raising a new generation to practice a selfless stewardship
1. Help your children to appreciate the thoughtfulness of the smallest gift received and to express gratefulness to the giver.
2. Teach your children that every gift they offer is an expression of Christ’s love.
3. Help your children to memorize “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” (Acts 20:35), and “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
4. Consistently confront selfish language and behavior, teaching your children to “put the interests of others before their own.” (Philippians 2)
5. Expose your children to the great needs in the world – famine, disease, poor housing, mental illness, broken families…. Read and view news reports of natural disasters and human atrocities then pray and discuss how you as a family might contribute to relieve the needs.
6. Read stories to your children about philanthropy.
7. Teach your children at an early age to give a tenth of the money they receive and earn, to the Church and to view 10% as a minimum goal in a lifetime of increased giving.
8. Teach your children to work diligently and shrewdly with a view towards increased giving.
9. Model self-sacrificial giving in small, daily ways in front of your children.
10. Teach your children the importance of a balanced stewardship: it is important to pay bills, living within our means; it is important to save money and to invest it wisely; but it is equally important to give generously. We train our children to keep personal costs down. We train them to save and to invest at the highest possible rate of return with the lowest possible risk. At the same time we teach them to develop a desire and plan to give more and more as their lives unfold.
11. Help your children offer gifts at the holidays rather than merely receiving gifts.
12. Give your children opportunities to give time, labor, written expressions of love, and investment of relational time.
13. Connect your children with the missionaries of the Church, reading their updates and praying for them regularly.
14. Visit a local ministry relieving the needs of the less fortunate.
15. Describe often the self-sacrificial giving of Jesus calling your children to follow in his love.
16. Take your children to fundraising events of charitable organizations.
17. Include in your family’s closest circle of friends people at risk and less fortunate than you.
18. Teach your children about the Office of Deacon in the Church.
19. Check your language and regular talk about money to assure that your children are not mistaking you for someone who struggles to part with money, even for a good cause.
20. Emphasize the privilege of giving rather than the obligation of giving.
21. As your children are required to volunteer for community service to enhance their college applications and job resumes, culture within them a love for generous giving through that service.
22. Teach your children to ask others to match their giving toward a certain cause, to join in the matching of funds and corporate collections of funds toward worthy ends.
23. Train your children to carefully consider requests for gifts, to refrain from saying “No,” until prayerful consideration has been given to the many and varied ways a “Yes,” might help a person in need.
24. Teach your children how to invest in endeavors that increase funds available for philanthropic purposes.