a prayer for God to use all this money people have given for his glory, for people's good. Teach them to pray that the elders and staff would have wisdom and discretion as we put that money to work for the mission of the church.
What else? Parents, can you share a bit about how you teach your kids about generosity, and especially about giving as an act of worship?