“You have generously supported our congregation for decades. You appreciate the way that we share God’s love in the community. I invite you to prayerfully consider your congregation as you make your estate plans.”
A simple yet profound question that Pastor Chris asked Pat and Shannon over a cookie and some coffee.
Shannon queried, “But wouldn’t the church just fight over what to do with the money?”
“Actually, no! Estate gifts go into our endowment, with the principle remaining forever, and the interest making ministry possible. We have it set up so half of the earnings go outside our congregation to impact the world and the other half go to maintain our building so future generations can focus on mission, not maintenance. You can give with confidence that it will make a difference.”
Pat replied, “But you know that we have three kids. Aren’t estate gifts for people like bachelor farmers who have nowhere else to give it to?”
“While people sometimes choose to give their whole estate, many people care for their family AND support the congregation. Think about it. For decades you have generously supported this ministry with a portion of your income. God provided enough to live on. Now you can support your ministry with a portion of your estate. You love this church. Your kids will be thrilled that you will leave a legacy for generations to come.”
Shannon thought a bit. “But if we did want to consider this, who might be able to help us think about how to do it?”
“Pastor Keith Pearson of the ELCA Foundation would be happy to provide a free consultation! Feel free to give him a call at 612-718-4197.”
The greatest reason people don’t leave an estate gift to their congregation is because nobody ever asked. What if receiving estate gifts, whether $3,000, $30,000, or $300,00, became the norm? What ministry would become possible?