One way churches manage to operate and engage in ministry is through tithes and offerings. Teaching a young child to bring an offering sets a pattern of supporting the church. When your child sees you contribute and provide with an offering, she sees that an offering is appropriate. If you forget to give her an offering, don’t be surprised if she asks for offering money.
1. Offering Envelopes
Many churches have offering envelopes available for those who want to contribute cash as an offering and receive tax credit. Bring a stack of offering envelopes home and take time at the end of each week to place an offering in an envelope for Sunday church. Let your little one place the offering in the envelope and seal it before you write his name on the envelope. He can place the sealed envelope with his Bible or Sunday backpack so he doesn’t forget it at home on Sunday morning. You should verify that he has the envelope before you leave for church.
2. God Box
Children often have piggy banks to hold money that they receive as gifts from family and friends, or earn doing chores. You can provide an additional piggy bank to hold offerings for God. Each time your child receives money, you can help her set aside a portion of the money for God -- and the rest can go into her other bank, or she can spend it. On Friday or Saturday evening, help her prepare her offering from the bank that holds her offering money.
3. Coins for God
Many parents have coins in a purse or pocket at the end of the day. You can give these coins to your child at the end of each day to save for an offering on Sunday. At the end of the week, you can remind your child to put them in an offering box to take to his Sunday school class or bring them along to the service to drop in the offering plate or basket. Encourage your child to ask God to bless the coins as you box them together. Explain to him that some children don’t have the resources to give a monetary offering. Teach him to be thankful for the prosperity that makes it possible to make an offering each week.
4. More than Money
An offering can take more than one form. Teach your child that her good behavior and willingness to serve others is also an acceptable offering. You can say, “When your teacher asks for a helper and you help her, it’s an offering. When you behave in a loving and kind manner to a stranger or someone who needs a friend, it’s also an offering.” Help your preschooler think of acceptable ways she can give an offering of time or action. She might consider bringing a can of food when the Sunday school class collects food for the needy or arriving early to help her teacher prepare the room for class.