A wise and effective stewardship parish typically employs detailed action steps to accomplish this. Examples of this include publishing a monthly parish newsletter with a stewardship slant, stewardship renewal materials, retreats with a focus on stewardship for parishioners and parish leadership, stewardship educational programs for lay leaders and staff, incorporating the message of stewardship into homilies regularly, and bulletin pieces that connect the weekly Scriptures to stewardship.
All of these vehicles are great for forming adults, but what about the children of the parish? Little is being done in the average parish to actively form our young stewards who will be the future leaders in our parishes. Should we wait until they are grown up to form them in the spirituality of stewardship?
The answer is obviously no. We should not hesitate to begin the stewardship formation process of our children. For their sake, and for the sake of the Church, it is of utmost importance to begin their stewardship formation at a young age.
To that end, we’re in the process of coming up with a number of new initiatives to help parishes effectively provide stewardship formation for young parishioners.
If you go to the following link, www.StewardshipKids.com, you will find a short clip from the first episode of our new animated video series for kids called “Stewart Ship and the Triple T Team.” StewardshipKids also features a teaching guide that will enable you to provide solid stewardship formation in a way that not only will keep children’s attention but will also teach them the basics about the spirituality of stewardship.
It will communicate to them that stewardship is about recognizing that God is the source of all of our gifts, that God has given each one of us unique gifts, and that we are to use these gifts to glorify God and help the mission of the Church. In simple terms, the video and teaching guide will define the “Three Ts of Stewardship” — time, talent, and treasure – and will educate kids on how they need to be faithful stewards, while offering real-life examples to which they can relate.
Parents can use the StewardshipKids tools in their own homes with their own children, while catechists and schoolteachers can use it as part of a lesson plan in religious education classes at the parish and school. We also believe this is an excellent way to include children in the parish’s annual stewardship renewal. One way your parish could do this is to use this video and teaching guide in the parish school or religious education program during the week leading up to commitment Sunday. Who knows, the children may end up making an impact on their parents and help them gain a better understanding of the true meaning and practice of stewardship.
Whether you and your parish decide to use this youth educational tool or not, forming the youth in the parish on the spirituality of stewardship is of extreme importance. If you don’t make this a priority, you will miss out on a wonderful opportunity to prepare the future of our Church for the life to which they have been called through baptism – a life of discipleship.
We would love to hear your feedback about our new StewardshipKids video. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to shoot me an e-mail at email@example.com