10-10-80™ Empowering Steward Leaders

Five kids went to the mall. Each received $50.  What did they do with it?  

This is an exciting new resource for a confirmation class or a youth retreat.  

The goal of this easy-to-use educational unit is to introduce youth to a life of balanced financial stewardship by sharing 10 percent, saving 10 percent and spending wisely 80 percent of their income.  

Supplementary letters for parents and church council members help create a congregational climate that nurtures future steward leaders.

Here are examples of free, downloadable resources available:

Letter to parents

Dear parent(s),

Five confirmation students went to a mall one Saturday and given $50 apiece to spend as they pleased. A camera man followed them and recorded what they did with their money.

Your child will soon have a chance to watch these students on video, followed by a short unit which will introduce a simple but powerful practice called "10-10-80": Share 10 percent, save 10 percent and spend 80 percent.

Why is this necessary? Listen to what one expert says:

"The social and economic impacts of hyper-consumption are and will continue to be extremely problematic for present and future generations."

1. Young people 18 and under will spend and influence the spending of more than $1 trillion dollars this year.

2. Young adults (25 and under) are now one of the fastest-growing segments filing for bankruptcy.

3. Average credit card debt per U.S. household is nearly $9,000.

4. Average U.S. savings rate per household has plummeted to 0.4%.

5. College students have on average four credit cards and $3,000 of credit card debt.

6. Children today spend FIVE times more money (adjusted for inflation) than their parents did at the same age, according to Nathan Dungan, author of Prodigal Sons & Material Girls: How Not to Be Your Child's ATM.

Your child can escape this lifestyle of hyper-consumption by learning good money-handling habits early in life. The goal of this unit is not more money from youth in the offering plate, but to create a climate that nurtures future steward leaders. Your support as a parent is essential to this process. To see for yourself the material your child will be learning, look at www.10-10-80.com. Other helpful resources can be found there, too.

Sign up for a weekly column by Nathan Dungan at www.sharesavespend.com.

With God's help, together we can raise up a generation of steward leaders who give generously, spend wisely, and save for their futures. Thank you for your support.

Sample of a litany with encouragement for youth to write their own


Leader: Gracious God, give us generous hearts,
Group 1: So we may fully appreciate all your many gifts to us
Group 2: So we may give without counting the cost
Group 3: So we may know the joy that comes from helping others

Leader: Gracious God, give us generous hearts,
Group 1: So we may share without expecting something in return
Group 2: So we may hold all our treasures in an open hand
Group 3: So we may learn the difference between what we need and what we want

Leader: Gracious God, give us generous hearts,
Group 1: So we may give thanks for the heritage of faith passed on to us by our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, godparents, friends and all the saints who have walked before us
Group 2: So we may recognize the many blessings of each new day
Group 3: So we may ever thank you and serve you Thank you, Lord, for so richly blessing us


-- Litany adapted from the Southwest Minnesota Synod Stewardship Committee

The 10-10-80񕄠 program was created by ELCA stewardship staffs in the La Crosse Area Synod, Northwest Synod of Wisconsin and South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, in collaboration with the ELCA Department of Communication, youth ministry specialists and Augsburg Fortress, with funding from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.


ELCA stewardship staff.

Author information was updated as of the article's post date. Author profiles may not reflect author's current employment or location.

Image credit: © Ignacio García Losa (ignaciogarcialosa.com) via Flickr. Used by permission.

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