Inspiring Generosity


You’re Moving to a New Church.
What Questions Should You Ask?

                Feeling like this?!   cottonbro@pexels

I dread the thought of moving. That’s why I’m staying put right where I am.
Even though we aren't moving, last Friday, my spouse and I worked -
for the first time in 20 years - for two whole hours (what dedication) in our basement sorting and letting things go to Goodwill or the trash. We can now see 1/18th of our basement floor. Thus, I feel your pain if you are moving.
Speaking of that, as most Methodists are aware (in the UMC way), clergy are often appointed to a new congregation in the summer. June is the month when the Great Move™ usually takes place in order for the pastor to be ready to rock and roll in their new pulpit in July.
To those of you who are making the Great Move™, Godspeed. I’m trusting that (unlike me) you’ve been Marie Kondo-ing your space on a regular basis. If not, Lord have mercy.
Let’s pretend that you’ve arrived. You’ve made it! You’re at your new congregation. OMG, there’s so much to do.
The good thing about being the new kid on the block is that you have the ability to ask questions.
Really basic questions.
Maybe even some dumb questions. Truly, this a unique opportunity.
A few of those questions ought to do with stewardship.

Here are some stewardship questions to check off your list when you arrive.
_____  How do you do the offering during worship?
_____  Does anyone tell a story about where the offering is going?
_____  How often does the congregation expect to hear a sermon about generosity?
_____  Do you have a specific stewardship month when pledges are accepted? Who’s in charge of that?
_____  How are people in the congregation thanked?
_____  Who are the top 10 givers in the congregation? (Start meeting with them to find out why they give. If you’re squeamish about knowing who your top givers are, please read Should You Know Who Gives What?)
_____  Who are the top 10 volunteers in the congregation? (Start meeting with them to find out why they volunteer.)
_____  Is the congregation’s budget being propped up by one or two major givers? What will you do with this knowledge?
This is not an exhaustive list. These are to get you thinking about what you should know about stewardship in your new congregation. Heck, even if you’re not new, some of these are valuable questions to ask.
Moving is hard. Let’s acknowledge that right now. You need prayer not only to ask the right questions but to find a sense of peace, knowing that you are in a place you can call home.
The old Methodist Youth Fellowship prayer I said each and every week arm-in-arm, hand-in-hand with my friends seems right. It’s my prayer for you (with special thanks to Numbers 6:24-26):

The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
 the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.

 God bless you. Happy questioning.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. For 25 years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she has helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. Need a little inspiration for your move? Check out this old (and she means old) Billy Joel video, “Movin’ Out.” You can reach Cesie at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity or at CesieScheuermann.com

If someone has forwarded this to you and you would like to subscribe to "Inspiring Generosity," click here.  Miss an issue?  Click here. Want to see more stewardship resources? Click here.


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.