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Teaching Stewardship, Part 3: Legacy Gifts

Loving Legacy Planning

“Planning is love in advance.”

Being a person of love

The core essence of being a true follower of Jesus Christ is to be a person of love. First John 4:8 instructs us: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love (emphasis added).” But are your members showing love with every aspect of their financial management? There is one component that almost every church and many Christians miss.

One of the most loving things you can do as a pastor or stewardship leader is to teach your people about the importance of wise estate planning and planned giving. It seems so mundane or even macabre to talk about planning out your funeral or how to distribute your assets, but the only thing more certain than every person having to do this is the Chicago Cubs not winning the World Series!

Loving in advance

Planning is love in advance. One of the most loving things we can do in this life is to formulate a wise and loving estate plan so that we can leave appropriate gifts to our family, church, or other ministries we’ve loved and supported during our lifetimes. What a terrific way to build God’s Kingdom.

Teaching your members to build a loving estate plan is a key, and often overlooked, aspect of stewardship. While it is equally important to teach our heirs how to handle money now so they will be able to wisely manage an inheritance, if you never set the plan in place, it will all be irrelevant. You will leave headaches for your heirs instead of blessings. No one wants that!

Teaching ongoing generosity

The Lord has a plan for our wealth and assets and so does the state of your current residence! Offer the Legacy of Love estate planning workshop ( for your church members and build a legacy society so that your church will benefit from the ongoing generosity of the faithful. By educating your current stewards to be good stewards of their legacy, you will show love and bless both God and all the people involved.

Take some time to build a strong legacy ministry at your church. Church Development has additional resources as well to coach you through setting up your planned giving ministry. Please let us know if we can assist.

What we offer

For more information on the Stewardship System, or for questions about stewardship education or capital campaigns, contact Church Development at 1-800-443-2413 or click here to email us.

The author

matt schoenfeldtMatt Schoenfeld is the author of 17 books and curricula about personal finance and stewardship, including Abundant Living: five biblical principles for financial success and Living Debt Free. You can learn more about Matt’s books at: