Jim is a student of generosity and is passionate about spreading it throughout the Church. For the last 23 years, he has devoted his life to coaching pastors and understands the financial challenges that churches face today-annual giving, debt, capital projects and planned giving-and is a positive force in bridging these needs with the power of spiritually motivated stewardship. Cumulatively, Jim has partnered with his clients to raise over $1.3 billion for local church ministry. Jim is a frequent writer and speaker on generosity and ministry funding. He is co-author of Contagious Generosity: Creating A Culture Of Giving In Your Church. You can find a link to his book in the show notes - go buy it.
Jim and his wife Nancy live in the Atlanta, GA area and they have two daughters. He is actively involved in Perimeter Church, where he serves as an elder and provides guidance to the Generosity Ministry Team.
I tell every church that I work with that I want to help them become more secure, effective, and efficient. One area where too many churches are vulnerable and insecure is in their financial position. I read a statistic recently and we'll be talking about it a bit more in future episodes that 61% of all church buildings in America house congregations that cannot financially maintain the building. That affects somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 churches. On top of that, one of the issues I unfortunately deal with somewhat frequently is the physical security of money and embezzlement. Financial insecurity intersects the law in so many ways. With deferred maintenance comes denied insurance claims. With dips in giving come missed debt payments and the possibility of foreclosure or bankruptcy.
Now I'm not an accountant or financial advisor, but I tell churches I work with that they need to have access to one and to develop a plan. Planned giving means different things in different circles, so let's define that a bit. Jim, what is planned giving?
Here are the high points of our discussion with Jim Sheppard:
- What is planned giving?
- Who should plan their giving to the church and who should pastors approach about planned gifts?
- What are some things that churches can do to better cultivate a planned giving culture? Where have we fallen short?
- What does the future of legacy giving look like?
Let me tell you a little bit about our Church Esquire Club membership. This is completely free - its a Facebook group that you can join where you'll get access to free legal forms that are commonly useful in churches. You'll also get free monthly interactive Facebook Live chats. An since lawyers are the most made fun of profession in the world, you'll get some clean, funny lawyer jokes as well. Go check that out at facebook.com/groups/ churchesquire, or just search Church Esquire Club on Facebook.