Early in my tenure, we were at the brink of financial ruin. Through dramatic changes in our spending, and God’s provision through estate gifts, we gradually moved away from that brink and steadily progressed into the strong financial position we hold today.
Most of the bequest gifts we received over these years came as unexpected gifts from people who had included us in their wills―apart from our knowledge. We have been blessed over and over, often at just the right time and in the right amounts, to cover needed bills or move ahead on specific ministry plans.
A few years ago our board of overseers took the step of faith to receive the gift of the Orlando building from another non-profit organization―along with the $2.4 million mortgage still owed on that building. Within 30 days of the board’s decision, Converge received more than $3 million of bequest income. It was by far a record year for us in bequest income.
Another example is the $2.5 million that Converge recently allocated to a church planting fund to provide seed money for future church starts. This fund will grow as additional donors make contributions. Bequest income given to Converge made this possible, enabling our districts to make grants to hundreds of future church plants.
During my 27 years with Converge, I’ve seen the impact of individuals who gave generously from their estates. If it were not for those acts of generosity, I do not believe Converge would exist today. Many men and women who loved and served God extended the impact of their lives by including Converge in their wills. Their gifts blessed people in the present, but more importantly will echo into eternity. Through their generosity, God has used Converge to start hundreds of new churches in the U.S. and send hundreds of missionaries to cultures around the world who have never heard the gospel.
Most of these men and women were of humble means. Their gifts ranged from a few thousand dollars to nearly a million. But I am most impressed by what they had in common: the belief their stewardship did not conclude at the end of their human lives, and the vision to believe God will bring about a continuing spiritual impact after their death. What a powerful legacy. I want to be like them and look beyond my life into the future of what God will do in ministry with what he has given me.
Every person’s resources and story of faith is unique, so what we can give is unique. But God is pleased when we offer all of what we have to him for his glory and to advance the gospel. God is a great provider who will supply everything you need throughout the full course of your life.
When I began thinking about my personal estate planning, it was natural to give to the ministry I’ve experienced these 27 years. It’s an obvious extension of my love for this ministry and what God is doing and will do through Converge. I’ve already decided to designate part of my estate to Converge so other people will have the chance to meet, know and follow Jesus. That’s the kind of legacy I plan to leave. How about you?
Would you like to honor God in this way? If so, contact me today at email@example.com. I would be happy to talk with you about your financial legacy.