Monday, September 20, 2010

A Car without a Battery?
The importance of your financial gifts to our church

Picture this: with great diligence you’ve worked and saved up money for a brand new car. It has all of the bells and whistles you’ve been hoping for – a well-built body, the best engine available, a very comfortable interior, great fuel efficiency, and the latest in navigation and entertainment gadgets. But, on the day you go to pick it up, you discover that it doesn’t have a battery. This one omission means that you won’t be able to drive your dream car off the lot.

The “car” in this scenario represents all of those life-giving organizations and institutions we know to be a blessing to God’s world. These efforts are definitely worthy recipients of the financial fruits of our labors and good stewardship.

Recently, following an endowment workshop in one of our local churches, a generous United Methodist commented that he didn’t know he could leave money to his church through his will. He went on to share how he and his wife had included Deaconess Family Services, the University of Puget Sound, and Heifer Project (three great examples of the “car”) in their estate plans, but not their church. Following his comment someone else in the group raised a hand to ask, would any of these great institutions exist without the church?

In the previous car analogy, local churches are the “battery.” After all, it was local churches who generated the vast majority of educational, health, and other beneficial institutions in existence today. If the church ceases to exist, who will power these crucial institutions and generate new ones? Indeed the local church remains the heart and soul of countless charitable efforts that the world desperately needs.

If the solution for our car dilemma is to invest in a battery, then the solution to our charitable institution dilemma is to give effectively to our local church. It doesn’t take a lot of money from any one individual – but it does take all of us investing in our generative “church” together.

Here are some of the simple things that we can all do to keep our ministries running for generations to come:
  • If you’re creating or revising your will, consider naming our church as a beneficiary.
  • Consider giving a gift, of any amount, to help birth or grow an endowment fund for our church.
  • If you’re 65 or older, and in need of an annual income, please consider the benefits of a Charitable Gift Annuity (with our church as the named “charity”).
  • Consider donating stock and/or assets (e.g., life-insurance) that you no longer need to our church.
  • Seek out members of our church’s Board of Trustees or Endowment Committee for more information and ideas.

--adapted from the Pacific Northwest Ann Conf website

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Producer

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