Earlier this month the results of a survey conducted by LifeWay Research among pastors of Southern Baptist churches throughout the USA were published. The purpose of the survey was to gauge the awareness and preparedness of churches to the issues surrounding estate stewardship.
Let me share a few of the findings for your awareness and for any needed action you and/or your church might need to take in light of the findings. Only 16 percent of churches received any kind of estate gift in the year preceding the survey; that meant 84 percent did not. Churches that reported receiving at least one estate gift received an average of $22,507. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy the average estate gift to all charities was $70,000.
72 percent of pastors believed every Christian should include the church and other ministries in their estate plans, but 86 percent of them confessed they had not provided their congregations with seminars or even basic information on estate planning during the last year. The survey results also revealed the majority of pastors were more comfortable and more inclined to preach on the importance of giving from one’s income than one’s estate.
The KBF has the conviction that for Kentucky Baptist churches to be successful in reaching Kentucky and the world for Christ, Kentucky Baptist churches must be equipped to cultivate and secure estate gifts from their members. And, the KBF was established in 1945 “by the churches, for the churches to help the churches reach Kentucky and the world for Christ.”
If your church has not yet called upon the KBF to assist it in putting in place a plan of education and awareness, casting a vision about the vital importance and use of estate gifts and facilitating the receipt and administration of such gifts, please do not hesitate any longer and take advantage of this under tapped tool. Laurie Valentine and I are awaiting your call and the opportunity to assist.
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.