Inspiring Generosity


Wait! 4 Things to Do Before Christmas

                            Waiting...it's so hard to do    cj@pixabay

Advent – what a concept. It's all about waiting. But really...a time of waiting during the most hustly bustly season of the year? You have got to be kidding. Wait? Wait for what? To get the tree up? Lights hung?  Christmas letter written? Gifts purchased? Services planned?  Puhleeze. There is no time to wait. 
But wait is what we are called to do.  And believe me, I am the worst at doing just that. So God keeps working on me and today I will slap that “Be Patient. God isn’t finished with me yet” bumper sticker on my car because Lord knows, there’s a lot of work to do. I will give it my best shot and practice waiting. Waiting for that blessed birth of Jesus.
As we approach the end of the year – maybe have not done a ton of waiting and now have some free time on your hands (are you laughing hysterically?). Well good! Here are four last-minute things to do:
1. Thank people, from the pulpit, for their generosity (you can also send a gratitude note or give a call to a few individuals as well).
2. Remind your people where their money is going – to ministry, to outreach, to making a difference in the lives of people in the pews and people in the community and in the world.
3. Give people the opportunity to give – pass the bucket, the hat, the stocking, the laptop (so they can give on line), or the old-fashioned offering plate around at least once or twice…you may be pleasantly surprised.
4. Praise God and thank your congregation again for their generosity.
Practicing how to wait while being a people of action is a conundrum…and God calls us to these two opposing notions for a reason. May you have a wonderful Christmas as you conspire with God to find that reason and discover yourself waiting and willing to participate in today’s manger story. God bless us, everyone!
P.S.  Although my dedication to this blog knows no bounds (well, sort of), I will not be sending anything to you for the next two weeks. Stay tuned for the exciting “Top 5? Top 8? Posts of 2022” on January 4th! 
P.P.S. This is the last week! My annual Christmas gift to you still stands: Send me a draft of your church’s Christmas letter. I’ll take a look at it and give you some friendly feedback.
Adapted from a post originally published December 12, 2013.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a Stewardship Consultant for the OR-ID Annual Conference. She is also a Senior Ministry Strategist with Horizons Stewardship. For 25 years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she has helped raise over three million dollars for numerous churches and non-profit organizations. As she sits in the Richmond, VA airport, she can hear the strains of “Feliz Navidad.” She wishes you the same. You can reach Cesie at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook or at CesieScheuermann.com and one more…cesieds@horizons.net.
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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.