12 Ways to Inspire Generosity Right Now


12 Ways to Inspire Generosity Right Now

                                                        Home sweet yurt..

Note to my friends (which you all are, of course…): 
While you are reading this I am “glamping” it up in a yurt in Southern Oregon with the whole family.  As you can imagine, deep conversation ensues from the youngins’ – “What’s the wi-fi password? What?! No wi-fi? We have to go home. You didn’t tell us there wouldn’t be wi-fi or indoor plumbing. Thanks, Mom.” See, vacations can be so fun! 
But wi-fi, indoor plumbing or not, I am taking the week off. So I’m re-posting one of my favorite blogs – one that originally was written on 12/12/12. I just like writing that date. So sad never to see it again. And, since we apparently survived the Mayan apocalypse – happy vacation!
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:
1.  Write. Write one of your faithful tithers a thank you note, by hand, using your personal stationary.
2.  Call. Call one of your faithful tithers and thank them for their generosity.
3.  Converse. Have a conversation with one of your faithful tithers and ask, “What inspires you to be generous?”
4.  Plan. Have a plan for your Christmas Eve offering. Be able to tell people where the funds will go and what great things will happen as a result.
5.  Laugh. Remember, God loves a cheerful giver – and I have heard it said that God especially loves a hilarious giver.
6.  Give. You can’t be asking your congregation to give, if you aren’t willing to do the very same thing.
7.  Testify. You, yes, you testify about the good things God is doing in your life and how the church is making that possible.
8.  Ask. You can’t expect to get money by osmosis. Yes, you will have to give people the opportunity to give.
9.  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.
10.  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.
11.  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.
12.  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.

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 $2.5 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She may be ready to high-tail it to a Comfort Inn after one night in the yurt. She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation; she is available to consult with churches in Oregon and Idaho. 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.