Supporting your local church. Don't overlook giving to or through your local church. Explain that Scripture emphasizes giving in the context of the local church. Make sure your children understand God's deep affection for the church — the bride of Christ.

As Paul notes in Ephesians 5, "Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Can we do any less? Explain that the church is precious in Jesus' sight, so we should generously invest our time, talent, and treasure to support the church's work of being a redeeming and reforming influence in our world and in our communities.

Talk with your kids about the work your church is engaged in and discuss how the church equips people to think and love like Jesus. Perhaps your church supports missionaries, church-planting projects, orphanages, or medical clinics in poor parts of the world (or even locally). Your children can give to these causes and encourage others to do the same. Or maybe there's a poor family (or elderly member) in your congregation that your children can bless with a financial gift or a gift of labor.

Take one or two of these ideas and try them with your children. Discover together that ministry to the poor is both a fitting and fulfilling way to celebrate the Christmas season.  

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9).

Matt Alexander is a Certified Financial Planner with Stewardship Wealth Management in Overland Park, Kansas. He is a member of Kingdom Advisors.

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