This post is part 2 of a three-part series on cultivating a love of giving in children.
This time, we’ll be addressing what it means to spiritually be in need—and how children can address those needs in their lives.
One concept I never understood as a child was that of spiritual need. I grew up in a Christian home, went to a Lutheran grade school, and hung out with other Christians in high school. Until college, I didn’t understand the urgency of the Gospel—that people need to hear it now!
Many people have no concept of their own sin, the saving work of Jesus, or the authority of Scripture. Delicately explain to your children that those who don’t believe in Jesus will go to hell—not because they have sinned worse than other people (“All have sinned” Romans 3:23), but because they don’t believe they need to be saved by Jesus.
This isn’t meant to be a scare tactic; instead, it should motivate us to share the Gospel. This provides a great opportunity to talk to your children about witnessing to their friends without mentioning hell (check out this article for some simple tips for children, and this one for more adult-focused witnessing).
The mission field has migrated back to America, where many people are unbelievers (or pre-Christians, if you’ve read Greg Finke’s book Joining Jesus on His Mission). In any case, children don’t have to look far to see people who are in spiritual need.
The Great Commission
Read Matthew 28:19–20 with your children. This passage is the best known when it comes to evangelism. Talk about what these verses mean to them:
- How can they “make disciples” if they’re not pastors?
- How does Jesus’ command here alter their purpose on earth?
- What does it mean to live out the Gospel, according to these verses?
Transition into how they can act out the Great Commission in their daily life. When do they have opportunities to witness to their classmates, teammates, or neighbors? This is how they can fulfill a spiritual need!
Tying in Tithing
Children might not understand how tithing fulfills a spiritual need. Explain to them the role of the Church, your pastor, and what your tithing does to support both of them. While we are all called to spread the Good News of Jesus, pastors in particular are called to preach the Word of God to believers and unbelievers alike. Tithing makes it possible for pastors to do that full time!
Tithing fulfills the financial needs of church workers, but churches often support others as well, leading them to fulfill spiritual needs too! So tithing money might be given to local food banks, used to buy supplies for a bake sale, or donated to support worthy causes.