12/12/12 Special Edition: 12 ways to Inspire Generosity Right Now
OMG! It’s 12/12/12. The Mayan Apocalypse is supposed to happen on 12/21/12 (numerologists are in heaven) and, depending on whom you talk to, Obama or Boehner may be the anti-Christ meaning Jesus will soon be lifting us all up to glory. Wow – these are exciting times!
Not that any of you are going to be “left behind” of course, but just in case, here are 12, count ‘em, 12 ways to inspire generosity in the next few days or (if you survive) weeks ahead:
- Write. Write one of your faithful tithers a thank you note, by hand, using your personal stationary.
- Call. Call one of your faithful tithers and thank them for their generosity.
- Converse. Have a conversation with one of your faithful tithers and ask, “What inspires you to be generous?”
- Plan. Have a plan for your Christmas Eve (or any other) offering. Be able to tell people where the funds will go and what great things will happen as a result.
- Laugh. Remember, God loves a cheerful giver – and I have heard it said that God especially loves a hilarious giver.
- Give. You can’t be asking your congregation to give, if you aren’t willing to do the very same thing.
- Testify. You, yes, you testify about the good things God is doing in your life and how the church is making that possible.
- Ask. You can’t expect to get money by osmosis. Yes, you will have to give people the opportunity to give.
- Analyze. If you have had success in the past, do an analysis and determine what worked. Likewise, if something failed, do the same thing. Otherwise, you will be chasing your tail year after year.
- Record. Make sure you keep good records of who gives and how much. People will feel much better knowing their money is in good hands.
- Preach. Yes, preach, brother and sister…about the spiritual discipline of giving. Oh, your Stewardship campaign is over? No problem, go ahead and preach about generosity some more. Jesus didn’t put a time limit on talking about money.
- Pray. For your congregation to be generous, for yourself to be bold and unafraid to ask. For patience, kindness, and all that other good stuff Jesus wants and expects us to do.
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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.