Last week I came home from a white elephant Christmas party with one of those obnoxious, ball-popping push toys. My sons had one already, but I figured a second one would cut back on their sharing squabbles. I showed the popper to my two-year-old and said, “Look. Now you and your brother have two.” He looked at them, and then back at me, and said, “Me want three poppers.”
I could not believe it! After I could have chosen the oven mitts, candy, or board games, I decided to bring him home a gift, and he had the audacity to ask for more. This encounter just solidified my belief that gratefulness and, by extension, generosity, must be taught. My boys still have the “gimme that or I’ll bite you” mentality. With the Christmas season upon us, now is the perfect time to start encouraging a more loving posture.
Here are four things you can join me in doing with your families this Christmas to help the next generation learn generosity:
Generosity stems from gratefulness. Encourage your kids to praise God with thankful hearts through prayer. In addition, this Sunday, our Mercy Hill Kids lobby will have a tree covered in white ornaments. Each one has an unreached people group that your family can be praying for. Please feel free to take one. Through Generous December, we hope to have the resources to help spread the gospel here in Greensboro and abroad. Let your kids enter into that prayer time throughout the week so they sense the importance.
2. Pack Up
Have your kids collect toys and clothes they do not need anymore to donate to World Relief, Goodwill, or the Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center. Try to encourage them to give up something they care about as well. It can be a good chance for them to feel the burden of sacrifice. Make sure you model this by giving up something yourself too!
Let your family search under couch cushions and in the car for extra coins. Mercy Hill Kids has encouraged the kids to bring coins so they can take part in Generous December this year! They will have an opportunity to worship God through giving in a friendly penny war this Sunday.
Sit your family down and explain why you are giving to Generous December. Because kids are very literal, try getting ten, one dollar bills and model the percentage that you are giving this year. Explain that you give generously because, through Christ, you have been treated generously.
I hope this season will challenge us as we see God move in incredible ways! This is a great opportunity for the next generation to see that the gospel really does change everything.
-Lauren Whitley (Kids Ministry Associate)