In most churches, the stewardship focus has been on tithes and offering giving that comes from member's income and "liquid assets," which may represent only a small portion of a person's net worth. Certainly it is good for the church to instill this discipline of current giving, but the discipline of financial stewardship should also include an attitude of legacy giving.
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% 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:
• Teach members what the Bible reveals about an authentic stewardship lifestyle.
• Help members realize that how they plan their estate likely will be the most significant act of financial stewardship they will ever make.
• Encourage members to have and up-to-date Christian estate plan.
• Educate members on how to accomplish their charitable giving objectives through having and attitude of legacy giving.
The great news for church leaders is that they are not alone in preparing this type of Christian estate stewardship education and training for its 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.
How does a church get started in helping its members develop and attitude of legacy giving? An excellent first step is to contact the Kentucky Baptist Foundation. You may contact us 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.