It doesn’t matter whether we have a little or a lot of stuff, we’re called to be good stewards of what we have been given. And the truth is, most of us have been blessed far more than we realize.
Frequently when I speak to N.C. Baptists about their estate plan, I get a look or a response that goes something like, “I’m not wealthy. I don’t have an estate.”
I usually follow up by asking, “Well, do you have some stuff?”
Then I get a much different response.
The truth is, if we have some stuff – and we all do – then we have an estate. And if we have an estate, we need an estate plan.
I once heard three good reasons for having an estate plan:
- You have some stuff.
- One day you’re going to die.
- Somebody is going to get your stuff.
It doesn’t matter whether we have a little or a lot of stuff, we’re called to be good stewards of what we have been given. And the truth is, most of us have been blessed far more than we realize until we do an inventory of our stuff.
As N.C. Baptists, we are a blessed people. Yet, good N.C. Baptists – even those who have been faithful and generous their entire lives – die every day without leaving any of those blessings to support the ministries they faithfully supported during their days on earth.
For example, most N.C. Baptists love, appreciate and support the ministry of their local church. They also support other ministries like the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina or Fruitland Baptist Bible College, to name a couple. They also support what most Baptists believe is the greatest mission support system ever developed – the Cooperative Program.
Why on earth would we not want to support these ministries with the distribution of our assets when we come to the time of not needing them any longer?
A great way to continue to impact kingdom ministry after our time on earth is done is to think of our estate plan as our greatest act of Christian stewardship. When it comes time to deciding what’s going to happen to our stuff after we go to our heavenly home, we can really be generous. (After all, it’s got to go somewhere.) So why would we not want to see a portion of our blessings go to support those kingdom ministries we supported all of our lives?
Just imagine all the good that could be done if every N.C. Baptist left a Great Commission legacy to undergird ministry in the name of Christ:
- In our Jerusalem (our local church).
- In our Judea and Samaria (our favorite Baptist state convention ministry or ministries).
- To the ends of the earth (world missions through the Cooperative Program).
Would you prayerfully consider leaving at least a tithe of your estate to fund your Great Commission legacy? Perhaps you will be led to leave more, especially if your family circle has gotten smaller.
The N.C. Baptist Foundation stands ready to prepare an endowment tailored to your wishes that will be in place and funded whenever your estate is executed. The only cost to you is the legal fee incurred in producing your last will and testament. Consider it a kingdom investment!
For heaven’s sake, make 2023 the year you commit to leave a Great Commission legacy.
by Clay Warf, president, N.C. Baptist Foundation
EDITOR’S NOTE: Clay Warf has served as president of the N.C. Baptist Foundation for 25 years and is retiring at the end of 2023. This article originally appeared in the March 2023 edition of the Biblical Recorder magazine.