Giving With A Smile

Pam HowlandBlog

Giving With A Smile

You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give.  Don’t give unwillingly or in response to pressure.  For God loves the person who gives cheerfully.  And God will generously provide all you need.”                  2 Corinthians 9:7-8a NLT

As we move into our “Raising More Hope” campaign, some of the major benefactors will be our children.

  • Are there enough crayons and markers?   Yes.
  • Is there adequate playground equipment and space?   Yes, thank you so much!
  • Do we have enough chairs?   Yep.
  • Is there enough play-dough to go around?   Always.
  • Are there enough rooms for each age group?   No.

These are the facts: Some of our class spaces are crowded.  There are currently 2 classes meeting in partitioned off corners of our Kids’ Great Room. We’ve split all the kids into age-level classes to get our numbers-per-class-space to within manageable groups. And the older elementary classes are split even more; boys/girls. But how do you divide a class of 19-20 all first graders?  With only one Great Room, gathering classes together for a large, group-teaching time is challenging for our pre-school kiddos.

When a new child comes to the door and sees wall-to-wall kids, it can be intimidating for them and their parents. And these are just our weekend class challenges. Wednesday evening children’s programming faces even more obstacles to accommodate bigger groups. And pick-up time?  ‘Nuff said.

So what do we truly need? More areas that can accommodate classes with 15+ kids. The plan is to increase the number of classes but add some flexibility to make these spaces larger if needed.

If you were to tell one of our younger Hopesters, I mean a really young Hopester, that we are going to be “Raising More Hope,” a typical response might be, “Why, did she fall down?” (We smile, but in fact, there are several girls and women in our church body with the name Hope, and as most parents know, or soon learn, children take everything in their world literally.)  Early on, Pastor Nick said that we could define “raising” as “nurturing” – and we should definitely think in those terms when it comes to the Kids of Hope.

Involving our youngest Hopesters in this building campaign will be fun.  We plan to make their focus center around this portion of 2 Corinthians 9:7; “God loves the person who gives cheerfully.” Now this can be taken literally. God loves it when we give with a smile on our face. Even the youngest will get it!

Be watching for those young, smiling God-pleasers as we challenge them, too, to be givers working together to nurture more hope.

For His Kids,

Pam Howland

Pastor of Elementary Ministries