How to Become Brave, One Toe at a Time


How to Become Brave, One Toe at a Time
Seth Godin is a prolific and an influential writer.  He puts out lots of books and publishes a blog every day. Most days I click “delete” just as soon as I skim his article (which, of course, I know that you never do with Inspiring Generosity. I am confident that you commit every article to memory. Thank you.). Today, however, Seth’s blog hit the nail on the head. Bang! It’s short and sweet – so here is:

Taking the plunge
Maybe that's the problem.
Perhaps it's better to commit to wading instead.
Ship, sure. Not the giant life-changing, risk-it- all-venture, but the small.
When you do a small thing, when you finish it,    polish it, put it into the world, you've made something. You've committed and you've finished.
And then you can do it again, but louder. And larger.

It's easy to be afraid of taking a plunge, because, after all, plunging is dangerous. And the fear    is a safe way to do nothing at all.
Wading, on the other hand, gets under the radar. It gives you a chance to begin.

Maybe you, dear clergy person or wonderful layperson, have been afraid because “taking the plunge” is just too hard – that’s OK. Start wading. Now. On all sorts of things that scare you. But, for these purposes:

  • Dip your toe as you say something in a sermon about money and what relationship it has to faith.
  • Write a letter letting people know that you too struggle with money – but you’re willing to live with the struggle because you know that money used wisely and given in faith can transform lives and communities.
  • Have one conversation next week about money with a parishioner you know and respect. Ask that person, “What do you think motivates people to give?”

That’s wading. Going a little bit out of your comfort zone until you’re ready to say – “Bring it on.  Let’s dive right in.”  Let me know if you get wet.
Here’s little something extra for your viewing pleasure. It’s a pretty funny, pretty pointed Saturday Night Live “39 Cents” commercial spoofing how we promote giving in impoverished countries.

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.  Although she is making progress, she definitely belongs to the "Big Toe" school of courage. 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.