In past columns we have discussed how churches are the most overlooked charities in estate stewardship and legacy giving. It is not that church members are opposed to supporting the ministries and mission efforts of their local church in this fashion. Rather, it is primarily due to the fact that most church members are never encouraged by their church leadership to consider giving a part of their estate to their church.
It is imperative that churches provide education and encouragement to its members in seeing their available financial resources much more broadly than just the cash that is placed into the offering plate. These resources can also be a person’s non-cash assets (which on average represent 91 percent of a person’s net worth).
Church leaders can make great strides in impacting the church’s financial future by seizing the opportunity to teach their church members to become “kingdom-minded” stewards through the following ways:
n Teach members what the Bible reveals about an authentic stewardship lifestyle.
n Help members realize that how they plan their estate likely will be the most significant act of financial stewardship they will ever make.
n Encourage members to have and up-to-date Christian estate plan.
n Educate members on how to accomplish their charitable giving objectives through their estate planning.
The great news for church leaders is that they are not alone in preparing this type of Christian estate stewardship education and training for members. The Kentucky Baptist Foundation stands ready to help facilitate this training of church members to become “kingdom-minded” stewards. An active part of the Foundation’s service is the conducting of no cost seminars and teaching series on financial and estate planning at churches and associations. Also, the Foundation staff is available to individuals for free, private estate stewardship consultation as they consider their estate planning, incapacity planning, and charitable gift planning.
To get started with this action step of securing your church’s financial future, contact the Foundation’s trust counsel, Laurie Valentine, or me at our toll-free number (866) 489-3533.
Richard Carnes is the president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, P O Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; toll-free (866)489-3533; KYBaptistFoundation.org.