Sing together, “Small Things Count,” Voices United #361
Talking about Generosity ( 10 mins)
Talk to your group about what it means to be generous. Here
are some tips:
• The quality of being kind and generous.
• Not being concerned about our own stuff so that we might
give freely to others.
• Giving something willingly and happily without expecting
anything in return.
Discuss the following questions ( 20 to 40 mins)
• How do you know when someone is being generous?
• Who has shown you generosity?
• Share an experience of when you were generous. What did
you do? How did it make you feel?
Sometimes it’s hard to know how to be generous in such a
big world with so many big problems. Sometimes we feel like
there is nothing we can do. Sometimes we think that generosity is about us doing things for others. But there’s something
funny about generosity. It’s for us as much as for those we are
Generosity makes us feel happy. It sends messages to our
brains that give us pleasure and help us feel connected to
other people. If you give—if you are generous—you feel good.
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. conducted a study that shows the same area of our brain that is
activated when we feel happy lit up when the participants in the
study thought about giving money to a charity. Research also
shows that giving is good for our health. It helps us live longer
and relieves stress. So, be generous to others and yourself.
Depending on the age of your participants, you may want
to share more specific information on how generosity is good
for our health. Search online for these articles:
• “The Helper’s High” by Berkeley University.
• “Small Acts of Kindness Make a Difference” by David R.
• “Be Generous: It’s a Simple Way to Stay Healthier” by the
SCRIPTURE ACTIVITY ( 20 mins. per activity)
Psalm 112:5: “Good will come to him who is generous and
lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.”
1 Timothy 6:18: “Command that they do good, that they be
rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.”
Proverbs 22:9: “Those who are generous are blessed, for they
share their bread with the poor.”
Select one of the following activities to do with the text
above, or take on all of them during a longer workshop.
• Create bookmarks, buttons, or signs with the text.
• Use them as a puzzle or make them into a word search.
• Make wax-paper relief prints: Cover sheets of white paper
with wax paper. Give each participant a piece of paper
with one of the verses written on it. Instruct participants to
trace the scripture on the wax paper. They will need to use
sharp pencils, press down hard, and use large letters. Next,
instruct participants to brush tempera paint over the paper.
If done properly, the paint will not adhere to the wax.
• Play a game with the verses: Write each word of the verse
on a separate slip of paper; give participants a slip of paper
and have them line up the text in verse order. (
Variations: Play this as a team game, or tape the slips onto the
back of each child and have them ask each other questions
to find out which verse is on their back.)
• Dominos: Type the words in each verse on a slip of paper
(one slip of paper per word) and ask participants to glue
each word onto domino blocks. Ask participants to line
the verse up properly before being able to knock down the
BRAINSTORMINING ( 15 mins)
Generosity works best when you are close enough to see need.
Help your participants brainstorm a list of specific needs for
generosity in their homes, their schools, their church, and
their community. Remind them that we may not be able to fix
the whole world, but we can make a difference in our small
corner of it.
Tips for being generous-ish (make sure to get your parents
on board first!):
• Start small.
• Embrace gratitude.
• Help at a local charity.
• Do something for the environment.
• Bake cookies for after worship on Sundays.
• Post a sign-up sheet for those who need help with chores
such as: grass cut; gardens weeded; snow shovelled; dogs
• Play an instrument as entertainment for someone.
• Teach someone how to use social media.
• Post your list of services offered and encourage congregation members to make use of the generosity of your
STORY TIME (60 to 75 mins)
Read the story “Ish” by Peter Reynolds (Candlewick Press,
2004.) If you don’t have a copy of the book, you may want to
watch the video on youtube.com. Alternatively, you can read
“The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein (Harper & Row, 1964) or
“Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister (Nord-Sud Verlog, 1992).
Discuss the following questions:
• Where did you see generosity in the story?
• Where did you see meanness or selfishness in the story?
• After reading “Ish,” discuss what Leon could have said to
Ramon to be kinder.
• Have you heard people say hurtful things about someone’s
art, or their attempt to try something new?
• Brainstorm some things you can say to encourage people—
rather than discourage them.