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Stewardship and mission empower children to live their faith

By Gale Peterson - PNC Partner in Education

When congregations provide children and youth a variety of mission experiences, they plant the seeds and nurture understanding of the importance of stewardship, mission and what it means to be the hands and feet of God in their community and the wider world.

Gale Peterson
Gale Peterson

Stewardship and mission empower children to live out the Scripture

If stewardship means helping take care of the church and the world on behalf of God, then children more easily grasp the concepts of stewardship and mission through active participation in both experiences. 

Experiencing a direct connection with stewardship, mission and the church teaches children that they can make a difference both locally and globally.

Involving children in mission projects, in which they can actively participate, helps to develop their desire to share God’s love and their own resources with others who have greater needs than their own. 

Building on their understanding of mission and their experiences of carrying out a mission project heightens their sense of stewardship.

Such a structure makes the importance of stewardship to the home congregation and the church’s wider community more tangible.

This is my experience. 

At the Kirkland Congregational UCC, where I am director of Christian education, monthly mission projects have been an effective way to develop the sense of stewardship and mission in our children and youth. 

These monthly projects engage the entire congregation, but are a focus for the children and youth each month. 

The projects include
• collecting back to school supplies,
• gathering toothbrushes and toothpaste for the food bank;
• collecting supplies for no-kill animal shelters;
• shopping together for the Giving Tree;
• donating cold weather clothing for Tent City 4;
• bringing cans of soup for the “Souper Bowl of Caring”;
• providing  birthday party supplies for the food bank;
• conducting bake sales for disaster relief;
• spearheading shoe collections for “Soles 4 Souls” project, and
• donating books for a summer reading program. 

The majority of these mission projects involve a visit to the receiving agency to deliver the gifts the youth gathered. 

The weekly offering brought by the children and youth is added to our “Common Cents Fund,” which helps support each of these monthly mission projects.

As a part of the Fall Stewardship Drive, the children and youth receive a stewardship pledge form designed for them and entitled “My Stewardship Promise.” 

The pledge card explains:  “Stewardship means helping to take care of the church and the world on behalf of God.”

On this card, they are asked to check the ways that they are able to help take care of the mission and ministry of their church for the coming year.     

 It says:  “I promise to be a partner with God for (church name) by: 
• bringing an weekly money offering to Sunday school;
• bringing items for the Emergency Feeding Program;
• bringing items and help pack and count donations for Monthly Mission Projects;
• helping in the worship service and/or children’s chapel time—lighting candles, ringing the bell, being a greeter, reading Scripture, praying or being a friend to someone lonely.    
• helping around the church for special event or activities—church clean-up days, church breakfasts, sorting supplies in the summer or picking up litter.

Then there is space for the children and youth to write in other gifts they have to offer.

After participating for years in monthly mission projects, 12-year-old Bradley felt the need to lead a mission project for the children of Haiti.  The project was conceived and completed by the children as they engaged the entire church family and the neighboring community in service to God’s less fortunate children. 

This project is an example faith in action. 

These children are the hands and feet of God, already on the path to a life-time of service.

A resource available through United Church of Christ Resources,  “God’s Gifts, My Gifts” by Sandy Luechsen, Local Church Ministries, offers further ideas.

For information, call 425-823-8737 for Gale, 509-448-2291 for Lorna and 425-591-7729 for Donald, visit or email


Copyright Pacific Northwest Conference News © January 2011


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