A Child Called Ministry
While Scripture doesn’t clearly state that you should make charitable gifts from your estate, God has called you to support your church and other ministries during life; so I believe, for most people, it makes sense to provide this support through your estate plan. Giving from your estate often provides an opportunity to make the largest gift to the Lord’s work you’ll ever make. Through proper planning, you can maximize your giving to your favorite ministries and your family by avoiding unnecessary taxation on your gifts.
If you believe in tithing, then you probably also believe that a tithe is a percentage of your increase or income. For those who tithe, most assets that will be transferred at your death have been subject to tithing—with the possible exception of those such as real estate, miscellaneous investments, and life insurance. So, when it comes to how much you should give to the Lord’s work from your estate, there’s no biblical mandate, formula, or correct answer for everyone. You simply need to pray and seek the Lord’s direction. It really comes back to 2 Corinthians 9:7:
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Many Christian families favor a giving concept called, “A Child Called Ministry.” This idea divides your estate into as many shares as you have children, plus one. Therefore, if you have four children, you’d divide the estate in five ways, splitting one fifth between your favorite charities with one fifth going to each child. This is a simple way to divide your estate to benefit your family and the Kingdom.
The Lord wants us to live generously and excel in the gift of giving. In 2 Corinthians 8:1–7, the apostle Paul uses the Macedonian churches’ generosity to inspire and instruct the saints in Corinth. This is the kind of generosity we should all aspire to.
And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability… And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us… But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
Orchard Alliance is here to help you excel in the grace of giving. It is our mission to equip God’s stewards for greater Kingdom impact, and we would be honored to fully equip you with the best tools and resources to bless your family and the Lord’s work. Through careful planning, your estate could provide so much more to your loved ones and God’s Kingdom. Contact Orchard Alliance today to speak to one of our knowledgeable gift and estate design consultants. Our service is free and without any obligation. Let us help you leave a legacy of giving that continues on for generations to come.