Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Are We There Yet?

By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO    

        Christmas means different things to different people, but to us Kentucky Baptists it means the Lottie Moon Offering for international missions. It’s a special opportunity during a special season of the year to demonstrate in a special way our desire to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the nations, those beyond where we can go and what we see.

            How fortunate we are to have more than 5,000 self sacrificing international missionaries scattered to the ends of the earth telling the good news of Jesus 24/7.  To undergird and facilitate their boldly going, we at home must boldly pray and boldly give.  Did you know contributions through the Lottie Moon Offering provide more than half the support for international missions through the International Mission Board, SBC?  As a result, it is critical we as individuals continue to enhance our giving through this Great Commission giving channel even as our churches enhance their giving through the Cooperative Program, which is the other major Great Commission giving channel of support for international missions.

            The question, “are we there yet?” is the theme for this year’s week of prayer for international missions.  The answer to the question is “no,” we are not there yet in reaching the world for Christ.  However, the IMB has identified the 6,426 people groups that still need to be reached.  So, let’s get busy and start reaching more and more of them before it’s too late.

            This year I want to encourage you to consider moving from a transactional to a more comprehensive approach to giving. This will result in you more boldly giving to reach all peoples with the gospel.  This would be consistent with the KBC’s More for Christ emphasis.  What I mean by a more comprehensive approach is this: in addition to your annual contribution through the Lottie Moon Offering, you consider including in your estate plan a provision(s) to perpetuate your contribution beyond your lifetime. 

            Call Laurie Valentine or me for assistance in accomplishing such a life-changing legacy. (502) 489-3533 or toll free-1-866-489-3533 (KY only)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fulfilling A Vital Mission

By: Barry G. Allen- President and CEO

When you consider your involvement in accomplishing the Great Commission of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you likely do not consider involvement through the Kentucky Baptist Foundation to be a part of that effort. And yet, at the heart of the Foundation’s mission is teaching disciples of Jesus Christ to obey the biblical mandates of financial stewardship to the end more financial resources will be available for accomplishing the Great Commission.

Reaching the world for Christ takes money. And, it will take more in the future than it has in the past and present. Every component of our cooperative missionary, educational and benevolent enterprise will require more money to fulfill its part of the Great Commission effort. Churches and associations will need more money; Baptist colleges, academies, schools and seminaries will need more money; Baptist children’s and other benevolent ministries will need more money; mission boards and missions support organizations will need more money.

Providing the financial resources to accomplish the Great Commission by putting checks and cash in the offering plates on Sunday mornings will not be sufficient. Only when Christians in mass begin to practice what we proclaim we believe will significant progress be made in accomplishing the Great Commission. We proclaim we believe God is the owner of all things, and He has entrusted us to be His managers (stewards) for His purposes. However, there a huge disconnect between what we proclaim and what we do.
We believe the single most important act of financial stewardship a Christian likely will ever make is how we plan our estate. Furthermore, we believe through faithful estate stewardship more resources will be available to accomplish the Great Commission.

So, I invite you to get involved in the Foundation’s vital mission by becoming a friend. Since our traditional sources of support will no longer provide the financial resources necessary to fulfill the mission, we need friends who believe in what we do to begin to provide financial support. Call us to learn how to become a friend.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Giving During Life To Provide Perpetual Support

By: Laurie Valentine-Trust Counsel & Chief Operating Officer

You do not have to be a millionaire to be able to provide financial resources that will change peoples’ lives in the Lord’s name.

 Providing support that will continue to give until the Lord returns for your church; state, national and/or international missions; ministries to hurting children and their families; disaster relief; and/or other causes important to you can be accomplished through the creation of a new endowment fund or by making gifts to an existing endowment fund.

An endowment fund is a permanent, perpetual fund managed either by the cause benefited by your gift or another entity such as the Kentucky Baptist Foundation. Only the earnings from the endowment fund are distributed for use by the cause(s) you have designated; the original value of what you give is never spent.

A large gift is not required to establish an endowment fund with the Kentucky Baptist Foundation. It can be started with any amount, to which you may add from time to time over your lifetime. This permits even those of modest means to do much more than they ever dreamed possible. As the endowment fund grows, more lives will be touched and blessed through the support provided.

Endowment fund giving does not have to be an all or nothing proposition. You may want to use a life income gift to fund an endowment fund. Life income gifts allow you to make a gift now that will provide an income stream to you and/or others for life with the endowment fund funded with the remainder of your original gift at your death.

Establishing (or adding to) an endowment fund during your lifetime may provide income tax savings if you itemize deductions and capital gains tax savings if you use appreciated assets to fund your gift.

All with which we have been blessed comes from God. Establishing an endowment fund, whether through a single large gift or a lifetime of more modest levels of giving, permits you to demonstrate your gratitude for God’s blessings and your desire to be involved in touching lives in His name.

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

More For Christ

By: Barry G. Allen- President and CEO

Messengers to the recent annual meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention approved the 4 recommendations of the Great Commission Task Force one of which was for a 3 year emphasis called “More for Christ.”  This is intended to be an intentional time of personal repentance, renewal and redirection for the future as well as a personal and corporate commitment to Christ and to the Great Commission.

More for Christ is intended to mean for each of us Kentucky Baptists: (a) more of myself in personal surrender, personal witness and personal sacrifice; (b) more of my family; (c) more for the lost; (d) more for the needs; and (e) more for the nations.
Alongside the approval of the 4 recommendations, the messengers also approved a resolution on “Giving More for Christ.”  This resolution calls upon each of us to examine closely our hearts and lives to determine how we can give more sacrificially of our time, talents and the financial resources the Lord has entrusted to us to further His kingdom through service in our local churches and church-related ministries. 

The resolution also calls upon each of us to consider making legacy gifts for the support of our churches and the Cooperative Program, which is a recognition that advancing the Kingdom in the future cannot be funded solely by us Christians writing checks and placing them in the offering plates on Sunday morning.  Advancing the Kingdom in the future will require us Christians to steward out of our income as well as out of our assets, which includes estate stewardship.  The characteristics of a legacy gift are: it can’t be put in the offering plate; it’s a gift of a cash or non-cash asset; it’s a gift normally made in light of one’s overall estate and financial plans; it uses tax-advantaged methods to achieve the giver’s objectives; and it may require the assistance of a professional adviser to complete the gift.

As the Lord leads you “to give more for Christ” via a legacy gift, please give us the privilege of assisting you.  Laurie Valentine and I are just a toll-free call away. 1-866-489-3533. (Kentucky only)