As you think about 2019 and what it holds for your church, why not consider making a new year’s resolution to create a Legacy Ministry in your church?
A Legacy Ministry is a way to expand the stewardship conversation with believers beyond tithes and offerings. It’s a tool by which Christ followers plan their estates to not only take care of their families at death, but to also establish a legacy that supports the work of the Kingdom—through the local church and beyond.
This area of stewardship is often left out of the plans of many congregations. With so much emphasis on the church’s operating budget and the weekly giving, all too often church leaders miss the opportunity to share with their congregation ways in which they can impact the Kingdom of God using assets unlikely to be available until after they have left this earth.
Proverbs 3:9 says: Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce. (ESV)
When you think about “first fruits,” especially in the Old Testament, the concept of tithing comes to mind. We understand the command to tithe our income and bring it to the church as a part of our worship of God. But this verse states we should also honor God with our “wealth.” Our wealth refers to the abundance of material blessings God has provided for us to manage over our lifetime. So, while tithing is very important, we should not forsake the command to honor God with our wealth.
A sobering statistic reveals less than 10% of estates include a charitable bequest, and less than 2% of Christians include their church in their estate plan. Why is this? I believe most have not been asked! There are many charities and causes available today that are good and worthy of support. Most nonprofit agencies make a concerted effort to ask donors for large gifts that may come out of the “wealth” mentioned in Proverbs 3. The church is finally realizing it cannot assume members will intuitively give out of their estate simply because they have given to the church all their life. The church needs to actually “make the ask,” and a legacy ministry is the way to do it.
What benefits does a legacy ministry have for the church and its donors? How do you get started? Stay tuned for next month’s article to find out.
Ready to take action today? TBF would love to help you and your church. Give us a call today at 615-371-2029 to get started.
Please note that the advice offered in this article is not intended to be construed as tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice for the reader. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.