Inspiring Generosity


Inspiring Generosity


12/17/2014

Your #1 Resolution:  Keep Your Vision Fresh
 
“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (Proverbs 29:18, KJV). 
 
As you’re humming “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” it’s also a good opportunity for you and your congregation to start thinking about revisiting, renewing, or just plain writing (maybe for the first time) your church’s vision statement. OK, OK, you can stop rolling your eyes—you don’t have to do it today, but promise me you’ll get right on it after the first of the year.

A vision statement is crucial as you develop your goals for 2015. It can serve as your rallying cry and give you direction. It gives your congregation a reason for being that they can share with someone who isn't a part of your church.
 
Now I’ve heard some mighty interesting vision/mission or semi-vision/mission statements in my day:
 
Our church exists because we aren’t like those people in that church down the street.  Egads, that other church now sounds pretty interesting. I can hardly wait to see what they’re doing that’s so bad—it must be good!
  But why should they come to your church?

Our church exists because we used to have 225 kids in our youth group.  I made that one up, but it’s usually the first thing the “inside” people go to – the good old days rather than having a forward focus.
 
Our church exists because it’s my family.  Now, this may be true, but frankly it can be kind of creepy to outsiders – especially if one doesn’t have fond memories of one’s own family of origin. You could be sending people running to the hills unintentionally.
 
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—your vision should be inspirational and aspirational.  It should lift you up and challenge you to greatness.  It should remind you and everyone else why you exist and Who you serve. Patrick Scriven has written an excellent piece to ponder as you think about this: “Buttons, Churches, and Rigging the System Against Change.”
 
So, unlike all your other New Year’s resolutions, don’t put off taking a look at your vision statement. This is one resolution you need to keep.
 
Bonus: Here’s your video extra of the week. If you haven’t already seen this—Saturday Night Live hit the nail on the head when they recently poked fun at a mainline Christmas mass. Check off how many of these you have personally experienced…and see if you can banish a few of them from one of your upcoming services.
 
And, BTW – Merry Christmas! I will be taking the next two weeks off in order to open all those presents I just know my children and husband have purchased for me. May all your services be filled with blessings and an open spirit of gratitude and generosity.  “For unto us a child is born…” Hallelujah!


Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. She really is praying that you'll have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year. Her position with the Conference is funded through a  generous grant from the Collins Foundation. You can reach her at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com.

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Cesie Delve Scheuermann

Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.

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