by Christopher L. Kelly, Esq.
Have you ever been cleaning out a drawer and found a valuable coupon that just expired, only to realize you had just purchased something at that store a week prior? I have, and I am sure this has happened to many of you at one time or another. You missed an opportunity to save some money.
Many pastors do not realize there are missed opportunities in their pews each Sunday. Every week faithful members come to study God’s Word and be encouraged. Many of them have the capacity and the heart to do something great financially for their church, but they have not been asked and do not know how. As church leaders, we need to be more proactive and sharing with our members how they can give and impact the next generation of believers.
For most of us, the largest single monetary gift we can make to our church is one that will come from our estate after we are gone. Unfortunately, this does not happen very often. Statistics reveal that only 2 percent of Christians leave an estate gift for their church. Why? Is it because they do not believe in the work of their church or the Kingdom of God? Of course not. The reality is, they have not considered it because no one showed them how.
Rick and Helene are members of a local church in Middle Tennessee. They are working to build the Kingdom here now and have a vision to continue God’s work after they are gone. Rick says they began the process not fully understanding all the opportunities and details that go into an estate plan, but they wanted to be intentional about supporting their family and Kingdom work after they passed.
“We originally decided to put together an estate plan when we created our first will just before we left for our first international mission trip to Kenya, Africa. We wanted to create a basic framework for an estate plan that would provide for our children as well as provide an ongoing way for our estate money to continue to provide ministry assistance after we are gone.”
When Rick and Helene discovered the opportunity to give a portion of their estate to ministry, it simply made sense, they explain.
“As the process of creating an estate plan was explained to us, the opportunity to leave a small portion (actually a tithe) of our estate to continued ministry really appealed to us. And it made a lot of sense. We have been faithful tither for all of our married life and we wanted to continue to do that through our estate plan,” Rick says. “As we have been involved in a variety of ministries through our local church, international missions, and sponsoring children through Compassion International, we have been incredibly blessed. We had a desire to bless these ministries after our deaths.”
No matter the size or location of your church in the great state of Tennessee, you have many like “Rick and Helene” in your congregation that want to do more. Do not miss the opportunity to educate your members on how they can give to bless the next generation.
The Tennessee Baptist Foundation is here to help you nurture the faithful members of your church and share with them the benefits of putting a sound faith-based estate plan together, just like Rick and Helene.
Ready to get started?
You can reach us via phone at (615) 371-2029 or fill out this form.
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.