Creative Ways to Take Up an Offering for Youth

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

Church functions allow time to take up an offering. Youth events offer an opportunity to pass the collection plate. Passing the plate may appear a little tame and boring to youth, so they may look for more creative ways to accomplish this. The youth pastor or youth sponsors can support this creative effort as a way for the youth to make worship uniquely theirs.

No Pressure Giving

Leave an offering plate where the youth can drop in offerings as they come into the room. Leave offering envelopes out for those who want charitable giving credit at the end of the year. They can and take an envelope with them to fill out when they get paid, or to fill one out during the youth meeting. Use an offering container with a slotted top and secure closure so no one decides to remove money instead of dropping it in.

Electronic Giving

Suggest that youth use Paypal, etithes.com or other electronic secure source to send their offerings in. This helps those who can’t attend maintain the habit of charitable giving and it maintains the security of the offering. Those who have smart phones can make a contribution during the youth group event if they have forgotten. Those who don’t want to use electronic giving resources may use the regular offering plate placed in a prominent location, such as at the altar or near the entryway. (

Pass the Hat

Create a special top hat or other form of head gear the youth can use to literally pass the hat during services and events. Decorate the hat with symbols of things the money is used for, such as a bus for trips, pizza picture for events with food and a ball for game nights. Designate several responsible youths to assist with the hat-passing and counting the funds. Offer options for those who need a record of their contributions.

Watch It Grow

Install a tall, clear tube or clear bucket where youth can see it. Attach it to a white board, poster board or other option where they can post pictures or notices about the use of the money. For example, if the youth plan a retreat, and the offerings offset costs so more kids can attend, post a picture of the retreat site or requirements for attending. The youth can watch the fund grow each meeting. A running total of the amount collected can go on the board with the goal amount noted. A thermometer or other graphic can mark progress to the goal.

Collection Containers

Give each person in your youth group a collection container. Ask them to empty out their pockets and change purses each night and drop the change in the container. Youth may ask parents to add their change to the container. Bring the container to church and drop the amount into a central collection box. The collection container goes back home with the young person to collect next week’s offering.

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.