These are great days for partnership! Not just in Missouri Baptist life, but across the globe. One reason is simply the fact that we can get more done together than we can separately. (Baptists, of course, have always believed it, even when we haven’t practiced it. The Cooperative Program, for instance, is the premier example of “crowd sourced funding” long before we had the internet.)
Which brings me to my point. Our goal at the Missouri Baptist Foundation is to be your Generosity Partner. Yes, we provide financial services to churches like loans, high interest cash savings accounts, term deposits, endowment management, and financial strategy design.) But we also partner with individuals who wish to be generous.
Now, I am not talking about helping you tithe (though we can provide administrative services through Donor Advised Funds which could allow you to give to multiple ministries at once from a single account with potential tax savings or we can help you reach your goal through the liquidation of highly appreciated assets like stocks, again a potential tax savings). Tithing is a relatively straight forward contribution to your local church. Rather, I am speaking of those who are called by God to go beyond the tithe.
Consider a phone call I received just recently. A church member reached out to their pastor about creating an endowment. (An endowment is a means of giving where the original gift is preserved through investment and the interest and dividends generated by the gift is distributed for ministry causes.)
The pastor, not thoroughly familiar with an endowment, reached out to us. I quickly explained the options and we agreed it would be best for us to speak directly to the donor. You see, this particular person grew up in that church. He had long since moved away, but his parents still attend that church. On a recent visit he remembered his days as a teenager there going to church camp. Those days were life changing for him and always brought back fond memories.
He had determined in his heart he wanted to help provide the same experience for a new generation of students from that church. He wanted a certain number to receive half scholarships and a few more complete scholarships, so that they too could experience the life changing power of Christ.
What a great idea! But neither he, nor the church knew how best to accomplish it. Which is where we as a Generosity Partner can help the giver refine their vision and offer several different strategies to accomplish their goal. I look forward to meeting and helping this family develop a generosity strategy for both today and tomorrow.
I wonder, has the Lord laid an idea on your heart? Maybe it is sending children to camp, or maybe it is a world-changing vision, but you don’t know where to turn for help? Might I suggest you reach out to us here at the MBF? I love serving as a partner to God’s vision in your heart. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org to simply start a conversation. I promise we won’t pressure you, or manipulate you, or ever ask you to give to anything. We will just listen, dream and offers some options and maybe some perspective.
Can you imagine a church full of people who are tithing to their local church and dreaming of ways to change the world through the simple act of giving? I can, and we would love to be your Partner in Generosity!
Dr Neil Franks is President of the Missouri Baptist Foundation, a Cooperative Program partner; he and his team are available to meet you or your local church with no cost or obligation.