Tuesday, December 20, 2011

His Heart…Hands…Voice

By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO

As Christ followers we are called individually to be part of the solution to fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).

Our churches, as the gathered people of God, also have the missions mandate to extend their witness and ministry beyond their own fellowships.

Acts 1:8 sets forth the scope of our mission task. Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” This assignment was not intended to be sequential except for the first-century New Testament church and apostles. Today, this Acts 1:8 assignment of our Lord is intended to be carried out constantly and simultaneously. And that’s exactly what we Kentucky Baptists collectively are doing through our local churches and associations, our Kentucky Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention. Cooperation is still the most effective means to fulfill the Great Commission of our Lord and to carry out His mission assignment.

Throughout the year we are called upon to focus prayerfully and financially on the different aspects of the Acts 1:8 missions task. The annual Christmas season focus is on international missions (to the ends of the earth) and the Lottie Moon Offering. The Apostle Paul reminded us in Romans 1:14 that we are debtors; because we know the Gospel we “owe” it to those who do not know. Even though sharing the Gospel with the whole world seems at first an intimidating thought, we have been commissioned by our Lord to do it.

How fortunate we Southern Baptists are to have 4,887 persons under appointment with the International Mission Board engaged to the ends of the earth with 763 people groups. How staggering it is to realize there are 3,629 unreached people groups not yet engaged. These are people beyond where most of us can ever go or see, but they are God’s children in need of what we have to offer.

So, extend His heart, hands and voice through your prayers and unprecedented current and deferred giving through the Lottie Moon Offering.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO

With all of life’s complexities with which we are bombarded daily, the idea of simplifying anything sounds refreshing, does it not? Even though we Christians know the reason for the season we still seem to get caught up in the complexities of shopping, cooking, entertaining and traveling and miss the full blessings of giving.

So, why not simplify your life, avoid some of the complexities of the holidays, do more for Christ and make sure your giving reflects the true spirit of Christmas.

And while you are at it, why not multiply your giving to make your gifts go further? If you are about to write checks to your church and other charitable organizations let me suggest you consider instead gifting appreciated stocks or mutual fund shares, if that is an option for you. By gifting appreciated assets you avoid the capital gains tax, and therefore, lower the cost of your gifts or multiply the value of what you give versus cash gifts.

In addition, why not consider establishing with the KBF a donor advised fund to which you can make cash gifts and appreciated stock gifts to take advantage of the tax deduction in 2011 but defer the distributions to your church and other charitable organizations to 2012 or later? This is another practical way to multiply your giving. Call Laurie Valentine or me toll-free for more information on this simple, but effective tax-advantaged giving option.

Finally, why not dignify your giving by considering a legacy gift that pays tribute to someone you love, or one that would perpetuate your own Christian witness beyond your life time? A legacy gift to the KBF to establish a permanent endowment for the perpetual benefit of your church and other charitable organizations near and dear to your heart would be a wonderful way to dignify your 2011 giving. You could start with a modest gift and make additional gifts in the future, including a bequest or beneficiary designation in your estate plan. Laurie and I are just a toll-free phone call away to assist you.

Tis the season to simplify, multiply and dignify.