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In implementing generosity, it can be helpful to have tangible tools to keep you on course. With the resources below, you can visually chart your giving and calculate how much progress you’ve made in fulfilling your goals. You can also test your knowledge of stewardship to see how you are growing. With our covenants, you can create a concrete reminder of your financial commitment to God. And the games provide a fun and convenient way to teach children about stewardship.
The Giving Calculator
Have you thought how much you could give over your lifetime to advance Christ’s kingdom? You may be surprised! No matter what your income level, God has given every Christian the opportunity to bless others through generous giving. Use this easy-to-use calculator, created by Generous Giving, to determine how much your accumulated giving can grow depending on your age, annual income and targeted giving percentage. This calculator is an online companion piece to Alan Gotthardt’s book The Eternity Portfolio: A Practical Guide to Investing Your Money for Ultimate Results.
This easy-to-use chart, created by Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, calculates dollar amounts for annual and weekly giving goals. To review a potential annual or weekly gift amount, simply wave your cursor to the intersection of the salary and percent gift you are considering. The chart will show weekly or annual gift amounts.
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A Financial Covenant with God
You’ve committed yourself, your money and your possessions to Christ. Now you’re ready to sign a “contract” in the presence of a witness (and God) as a lifelong reminder. Author and teacher Randy Alcorn offers this suggested template.
My Giving Covenant
The benefit of this short covenant is that it teaches that giving is primarily an issue between the individual and God. Author and teacher Randy Alcorn offers this suggested template.
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The Gifting Game
Looking for a fun and interactive way to teach the members of your family how to be generous givers? Foundation Source, a support service for small private foundations, has created a palm-sized “game” that will help families with children of all ages become thoughtful givers. One only needs two things to play: (1) access to the Internet and (2) a designated amount of money to give away, preferably in $1 bills. After the money is divided evenly among all the family members, each player will spend some time on the Foundation Source Web site researching charit(ies) that he wishes to support. Some time later the family regroups, and each member will get a turn to explain why he has chosen a particular charity. At the end, each player fills out a card to send in his portion of the money. By giving every family member a chance to personally invest in a favorite cause, this game helps to develop a sense of shared mission and philanthropic responsibility that will encourage children to be lifetime givers.
The Learning ATM
This realistic-looking automated teller machine allows young children to deposit and withdraw money with pass cards, just like what mom and dad use, helping to teach them lessons of responsible money management at an early age. Features include a keypad for entering transactions, punch-in deposits, a slot for dropping in coins and bills, the ability to track separate account balances, and two sets of pass cards for “authorized” users. Deposits automatically are split into three accounts—giving, saving and spending—realistically teaching the concepts of managing God’s money God’s way.
At a time when 45 percent of college students are in credit card debt and 40 percent of Americans say they live beyond their means, it is clear that children need to be taught the basics of financial budgeting. The Moonjar Moneybox does just that: It is a fun way to teach children about spending, saving and sharing. This youth financial literacy tool consists of three money boxes and a passbook (a child’s version of a checkbook). There are several fun steps in which both parents and children can participate. First, the children assemble the money boxes and personalize them by pasting on pictures of their dreams, things they would like to buy in the future, or people and causes to which they would like to give. Second, parents help their children to build their budgets, divvying up where their money should go. Third, parents explain to their children the value of saving. The Moneybox proves to be a great tool for facilitating conversations about money, values and generosity between parents and their children.
My Giving Bank
My Giving Bank is designed to teach children the value of money and how to handle it in a way that is pleasing to God. This transparent blue plastic bank, created by Larry Burkett of Crown Financial Ministries, allows youngsters to deposit their coins into three compartments, or “buildings”—church, bank and store—teaching them the prominent role of giving in money management. This device is recommended for ages 4 and up.
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