Inspiring Generosity: New in Town? Four Ways to Talk about Money


New in Town? Four Ways to Talk about Money

Friends, I’m still trying to get over the fact that neither George Clooney nor Harrison Ford (nor even Steven Spielberg for that matter) stopped by to see me when I was in their neck of the woods last week. I mean really. Hollywood…I was ready and waiting for you.
One thing I did do in Southern California was walk two miles to church for a Sunday service. Brownie points for me. More jewels for my heavenly crown, amirite?
Before I went, I searched that church’s website because, as you well know, the website is the church’s new front door. Things looked good on my screen. But when I walked in (ask me about the “attendance” sheet I had to sign before sitting down) I soon realized there had been a pastoral change and the website hadn’t been updated. This was completely understandable since it was only week two of the new person being there. For you non-Methodists, July 1 marks the new pastoral year.
However, this is a good place to remind you: update your website.
If you find yourself serving a new church – fabulous! I am praying that your new appointment is going well.
Want to turn over a new leaf and be bolder talking about money? Hooray!
Here are four “to dos”:

  1. Get a new perspective by reading Henri Nouwen’s A Spirituality of Fundraising. I especially love his chapters “Fundraising as Ministry” and “People Who are Rich.” 60 pages have never packed quite such a punch.
  2. Ask for information. Understand how your people are currently giving. Ask who the top 20 givers are. What’s the trajectory of giving over the past five years? Going up? Going down? Staying static? If you’re nervous about asking for this information, the Book of Discipline has your back.
  3. Meet with some of your top and/or most consistent givers. Ask them why giving to the church has been meaningful to them. What do they like about the church? Where do they see signs of hope? Please note: When you set up an appointment, you should not say, “Hey! I see that you give a lot! Can I meet with you?!” (Lord, have mercy.) Meeting with your people – for any reason – is about building relationships.
  4. Start talking now about money from the pulpit. Before the Stewardship Campaign. Tell stories about what you’ve seen and heard about the church. Thank people for their generosity in making mission and ministry happen. Normalize money as a topic in church.

Being new is hard. It really is.
But it’s also a time for innovation, revitalization, and boldness. May God give you the strength to step out of your comfort zone to talk about money to further the Kin-dom right here on earth.
Want more ideas? Of course you do!
A New Appointment? 6 Tips to Set You Up for Generosity
Getting a New Pastor? 3 Tips to Help Them (and You!) Inspire Generosity
Preach About Money: Somebody’s Gotta Do It

Photo by Oleksander Canary Islands @pexels.com

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. She has no gratuitous photo of George Clooney. Instead, there’s this commercial.
You can reach Cesie at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com, at CesieScheuermann.com, or at cesieds@horizons.net. Want to schedule a meeting? She’s got you covered!
Schedule a meeting now.
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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.