People who do not get involved in the activities of the Church tend to have the notion that the Catholic Church is a big bank that can fund whatever it chooses. It is their way of excusing the need for their gifts. It is crucial to teach children how important each of us are to the life of the Church.
The following can be used as a lesson in class, or a skit in a Mass. It is a powerful visual as well as symbolic teaching. Go to the preschool or kindergarten department and borrow several of the cardboard bricks that most have. If these are not available, cover and use shoe boxes. Each brick will represent a job that someone does to help “build up” the Church.
Next, brainstorm with students and come up with a list of all the people who help with the running of your parish or the Mass, in any way. These can include, besides the obvious, someone who drives the homebound to Mass, someone who cleans the church before and after Mass, someone who teaches the faith to any age group, someone who donates funds, large or small.
Give each brick a label for each activity that is of help to the Church. With older students, perhaps list things they can do. Have students “build” a pyramid or building with the blocks naming the importance of each as you do. As an instructor, talk about the importance of each of these positions “building” on the other for the life of the parish to be what it is. Maybe even show what would happen if several people decided their position wasn’t needed and withdrew their gifts. (The building would topple over).
A last, but important point, is to talk about what would happen if everyone gave their time and talent but thought their treasure wasn’t needed. For example, we would have many who wanted to sing for the choir but no choir director, no music, no sound system. Also, picture many showing up to help distribute food for the poor but there would be no food to deliver.
Include in this lesson or skit, the song “I am the Church” or “We are One Body” and you will have a powerful message of how stewardship builds the Church.