Recent years have yielded an explosion of Christian organizations offering various types and levels of estate planning and planned giving services to their donors and other constituents. This phenomenon has produced results both expected and unexpected, both good and bad.
One positive result is that believers who might never be exposed to sound principles of estate planning and planned giving have sources of information friendly toward their Christian convictions. Another is that proper planning helps Christians save literally millions of dollars in estate administration costs and death taxes. Finally, those savings result in millions of dollars being available not only for the needs of loved ones, but also for local churches and ministries engaged in the Lord’s work.
On the downside, organizations offering these services must ask already stretched employees to undertake additional responsibilities (often requiring an investment in education) or organizations with tight budgets must recruit and hire knowledgeable people to implement this new program. In addition, planned giving officers often find themselves balancing the pressure to “produce” gifts against the obligation to advise clients on what is in their best interests. While most do an exemplary job of balancing these concerns, there are examples of failure in the industry. Finally, many donors still resist seeking assistance from such organizations because of expectations (spoken or unspoken) or requirements that significant portions of their estates go to that organization at the expense of other beneficiaries or organizations near and dear to their hearts.
Seeing this need among the assemblies, Believers Stewardship Services, Inc. (BSS) was formed to fill that niche. With a staff of experienced, trained professionals, who are committed to the same New Testament principles as others in assembly fellowship, BSS is able to offer these services, without charge or obligation, so that believers in the assemblies can fulfill their call to biblical stewardship.
Believers Stewardship Services is a ministry designed to glorify God by assisting Christians accomplish their financial and estate planning goals in fulfilling biblical stewardship and by supporting local New Testament patterned churches and associated ministries with financial and governance related matters. The ministry was created and exists for the following specific purposes:
- To assist believers in being good stewards of their earthly possessions by making sound biblical decisions for their final estate distributions.
- To increase awareness among assembly believers of the opportunities that exist to provide for their heirs while making meaningful gifts to Christian ministries.
- To help believers leave the maximum amount of their estate to their heirs and the Lord’s work by minimizing fees and taxes.
- To provide a source of dependable long-term income for believers through gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts.
- To strengthen the long-term financial stability of ministries associated with New Testament patterned churches through the planned giving of believers.
- To assist New Testament patterned churches and related ministries facing dissolution with asset disposal, legal requirements, and means for the continuation of their ministries in other spheres.
- To advise New Testament patterned churches and related ministries on governance, compliance, and tax related matters.