By Bill Gruenewald
President, Tennessee Baptist Foundation
Have you ever been cleaning out a drawer and found a valuable coupon that expired two days ago and realized you had just been to that store a week ago and purchased something? I have and I am sure this has happened to many of you at one time or another. You just missed an opportunity to save some money.
What many pastors do not realize is that 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 in sharing with our members the ways they can give to 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. The sad truth is that this does not happen that often. Statistics reveal that only two percent of Christians leave an estate gift for their church. Why is that so low? 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 shared a few thoughts as to why he felt the need to have an estate plan and why he wants part of it to carry on God’s work after he and Helene are gone:
“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.
“At that time, we didn’t understand everything we needed to know about an estate plan, but the person we worked with at the Tennessee Baptist Foundation explained everything in a way we could understand.
“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 tithers for all of our married life, and we wanted to continue to do that through our estate plan.
“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.
“Working with Tennessee Baptist Foundation (TBF) was extremely easy and comfortable. They made sure we had all of our questions answered while creating a will and estate plan for the very first time. It also made a lot of financial sense to us to use TBF. At the time of the creation of our will, there was a provision that the service was offered for free as long as a portion of the estate was left to Baptist causes. We were very interested in that anyway, so it just made sense. Everyone we have worked with at TBF has been incredibly helpful, very friendly, and extremely knowledgeable.”
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 who want to do more. Do not miss the opportunity to give your members the knowledge of how they can give to bless the next generation.
The Tennessee Baptist Foundation will help you cultivate the faithful members of your church and share with them the benefits of putting a sound faith-based estate plan together. Give us a call today.
Let’s work together on the opportunities in front of us! B&R