By Wanda Parker
Bucks are used throughout Sunday Plus Curriculum (click here to learn about Sunday Plus Curriculum) to motivate and encourage kids, but more importantly to teach kids how to use money. It is also a great tool in teaching critical thinking, reasoning, responsibility, budgeting and delayed gratification.
Each church must make its own decision as to the extent to which they will use the Bucks/Banking Tool. A church may use every element suggested below or they may use only the Bucks and store. A church may want to begin with a simple Bucks/Banking program and then move into a more sophisticated ministry/program.
Sunday Plus Curriculum’s goal is to disciple the whole child – spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, social. The Bible gives us more than 800 scriptures pertaining to money. The way we handle money speaks to our heart obedience to God.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24
What greater time than childhood to learn the truths pertaining to money. Some parents are great at giving allowances and training their children how to manage money; others have no clue how to even begin. You may have parents who represent the whole spectrum. Your decision on how to use this component ofSunday Plus Curriculum will be determined by the families you serve.
Kids will earn Bucks in Kids’ Bible Focus, Kids’ Corporate Worship and Kids’ Weekday Celebration. Each kid is responsible for the care of his/her own Bucks. If Bucks are lost or stolen that is the responsibility of the kid to whom the Bucks belonged. If they were stolen and the child who stole them is discovered then s/he is disciplined. As the kids earn their bucks, give them the option of keeping their money or turning it in at the bank. If mom washes a pair of pants and Bucks have been left in the pants and destroyed that is the child’s loss. Bucks are no more replaceable than real money is replaceable. You wouldn’t go into a bank and say, “I washed my clothes and my 100 dollar bill was torn to shreds, please give me another 100 dollar bill.”
The reality of life is that each of us goes through difficult circumstances. The earlier in life we experience and thus learn reality the easier it is. Childhood is a time of preparation for adulthood. If a child is not prepared for what is to come s/he will have a difficult life.
Each month when the store is open the kids can bring all their money and:
- Deposit all in the bank.
- Deposit some in the bank and keep some out to spend.
- Spend all the money they have at the store.
- Spend some and take the rest home choosing not to use the bank.
Bank Accounts: You can set up different types.
- Checking account on which they can write a check at any time.
- Savings account – it must stay in for a certain length of time but interest will be paid.
- Christmas account – money can only be withdrawn during December of each year; a higher interest is paid.
Store: once a month have a store opened where kids can purchase a variety of items. Be sure to have some high end items that the kids will have to save their Bucks for. This teaches delayed gratification as well as critical thinking skills.
Tithe – it is important to teach the kids your church’s teaching on the tithe and offerings. Create ways for kids to give back to God on a regular basis. Kids can give during the offering in Kids’ Corporate Worship and a Tithe Bucket can be placed in the store. Think of other times and places – you may have a special collection for something during Kids’ Bible Focus or Kids’ Weekday Celebration. Ask the Lord to show you ways He wants you to train up the kids in management of money. Following is a note a Children’s Pastor wrote the parents introducing the Tithing concept.
“Up to this point, unless your child has a job or gets some type of allowance, the only money s/he is able to give at church is what you give him/her. Now that the kids have somewhat “tasted” the store, the concept of tithing will be all that much more real for them. Not only will it take a step of faith and belief for them to give from what they have, but as we can all relate to as adults, tithing sometimes means the difference between being able to get something we want, or not. In addition, we will be giving the kids the opportunity to decide as a group what those bucks “given” will be used to donated from their store to a local ‘cause’.”
The Bucks they give may be used to purchase something for the Infant/Toddler’s Room at the church, or food purchased for the local food bank, or flowers bought and taken to a convalescent home, etc.. Let the kids think of places to give. Figure the money that would have been used to purchase items for the store is diverted to pay for the tithe items.
Pay for all outings: The kids pay for anything they do beyond the normal ministry. Even if parents pay with “real money” for a trip to an amusement park the kids pay with their “Bucks.” If they bring a friend who doesn’t have Bucks they pay for the friend. Also an offering can be taken for guests. This challenges kids on a number of levels. Where is their heart in relation to their Bucks?
Be sure your Disciplers are trained to talk all this through with the kids.
Each church can create their own checks to match the theme of their children’s ministry. Sample checks are at the end of Addendum A.
Also included are check register pages. Each kid should have one register for each account they have.
Introduce Bucks the first Sunday and weekday. At that time do a simple introduction of how they earn Bucks and that the store is going to be open once a month. For deeper explanation of the Banking system choose a week when you will present the whole program during each of the children’s gathering times.
Present the same material that week to The Shema Focus gathering(s) with further teaching on what the Bible says about money. For a resource seehttp://www.daveramsey.com/church/scriptures/
Presentation to Kids:
- Your church’s teaching on tithes and offerings.
- Go through step by step how they use their checkbook.
- Make using a checkbook a privilege by saving it for Older Kids only – you decide what ages.
- On the day that you introduce the concept of banking, open the bank and allow them to deposit money. Then make sure that they record it properly.
- Be sure they know that if they write a check at the store for more money than they have in their checking account, they will have to pay a fine. Be sure you know what the fine will be.
Think through what interest you will pay in the saving accounts