The One Thing You Can Do to Increase Generosity
Interview with J. Clif Christopher, Part 2
Now on to the last two interview questions:
Since Rich Church, Poor Church was written in 2012, I wanted to know what, in Clif’s estimation, had changed over the intervening years. I thought he would no doubt mention the rise of electronic giving. But his answer went in a totally different direction from what I expected.
“The only new thing on the horizon is the church’s continuing sexuality debate [for non-United Methodists, this refers to the ongoing dispute over LGBTQ rights]…I have seen churches put things on hold as they wait to see what the church will decide [referring to the Commission on a Way Forward]. There is uncertainty as to what the church will look like. Will we be one United Methodist Church? Evangelical United Methodists? Peaceful United Methodists? I work with one church that is 80% left leaning but the 20% who are conservative give the most money to the church. Not knowing means less risk is being taken by the local church.”
EMC3 – Excellence in Ministry Coaching – has an excellent example of what a “high expectation” church might look like using the membership vows of prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. You can download it right here. Think about using this handout as a conversation starter with your leadership group or Administrative Council about how your church might define “high expectation.”
And thus ended my very invigorating interview with J. Clif Christopher. I was challenged and I was enlightened. My deep gratitude goes to him for taking the time to talk with me. So here’s a toast to your congregation discovering ways it can become or continue to be a “rich church” serving all of God’s people. Lord knows our world needs you…right now.
Correction: For those on my email list, last week I mistakenly said that Clif went to Drew University. He actually went to Emory.
Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past fifteen years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She found out that the “J” in J. Clif Christopher stands for “James” and “Clif” is short for “Clifton.” Whew! Mystery solved. She was 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. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity.
If someone has forwarded this to you and you would like to subscribe to "Inspiring Generosity," click here. Miss an issue? Click here.
comments powered by Disqus
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.