By Tom Atema
Since 2006, Heart for Lebanon has as a Core Principle; to be a generous ministry. We do our best to do ministry with an open hand and to do so unconditionally. Not only in the field in Lebanon, but also around the world with our friends, partners, and investors.
I am sure you’ve heard that in the USA a ‘Great Wealth Transfer’ is coming. In fact, it’s already started. This wealth transfer is and will take place in bank accounts, balance sheets, and businesses. But it will also take place among individuals and in families.
I believe you have been and desire to continue to be generous so that the burden God has placed on your heart will move closer to being lifted.
GENEROSITY – ORGANIZATIONS – BURDEN
Here is the question I like to ask; are followers of Jesus fully prepared for their role in this historic trillion-dollar exchange? What can this transfer of wealth mean for your burden and for His Kingdom?
As Christians transfer their God given wealth to family, charities, and their place of worship, it requires stewardship on both sides of the transfer. There is far more at stake than financial principles; both sides of the transfer must be faithful and wise stewards. Heart for Lebanon has partnered with National Christian Foundation and Financial Planning Ministry to provide you with professional advice and resources to help you think and pray through the many questions and opportunities you have. In other words, to help you be a faithful and wise steward.
At Heart for Lebanon, we are doing our best to “Make Disciples” and be accountable and transparent on how this is taking place. For example, we use the word investment rather than “give” or “donate” on purpose. Why? Because we treat your funds as an investment. We will do our best to give you a positive return on your investment. We have been granted 4 stars with Charity Navigator, placing us in the top group of “most Trusted Charities.” We have the top rating for accountability and transparency, as well, with Excellence in Giving, Gold Star, Signatry, and with the ECFA.
Most of us support our place of worship and our charities/ministries by giving cash and that is a wonderful thing to do! For those who have assets, there are often more tax efficient ways to invest. Understanding your choices can let you invest more gracefully while preserving cash.
With most of your wealth in assets and not in cash, and to be the best steward possible, the question is how do you leverage these assets to help lift your burden and glorify God’s Kingdom?
To help you understand the options available to you, we are holding seminars and webinars with The National Christian Foundation to help you better understand what assets can be transferred and how they can be used. Our next webinar is coming up soon. Please contact me for details – Tom.Atema@HeartforLebanon.org
Heart for Lebanon has also partnered with Financial Planning Ministry to provide biblical estate planning free of charge to our friends and partners. I was surprised to learn that approximately 60% of Christians do not have a will or trust.
The lack of an estate plan will have several negative implications on your estate and your heirs. For example:
- Probate will eat up 5-8%.
- Taxes for large estates will eat up another significant portion.
- Increase in the possibility of family feuding resulting in damaged or broken relationships.
- Most important – No direction for giving from an estate will likely result in no charitable contributions made to Kingdom causes, thus your wealth transfer will have no Kingdom impact!
These implications are even more significant when you consider that legacy or estate gifts are almost always the largest investment you will make to solve the burden God has placed on your heart.
One interesting fact is a review of 10 years of IRS data found that a typical bequest averages nearly three times a person’s total lifetime charitable investing. In other words, most Christians will make their largest charitable investment when they die, totaling almost three times what they’ve given throughout their lifetime. Unfortunately, due to a lack of education and the proper assets and estate planning, most Christians will have wasted their last opportunity to make a significant difference.
Financial Planning Ministry is an ECFA accredited, non-profit ministry and through our partnership they will provide the preparation of a will or trust documents (approved in all 50 States) at no charge or obligation to include Heart for Lebanon in your plans. We do encourage people to include their place of worship. If someone does feel God would have them include Heart for Lebanon, we would humbly ask they consider designating their investment to the Heart for Lebanon Missional Leadership Fund. It’s here where we are developing disciples to reach the world with the Gospel.
As a focused part of our Cedar Legacy Campaign, we desire to provide these webinars and seminars with The National Christian Foundation and with Financial Planning Ministry as a resource to you and the local church free of charge. There is no obligation to Heart for Lebanon, it’s part of our stewardship of generosity. Our pure and honest motive for doing so is so you can be a good steward of what God has given you. We have no hidden agenda nor is there a bait-and-switch. Paul said it well to the Corinthians “Your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11
Thank you for all you have done for the Kingdom. Everyone on our team is already blessed by the wonderful investing you have already done.
For more information on the next seminar or webinar on Assets Investing or Estate Planning please contact me. @ Tom.Atema@HeartforLebanon.org. or 828-712-7968