As far back as I can remember, an offering plate never passed by my dad without him participating in the worship of giving. Through sharing what he had, God was honored, needs were met, and something very important and eternal was modeled for me. Several months ago my hubby and I were chatting with two of our adult kids, who now have kids of their own. We were talking about how to teach 21st century kids to give to the Lord and have hearts of generosity. Modeling the worship of giving to His work, particularly in an on-line giving culture where “passing a plate” doesn’t happen much anymore, is a little more challenging and requires purposeful intentionality.
My hubby and I want to help with that purposeful intentionality. Though we firmly believe the spiritual training of our grandchildren is their parents’ responsibility, we (aka Papa and Cia) have decided there are many wonderful ways we can be more intentional ourselves in encouraging our grandkids to be involved in giving to the work of the Lord. I want to share just a few of them with you.
How to Start Leaving a Legacy of Giving
1. Talk about and pray for God’s servants, the people they serve, and the eternal work they do. And, when you are able, entertain them and make it a family affair. For many years we have desired to make our home a place of peaceful refuge for our global friends. This legacy of friendship and partnership has allowed our three kids to meet and develop relationships with dear folks from almost every continent on the globe. Now we are privileged to continue this legacy with our grandchildren.
When our family of 12 sits down to dinner with friends from afar, there is an abundance of energetic volume when stories are shared. But it is our hope and earnest prayer that something of eternal value will leave a lasting impression on their little hearts.
2. Involve them in your giving. This past Christmas season, LiveGlobal provided a helpful resource of giving opportunities. We were able to see photos and read about the many global needs, and pray over them. One particular need jumped out at us—goats! The ministry of New Hope Nepal reaches into communities where many are starving due to COVID-19 lockdowns. The provision of a goat allows whole families have life-sustaining milk.
We chose to buy five goats for families in Nepal in honor of our five grandkids. On Christmas Day, we gave each of them a gift bag with a plush baby goat and a photo like you see. We explained how great the needs are and how the goats would help feed the families who received them. Let me add that the excitement of giving was contagious. My hubby and I received gift donations made in our honor from our adult kids. There is no better gift-giving!
3. Find a way to keep physical reminders visible for them to see. This may be as simple as keeping picture prayer cards on the refrigerator. For several years my hubby and I have wanted to hang a map with photos of global friends who have stayed in our home, the many places we have traveled to serve on serving trips, and ministries we have partnered with through the years. Over the holidays we made this a reality. A map now hangs in our basement as a reminder to pray for, and financially partner with, our friends across the globe, and ministries in our own hometown. This map also serves as a reminder to our grandchildren that these dear friends matter deeply to us.
What kind of legacy are you going to leave behind for those who know and love you most? Whether or not you have children or grandchildren, that legacy will most certainly reflect your values and what was most important to you. II Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Give with joyful enthusiasm from a heart of love, and it will most surely be contagious, and that will be a legacy with eternal value truly worth leaving behind.