“All my stuff belongs to God.” This is a concept that can be very difficult for children to grasp, especially the toddler whose new favorite word is “mine.” The truth is that many people in our society don’t fully understand the importance of being good stewards.
Let’s start with a definition of stewardship: “The job of supervising or taking care of something that one does not own.” From a Christian standpoint, everything we have is God’s — we’re just overseeing it because He has entrusted us with it. We are being caretakers of God’s kingdom. God has given us the privilege to take care of His things in this world — what an amazing honor!
It’s never too early to help your kids grasp this idea. We’ve all been given time, money, skills, and resources. Teaching our kids to become good stewards of these gifts will help them for the rest of their lives. By setting an example as adults and living out the “others first” mentality, they will gain the self-confidence to do it on their own. Jesus came to serve — we can’t be like Jesus if we aren’t serving. And serving comes in many different forms, so you can get creative.
Below are a few ideas to get you started on your journey of raising good little stewards! You can start small and as your kids start to naturally implement these ideas into their daily lives, then you can work your way up to the larger ideas.
Take Care of Personal Things
One of the simplest ways kids can be good stewards is to take care of their things! Taking responsibility for the things in their lives can help set them up for success. Show them how to make their bed each morning, help with unloading the dishwasher, cleaning up their toys each evening before bed, etc.
Encourage sharing at an early age to help resist the “mine” mentality of most toddlers. At snack time, give your child a certain amount then ask them to share some with their brother or sister. Twice a year, have your kids choose a few toys to donate to other families. Explain to your children that they aren’t “giving” their toys away since they never actually belonged to them in the first place. Instead, they are “returning” what was God’s by sharing with other kids.
When receiving a monthly allowance or birthday money, set aside 10% to a special piggy bank in their room and explain the concept of tithing to them. Explain that in God’s eyes, the first dollar is the same as the millionth dollar — so the amount is irrelevant. Then at the end of the year, they can count the money in the special piggy bank and decide what organization they want to contribute to for the Christmas season.
See a Need, Fill a Need
Within your family, be intentional about “see a need, fill a need.” Choose family service projects that can be done throughout the year that speak to the interests of each family member. Create a calendar and lay out ideas each month such as cleaning up litter at a local park, serving food at a homeless shelter, playing with dogs at a local humane society, delivering Christmas cookies to a retirement home, buying and delivering items for families in need, etc. Another fun idea is to pack Ziploc bags of snacks and small essential items and keep them in your car. If you pass a homeless person on the side of the road, hand them a bag and say, “God Bless You!”
By instilling the concept of stewardship in children early on, perhaps there could be a generational shift that will greatly impact our community, our nation, and our world. It all starts with understanding that “all of our stuff belongs to God.” At Bible2School, we understand the importance of impacting the children in our communities early on — which is why we help bring Bible lessons to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders in public schools during their school day. Learn more about our mission or contact us!
Relevant Bible Verses
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
– 2 Corinthians 9:7
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.”
– Psalm 24:1
“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
– 2 Corinthians 9:11
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”
– Matthew 25:23