A Right Hand – Left Hand Money Mission
by Carol McAdams Moore
Children who are in the tween years (8 to 12 years old) are at a turning point. If they have been raised in the church, they most likely can answer the Sunday school lesson questions with little difficulty. Yet kids in this age group are feeling increased peer pressure. It may sound like a difficult season to engage kids in living out their faith, but adding some real-life to the mix is just what they need to get excited and exercise some valuable money principles. Here are five simple steps to a right hand – left hand money mission.
1. Learn about Giving
Read about giving in the Bible.
“She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20 (NIV)
But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:3-4 (NIV)
Explain that giving is a responsibility and a privilege. It also carries an added charge—to do it without making a show to others.
2. Choose a Mission Project
Like with any new undertaking, it is best to start small. Helping your child choose a smaller mission project will help her reach her goal and to be enthusiastic about trying something a little larger and harder next time.
Help your child choose an upcoming children’s ministry event that requires money to attend. Let’s say, for example, that your church is planning a skating party. The cost of attending includes the group rate for admission (6.50), skate rental (2.50), and money for snacks (2.00). To many families, the group cost of ten dollars may seem like a bargain, not to mention the fact that the kids will be supervised by church staff and that they will be with their Christian peers.
Enter today’s economy. The ten-dollar fee may be out of reach for some families, particularly if the family has more than one child who will attend the activity.
Explain that sponsoring a peer is a top secret mission.
3. Raise the Money
Raising the money to sponsor a peer can be done in several ways. Your child can do it exclusively, or you might make it a family effort. Obviously a ten or twelve year old does not have a job, but there are ways for her to gather the needed money:
- giving from an allowance
- giving from savings
- selling something
- doing extra chores
- asking others to contribute
4. Remember the Right Hand – Left Hand Principle
It is satisfying and exciting to reach a goal of giving. This is especially true if the child knows the recipient. However, mum is the word for this kind of giving project. Reread Matthew 6:3-4. Pray for the sponsored peer. Thank God for His provision.
5. Repeat It All Again
Talk about the next project of giving. It could be a children’s ministry event that costs a little more money. It could be sponsoring more than one peer. It could also be choosing another kind of monetary giving, such as purchasing items for Christmas giving.
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” Matthew 25:23 (NIV)
God calls us to give. Teaching tweens how to give in a meaningful situation is a great way to encourage them to live out their faith.
Carol McAdams Moore is the author of two new tween devotionals from Zonderkidz: Dare U 2 Open This Book (for boys) and Just Sayin’ (for girls). The devos teach about many topics that tweens face today, including how to give to others without making a show of it. The devotionals challenge tweens to follow Jesus—Best. Idea. Ever.
We’d like to hear from you. Please share your comments below or like us on your Facebook page. Be sure to check back each month for more articles and products available at your local Christian bookstore.