Jesus tells us in Matthew 25 that we’ll be judged not by what we have in this world, but by what we were willing to give. Today we talk with Jeanne McMains about how you can leave a legacy of generosity that impacts the world.
- “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
- Jeanne McMains is an executive vice president and an attorney at the National Christian Foundation. Over the last 25 years, she’s worked with hundreds of families and business owners to integrate their faith and values into a legacy of generosity.
- At NCF, McMains has had the joy of working with families across the country who want to leave thriving and enduring legacies grounded in their faith and values. To use a baseball analogy, along the way she’s seen what we might call “foul balls and home runs.”
- McMains says that sometimes in our enthusiasm, we can make giving a little too complex. It’s important to “right size” the stewardship experience.
- On today’s program, we take a look at three questions that we all have to answer if we want to leave a meaningful legacy of generosity toward God’s Kingdom.
- 1. “How do I leave an inheritance that will be a blessing and not a stumbling block?”
- McMains says an important starting point is asking ourselves, “What is the role wealth plays in our lives?”
- The inheritance you leave behind will not be the hero or the villain in your loved one’s life story; It’s merely the fuel in the engine powering one’s life journey.
- It’s less about how much you leave behind and more about the heart condition and life trajectory you see your loved one journeying.
- 2. “How much is healthy to leave my kids, without doing harm?”
- McMains says she often encourages folks to change the question from, “What’s the right amount or percentage?” to “What do I hope the inheritance is going to do in my child’s life?”
- Specifically, it can be helpful to think through a hope/expect/fear exercise to identify what opportunities, experiences, and possessions you want the inheritance to provide and what concerns you want to avoid.
- Then, work with your financial professional to calculate and plan how much is desirable to fund those life-impact goals.
- 3. “How do I create inheritances that incorporate the family’s heritage story and values?
- It’s helpful to think of our generational legacies as including three types of inheritances: an inheritance to spend, another to shape and another to share.
- Spend – typically an inheritance used to fund opportunities, possession, and experiences to help children become independent, productive, and content.
- Shape – a shared multi-generational trust used to fund positive, life-shaping experiences that capture and celebrate a family’s heritage story and shared family values
- Share – an inheritance for the family to use to bless others and fund positive change and impact in the world in accordance with their family faith and values.
- Learn more about the National Christian Foundation at NCFGiving.com.
On this program, Rob also answers listener questions:
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