Steven Covey says there are certain things that are fundamental to human fulfillment: to live, to love, to learn, and to leave a legacy. “The need to leave a legacy,” he says, “is our spiritual need to have a sense of meaning, purpose, personal congruence, and contribution.”
A five-year Planned Giving plan for your congregation is not a one-time program, but an ongoing resource for families when they are thinking about their legacy for the future. Its purpose is for church members to discover they have multiple win-win options that include giving to their family as well as to ministries for future generations.
Planned giving has more to do with family relationships and passing on values than it is about disbursement of assets. It can be a way of teaching your children or grandchildren how to handle money, practice first fruits living, and decide the causes to whom they will give. Your Conference United Methodist Foundation can provide programs and technical expertise. By having a quarterly article, gathering, or workshop for a specific audience, you can let people know they have options for giving that will fit their unique situation.
The stewardship folks at the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church have an easy template for a five-year Planned Giving plan to get you started. You can access it at www.gbod.org/stewardship. The old adage is true: The best time to start a Planned Giving plan is twenty years ago; the next best time is now.