Children’s Stewardship

Why Teach Stewardship to Children

  • The Lord calls all of us (adults and children) to be grateful and generous with all our gifts.
  • Stewardship is a lifestyle not only for adults, but for children!
  • Children have gifts. Being grateful and generous with their time, talent, and treasure should start early in their Christian lives.
  • Stewardship encourages an attitude of gratitude. It teaches the difference between “wants” and “needs.”
  • We have a responsibility to care for every gift God has given us: family, friends, health, home, pets, school, church, and environment.
  • Stewardship can help children find peace and joy in a fast-moving world.
  • Experts say that children start forming their attitude about sharing between the ages of 6 – 10.
  • Children are continuously bombarded with “materialistic” messages. Stewardship helps develop the attitude of “I’ve been blessed and have plenty to share.” versus “I don’t have enough and the world owes me.”
  • Today, adults learn many things from their children. Teaching stewardship to our children will help spread the stewardship concept to many adults.

Stewardship Concepts to Teach Children

  1. Help children realize that God has given them many gifts
    1. Reinforces self-esteem among children
  • Have a discussion about the gifts God has given them. Write the responses on a blackboard.
  • Let children design posters or write essays about the gifts they have been given.
  • Compliment children on their special gifts.
  • Begin each week with children sharing what they are grateful for from the past week.
  1. Teach children to be grateful for the gifts God has given them
    1. Reinforces a positive outlook on life
  • Write a thanksgiving prayer. Read a different one each day.
  • Write a letter to God telling Him how they will use the special gifts He gave them.
  • Make pledges of how they will show their gratitude to God. Collect at school Mass. Put on bulletin board.
  • Write thank you notes to people that they are grateful for.
  1. Teach children how stewardship built our Church
    1. Recognizes appreciation and future responsibility for our Church
  • Teach the history of your parish to children. Older students talk to younger students.
  • Tour parish facilities looking for signs of stewardship.
  • Read stories about saints and discuss how they gave their gifts to the Church.
  • Adult parish stewardship committee members talk to children about their stewardship.
  • Include children in adult parish stewardship activities.
  • Create a children’s stewardship newsletter or add a children’s stewardship column in the parish stewardship newsletter. Or, add a stewardship column in the school newspaper and in the weekly Mass bulletin.
  1. Help children understand that God has given them particular gifts for a reason
    1. Helps them realize that God may have a different plan for them
  • Have a discussion about the poor and needy. The point being we are called to help the poor and needy.
  • Read the Beatitudes and discuss all the ways people are in need.
  • Just as we thank family and friends for gifts they give us, we should also thank God the same way for the gifts He has given us.
  • Talk about gifts that people and saints in the Bible were given and how those people used their gifts.
  • Develop service projects to assist someone in need at your parish.
  1. Teach children that Stewardship is something we do all the time (not just on Sunday)
    1. Reinforces that Stewardship is how we live our lives with every decision we make
  • Talk about stewardship in all classes, not just religion class.
  • Have students keep a journal of how they spend their time and use their talents. How much do they spend in prayer (time) and helping others (talent).
  • Talk about shopping decisions. How do they “waste” money?
  • Discuss the concept of tithing – giving from our “first fruits” versus from what they have “leftover.”
  • Talk about the difference between “needs” and “wants.”
  1. Help children recognize the joy that comes from good stewardship
    1. Real happiness doesn’t come from the clothes we wear or the “things” we own
  • Talk about how children feel when they help someone.
  • Have older children give their witness of the joy of stewardship to younger children.
  • Have older children (with adult supervision) work in local soup kitchens and food pantries.

More Ideas/Projects for Teaching Stewardship

  • Conduct an annual stewardship renewal campaign for children
    • Similar to the parish annual stewardship renewal campaign, include the children or run one separately for the children.
  • Discuss Stewardship Gospel stories
    • Designate a time each week or month.
    • Assign a group of children to present a stewardship parable to the class.
    • Break into small groups and discuss. Each group presents their thoughts.
    • Ask children to relate the Bible story to a modern day story or event.
    • See below list of Stewardship Gospel stories:
      • The Birds in the Sky and Flowers in the Field - Matthew 6:25-34
      • The Hidden Treasure - Matthew 13:44
      • The Costly Pearl - Matthew 13:45-46
      • The Feeding of the Multitude –Matthew 14:13-21; Matthew 15:32-39; Mark 6:34-44; Mark 8:1-10; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15
      • The Unmerciful Servant - Matthew 18:23-35
      • The Rich Young Man - Matthew 19:16-24
      • The Generous Employer - Matthew 20:1-16
      • The Wicked Tenants - Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19
      • The Servant Entrusted with Supervision - Matthew 24:45-51; Luke 12:42-46
      • The Talents - Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-27
      • Sheep and Goats – Matthew 25:31-46
      • The Two Debtors – Luke 7:41-43
      • The Good Samaritan - Luke 10:25-37
      • The Friend at Midnight - Luke 11:5-8
      • The Rich Fool - Luke 12:16-21
      • The Vigilant and Faithful Servants - Luke 12:35-48
      • The Barren Fig Tree - Luke 13:6-9
      • The King Contemplating a Campaign - Luke:14:31-33
      • The Tower Builder - Luke 14:28-33
      • The Lost Sheep – Luke 15:3-7
      • The Lost Coin - Luke 15:8-10
      • The Prodigal Son - Luke 15:11-32
      • The Unjust Steward - Luke 16:1-7
      • The Rich Man and Lazarus - Luke 16:19-31
      • The Pharisee and the Tax Collector – Luke 18:9-14
      • Washing the Feet of the Disciples – John 13:1-16
  • Ideas for Bulletin Boards
    • “Talent gives us gifts to share.” (good for music or art room)
    • “The smallest deed is better than the grandest intention.”
    • “Each day is God’s gift to you. Make it blossom and grow.”
    • “Great occasions for serving God come along rarely, but little ones happen every day.”
    • “Building the city of God takes many hands.” (possible art project)
    • “I am the vine, and you are the branches.” (possible art project)
    • “How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good He has done for me?” Psalm 116:12
  • Stewardship Research Projects
    • Lives of Saints: St. Barnabas, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Martin de Porres, St. Vincent de Paul, Apostles
    • Famous Stewards: Katherine Drexel, St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Dorothy Day
    • Report on local Catholic charities
  • Essay Topics
    • What is the greatest gift God has given you?
    • What do you think God wants you to do when you grow up?
    • Name three things you are thankful for and why?
    • How does our school do God’s work on earth?
    • How can we show thanks to God for what He has given us?
  • Stewardship of the Earth
    • Earth Day projects
    • Reduce/Recycle/Reuse projects
    • Clean up Church grounds
    • Planting flowers or plants
  • Children’s Envelopes
    • Start a formal children’s envelope program in your parish.
    • The goal is to train future generous givers.
    • Let the children have input on how the money will be used.
    • Need to have an adult lead this effort and be responsible for it.
    • Get parents’ permission to participate before giving envelopes to children.