“In a seminar I did last year in Houston at a large downtown church, I posed a question to 250 clergy and laity in attendance. I asked for all those who had received a letter, email, brochure from their church asking them to consider a gift in their will or some other planned give for the church this year to please raise their hand. Not one hand went up. I then said, ‘OK, how many of you have received more than one email, letter, brochure from another nonprofit asking you to consider making a planned gift to them this year?’ 250 hands went up. Never had I seen such confirmation of why the church is not getting these gifts. We simply aren’t asking.” Friends, today we have talked about gifts – they are good! Leaving a legacy, that’s good! And sharing, we talked about sharing, if you don’t remember how good that is, I have a little song to help remind you… ‘Magic Penny Song’
To decide to talk about this was not easy, but we did it! What was easy was singing the Magic Penny song, that brought back memories. Thanks Choir! Sheena Wock from our church gave an impassioned speech on the importance of writing a will, no matter what age you are, and others shared short stories about the importance of legacy giving that I had given them to read. The service was more moving than I could have hoped. To view the church as important in our lives, important enough to tell others about, has been one of our goals through our Evangelism campaign. To realize the same, but for our children and grandchildren, and to ensure that the church is still here doing its good works, is the goal of the legacy giving Stewardship campaign. I ended the campaign with stories of how we never know the impact our words can have sometime. We will never see the ripple effects of some of our actions, words, and gifts – but they are there. That’s what is important, in a world where every piece of information is at our fingertips, not knowing the impact can be frustrating. That is where stewardship intersects with faith. We know the good that our church does, and that is the belief that has to be on our hearts when we give, every Sunday, or as a legacy in whatever form that takes.