Friday, July 12, 2013

Tithing and French fries...

The following is an object lesson I've used in children's church to teach about tithing. Since it even caught the attention of my teenage son, I figured perhaps it was worth sharing.

Tithing is a tough concept for kids. Let's be honest, it's tough for ANYONE! I haven't always been a tither. Money got tight and I figured "God would understand" if I didn't give sometimes. However, as money has gotten tighter over the past few years, I figure I can't afford NOT to tithe!

At any rate, I decided perhaps the children in our children's church needed a little "instruction" or explanation each week as we gave our offering...this example came from one unplanned Sunday lesson, and it stuck!

That Sunday, as we prepared to take the offering - usually a few pennies or whatever Mom and Dad had given the child to put into the bucket - I decided to make sure the children understood what the word "tithe" meant. Not some deep theological explanation, but simply that it meant a tenth. If God provided them with a dime, a tithe would be a penny. If they got a dollar, it would be a dime. We went all the way to a million dollars - I'd love to be able to give a tithe on that! They understood the numbers, but I could tell we needed a little more. That's when the idea of French fries came to mind.

I asked the kids if their dad took them out to McDonalds and bought them some fries, what would they do if he then asked them for one or two of the fries. Of course, they all said they'd let him have some. He had, of course, bought them in the first place! We then made the connection that our tithe is like those fries. Our Father God provides for our needs - often with money - and He then asks us for "some of our fries".

Then I asked the children, "What if you're still hungry after you give Dad some fries and you eat the rest?" One of the children piped up, "Dad will probably buy you some more." That's it! While we may not have the money to buy those fries, the cost of a bag of fries is nothing for our father...usually pocket change! How much more will our Heavenly Father, who walks on streets of gold, provide for our needs? When we show our trust in Him by giving the tithe, we also show our trust that if we need more, He will provide. It's not a big deal for Him - He's got this!

We can also trust, that when Dad asks us to share our fries with others, He will make sure we still have all that we need.

So there you have it, a simple lesson on tithing and French fries....and on trusting that our Father loves us and will take care of what we need.

Enjoy "sharing your fries" my friends.

Matthew 7:11 (NIV)

11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Luke 6:38 (NIV)

38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Malachi 3:8-10 (NIV)

“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

Psalm 4:5 (NIV)

Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
    and trust in the Lord.
There are a LOT more references. Here's a site that lists more: Tithes and offerings


Jason said...

Almost 3 years and no comments? As a pastor I was looking for a simple illustration about tithing in a sermon I am preaching tomorrow. This is really good, because french fries is something everyone can relate to. Thanks.

Donna said...

I am just now seeing your comment but I really appreciate that you took the time to post. I'd love to know how it went with your congregation. Tithing is so hard for so many of us. There are times when I think about it and have to remind myself that if I believe that God saves me, how can I not believe he will also provide. It is still a lesson I am learning.
Thank you again for taking the time to read my blog.

JimMelissa Keen said...

Great lesson! My 10 year old daughter will be using this to teach the tithing lesson in our kids church Sunday! God bless you abundantly!

Donna said...

JimMelisa Keen - so glad to hear it can be used! Praying blessings over your services Sunday!