Saving to Give

Teaching Your Children about Giving

All missions and ministry have something in common—the use of time and money. And, all of us would like an increase of both resources in our lives! Use the following tips to teach your children how to better use the resources you already have.

Find Your Time Wasters

  • Talk to your children about time management. Talk about the importance of spending our time on things that have eternal impact.
  • Pray with your children and ask God to show you what is wasting your time. This could be as simple as too much time on your computer or smartphone or excess time spent on hobbies. The truth is, most of us already know our time wasters!
  • Create a calendar with your children. Build missions activities into your schedule.
  • Be bold enough to say no to requests that will eat into time spent together with your family and time spent serving the Lord.

Wasted food equals wasted money

  • According to a survey conducted by TNS Global in April 2015, 76% of American households say they throw away leftovers at least once a month, and 53% throw them away every week. Almost 51% say they throw away food they bought but never used.
  • How about you? Are there boxes of half-eaten cereal in your pantry? Do leftovers in the fridge rarely get eaten? Invite your children to help you create rules that reduce waste. For example, new boxes of cereal cannot be opened until old ones are finished. Get creative with leftovers—learn to “freshen them up” with new sides, or incorporate them into another recipe. Add a little fun by giving an award each week to the family member who eats the most leftovers!

Clothing expenses can eat your budget

  • Evaluate your clothing expenses. Talk to your children about the importance of asking yourself whether you really need a piece of clothing before you purchase it.
  • Consider shopping 1 size ahead for children and using end-of-season clearances.
  • If you haven’t shopped at thrift stores, then take off one weekend and find some in your area. Target big ticket items like coats and jeans. Get your children involved in calculating how much more they can get for their money.

Set Goals
How can you better use the resources you are saving? As a family set some ministry goals. Pick a project and set a time frame to complete it. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Provide water filters for missionaries and wells for the people they work with through Pure Water, Pure Love. This WMU ministry makes a huge difference in the lives of people living in areas of the world where clean water is considered a luxury.
  2. Donate to Global Hunger Relief Once or twice a month, choose the most expensive meal you’ve eaten and give that amount to fight world hunger. Involve your family by making a soup can bank to collect change in and mailing a check periodically. Print soup-can bank labels to create your own soup can bank.
  3. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, food pantry, or homeless shelter.

Teaching your children to give automatically heightens their awareness of missions. May we all live for God’s glory, while teaching our families the humility that goes hand in hand with missional living.


By Sheila Gosney

Sheila Gosney lives in Monroe City, Missouri. She is an avid coupon shopper who enjoys helping hurting people with the overflow from her pantry.

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