Barnabas Foundation offers a variety of educational, planning and marketing resources to support your church or ministry’s stewardship and planned giving efforts.

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  • Generosity: What’s Age Got to Do with It?

    This webinar discusses generosity and age with Karl Travis.

  • Generous Giving

    The” Joy of Generosity” devotions are designed for church leaders to use in their regularly scheduled meetings to help them as leaders meditate on God’s plan for whole-life stewardship and facilitate a stewardship mindset in their churches.
    There are three sets of devotions to choose from in the “Joy of Generosity” series:
    1) Biblical Principles – 7 devotionals
    2) Money Matters – 5 devotionals
    3) Generous Giving- 7 devotionals
    These devotions were developed by Barnabas Foundation (www.barnabasfoundation.com) and are adapted from “The Joy of Generosity” (HomeLink series) written by Robert C. Heerspink and released by Faith Alive Christian Resources (www.faithaliveresources.com).


    Devotions play a key role in moving our hearts and minds into a receptive attitude.  Their impact on our growth as “good stewards” can be significant, as the opportunities to select appropriate devotions for specific groups expands.  We’ve selected some of the best resources available to guide you in this area.

  • Handling Our Wealth

    Part 1:  Every Single Cent

    These scripture passages highlight four principles: 

    1)    God is the owner of everything.

    2)    We are to be generous with the treasure entrusted to us.

    3)    We are to prudently manage our treasure.

    4)    Our treasure can be dangerous if not handled responsibly before God.

    The first and foundational principle is that God is the source of everything.  He owns it all.  We are his managers.   

    We really own absolutely nothing in God’s eyes. Every cent, every possession is God’s. This is quite contrary to the “me” culture that teaches us to think this is my house, my car, my bank account.   Recognizing God’s ownership of all things is critical in allowing Him to become Lord of our money and our possessions. This may seem limiting, but it is really liberating. 

    Strange as it seems, money and possessions, which should be among the blessings of life, have tied more people in knots, caused more failed marriages, and sent more people to the psychiatrist than we’ll ever know.  This is largely because many people live by their pocketbook and try to fulfill their lives with things, finding it easy to act as if God doesn’t exist in this area of their lives.  Slowly the mindset can develop that, “I worked hard for what I have, and it’s mine to do as I choose.”

    We cannot own something without it owning us. We lose joy and a sense of freedom if we try to play God.  He owns.  We manage.   When we pursue the created instead of the Creator, we create our own materialistic god. 

    Giving a meaningful percentage of one’s income is a step in the right direction. Why?  Because it helps a person to develop a right perspective that all our money, ability, our very lives, belong to God.  These are trusts from God to be used as He would have them used.  It frees us from faithless fear and results in an indescribable freedom that can never come to those who think they must do everything for themselves. 

    We acknowledge God’s existence and His ownership of everything by using God’s resources for furthering God’s kingdom.   It shifts our interest from earth to heaven — from self to God.  It is investing for eternity.  In the next few issues of this newsletter, we will explore our responsibility in handling our treasure effectively and generously and the dangers that are present if we do not act responsibly.

    What Does Scripture Say?

    The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it. Ps. 24:1

    “The silver is mine and the gold is mine”, declares the Lord Almighty.  Haggai 2:8

    You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”  But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.  Deut. 8:17-18


    Part 2:  A Little Bit More

    “Dear Lord, bless the labor of our hands, because you know, Lord, if we had just a little bit more, we could give more to those in need.”

    And when God answers that prayer, time and again He is disappointed.  Polls suggest that as the income of Christians goes up, the percent of giving goes down.  The dreams of society collide with the vision of God’s kingdom.  Sometimes we get caught up in the idea of a little bit more.  “If I just had a little bit more, I could afford to be more generous.”  However, true generosity is rooted in habits of the heart, not in the bank balance.

    But God remains undeterred. Again and again He floods us with blessings, hoping to trigger a hearty, generous and exuberant response to His love. It is such a joy for Him to give that He wants us to experience that same sense of joy and fulfillment – the excitement of living in His image.

    You see, He really doesn’t need our money. It is all His anyway. If He needs a program funded, a hungry mouth fed or a home for the homeless, He can just as easily make it happen without us. But when that happens, we are the losers.

    We have lost the opportunity to experience the joy and fulfillment of helping one of His children, the kind of experience He finds so thrilling. We have carelessly thrown away an opportunity to become more like Him.

    There is much work to be done that will be accomplished with our generous giving.  During this time of the year, as we recognize that He has given us “a little bit more,” keep in mind the kind of joy He hopes that little bit more will bring to us. 

    What Does Scripture Say?

    “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”  Malachi 3:10

    In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said:  “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  Acts 20:35 

    Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

     2 Corinthians 9:7


    Part 3:  Good and Faithful

    Jesus taught us that you can learn a great deal about people by how they use their resources.  In fact, He told a parable that addresses this very issue in Matthew 25.  It is the Parable of the Talents.  It is about being faithful with what God has given to each of us.

    What is the standard for success in managing God’s gifts to us?  God’s standard is faithfulness.  We have a responsibility to handle our wealth effectively.

    Listen to the voice of the Master: “Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful…” (vs. 21); and again in vs. 23, “Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful...” Understand that God is not looking for quantity as the measure of success here.  God gave to each servant  “each to his ability ... to one He gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent.” (vs. 15). 

    The master knew each of his servants well.  He knew what they were capable of managing. The faithful steward is responsible for what he or she has, whether it is little or much.  As someone once said, “It’s not what I would do if one million dollars were my lot; it’s what I am doing with the ten dollars I’ve got.”  

    Interestingly, the servant who was given two talents received the same reward as the servant who was given five talents. They used those talents in their Master’s best interest. It was the third servant who did not act in the Master’s best interest.   He did nothing to increase his Master’s money.

    The way we handle our wealth can also honor God.  Honor the Lord with your wealth…” Prov. 3:9.  How do we best do that?

    We honor God by managing what we have; timely payment of bills, prudent management of debt, saving for emergencies, saving for retirement and wise investing.  

    We also honor the Lord by generous giving.  Giving a cup of cold water in His name is demonstrating His love to those in need.

    A final way we can honor God at the end of our lives is in the distribution of our estate.  This is a time we can make a significant statement to our loved ones about our priorities while continuing the work of God’s kingdom after we are gone.

    Are you effectively handling your wealth?  Open your checkbook. It is the ultimate test of your heart’s desire.   Are you honoring God by your investments in eternity?  Your answers will determine the direction of your life and your final reward. 

    What Does Scripture Say?

    Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.  I Cor. 4:2

    Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.  To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability.  (Parable of the Talents—Matt. 25:14-30) 

    Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  Matt. 6:19-21


    Part 4:  The Dangers of Wealth

    The first 3 parts of “Handling Our Wealth” focused on what the Bible has to say about dealing with our wealth and possessions.  Three principles have been highlighted:

    ·      God is the owner of everything.

    ·      We are to be generous with what has been entrusted to us.

    ·      We are to prudently manage what has been entrusted to us.

    In this final article in the series, we will look at the dangers of wealth. 

    Like many things in life, wealth is relative. When we read the word “wealth”, we may not think this applies to us.  We are not Bill Gates, perhaps we don’t have a stock portfolio, or maybe even the idea of putting together a vacation in the sun is a remote possibility.   However, as middle-class Americans, we really are among the very richest people in the world.  If you're really curious about that, go to www.globalrichlist.com and type in your household income. Be prepared to be shocked by how rich you are by world standards.

    Whatever the level of our wealth, it is significant because it is a trust from God.  However, the power and influence of money can cause harm if we let our possessions possess our hearts.  The Bible warns about dangers that come with wealth.

    It is easy to think that what we have gives our lives value, satisfaction or security.  It can become a measure of comparing ourselves to others.  Do we want others to evaluate us on our income, our profession or what we own?  A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.  Luke 12:15b.  Chasing wealth for the purpose of self-gratification never satisfies.  Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. Eccl. 5:10

    Another danger is misguided trust.  It is easy to trust in our assets instead of allowing God to fill our lives with what we really need.  Our security shifts to the temporal rather than the unseen, eternal promises of God.  When you get down to it, stewardship is not about giving, it is about trust. It’s relinquishing control of something that is so much a part of our daily lives.  God promises to meet our needs, but we need to step aside and allow Him to do so.  We need to have enough trust in God that we leave room for obedience when we sense God calling us to something out of the ordinary.

    Finally, we hinder God’s plan and purpose when we fail to use our resources in the way that God intends.  We live on a groaning planet that needs the love of God in tangible ways.  Half of our world – three billion people—live on less than $2 a day (purposedriven.com). Millions of people have never even heard the Word of God.  As someone said, “I believe that God’s people possess God’s provisions to accomplish and fulfill God’s purposes in the world.”   

    Do we take Jesus seriously when he warns how hard it will be for rich people to enter the kingdom of heaven?  Wealth, in itself, is not wrong. It is our attitude towards wealth that matters most to God.  Do we see it as God’s gift to us to manage in His best interest? Simply put, we are to use our wealth, money and resources in this present life with an eye on eternity.  We are to invest what God has given us now to accomplish His long-term goals.  What a responsibility.  What a privilege!

    From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”  Luke 12:48b

    What Does Scripture Say?

    People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.  I Tim. 6:9-10

    Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.  Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  I Tim. 6:17-18

    Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.  This too is meaningless.  I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner, or wealth lost though some misfortune, so that when he has a son there is nothing left for him. Eccl. 5:10, 13-14

    Money affects every aspect of our lives.  It is one of the acid tests of character and so it is not surprising that scripture has a lot to say about it. 

    Did you know that there are over 2,300 verses in the Bible that deal with our possessions?  Jesus knew how important it was to talk about since two-thirds of his parables address the topic.  Why is money and our possessions such an issue for God?  The way we handle our money doesn’t just affect us in our pocketbook, it affects us spiritually.  How we handle our money affects our relationship with the Lord.

  • How to Create and Use a Narrative Budget

    Webinar (For Churches)

    In this webinar, Rick Droog, Stewardship Consultant at Barnabas Foundation discusses how to create and use a narrative budget. When proposing annual budgets, most church leaders present their congregations with various line items and lots of numbers. A popular and extremely effective approach currently being used is to “tell the story” behind the numbers. This is referred to as a Narrative Budget, and it provides your congregation with a vision of your ministry, rather than just a spreadsheet of line items.


  • How to Strengthen Stewardship in Your Church

    This webinar discusses how to strengthen stewardship in your church with Bruce Barkhauer.

  • In God We Trust - Kids (K-5)

    Strengths

    • One of the most striking things about this program is how well it uses a fun, high-energy lesson format to communicate solid, Bible-based financial principles. 
    • Getting started is easy with a short, humorous instructional video that walks leaders through the lesson format (with shots of kids in class) and a single-sheet "Quick Start" guide. 
    • The DVD lessons are masterfully done with cutting-edge music and videography that would appeal to kids. Real-life situations are used to set up the lesson (i.e. a couple of boys playing a video game on the couch). And the Bible stories are creatively told (i.e. a guy walks through a toy store looking at toys while telling the Bible story of the rich man who couldn't part with his stuff). 
    • A thoughtfully-produced CD-ROM includes a step-by-step leader's guide, in-class games, and take-home cards for the refrigerator and personal meditation time. 
    • One of the best ways to evaluate a program is from people who have used it. Below are selected quotes from a church that experienced a great blessing using In God We Trust:
    • "The material was extremely user friendly and our volunteers loved using it."
    • "In God We Trust made it so easy to understand [stewardship] that even the adults were making comments that they wish it could be taught this way in 'Big church.'" 
    • “You could see and hear the children responding to what they were being taught.”
    • “The feedback from parents was very positive...."The Fridge" and "God Time" cards were very effective and actually provided a great way for parents to continue teaching their children at home during the week." 
    • "Thanks for teaching my kids that my truck is not really mine.” (they graciously informed me that it was really God’s truck).

    Things to be aware of

    • The Crown web site www.crown.org suggests a companion resource entitled "Family Times Virtue Pack" (sold separately) that parents and children can also do at home. This may not be necessary, however, as the In God We Trust kit provides ample quality resources for home use. 
    • Although the kit includes a wealth of high-quality materials (and Crown likely invested significant resources in this project), the cost of the program may be a concern for some (as of this writing it is priced at $150). The tangible products you receive in the mail are 1 DVD, 3 CDs, and Quick Start Guide - everything else you download and print yourself (including the game board for one of the in-class games).

    In God We Trust is an engaging 4-week DVD-based curriculum from Crown Financial Ministries that teaches kids (kindergarten to fifth grade) how to give, save, and spend money wisely.

  • Instructions for Transferring Securities to Barnabas Foundation

    Below are the instructions to transfer your gift of securities to Barnabas Foundation: 

    DTC: 0385, E*Trade Securities, LLC  

    For the Account of: Barnabas Foundation, EIN #36-2904503 

     Account Number: 5550-3250

    E*Trade Contact: Jeff Robinson, Platinum Relationship Mgr. E*Trade Securities, LLC 

    E-Mail: platinum4@etrade.com 

     Phone: 1-800-503-9260 

    The gift amount for charitable donation purposes will be the average of the high and low price per share for the donated shares on the day we receive them at E*Trade Securities, LLC. 

    Be sure to notify Cindi Riemersma or Joan Santefort at Barnabas Foundation (888) 448-3040 when you are sending the shares so we can be on the lookout for them. Our normal policy is to sell the security upon receipt. However, be sure to notify us of any special selling instructions you may have. 

    We will acknowledge receipt of your contribution and its value for IRS reporting purposes, as well as the net amount which will be deposited into your Stewards Fund account. If you have questions regarding these instructions, please contact: 

    Cindi Riemersma Client Services Administrator criem@barnabasfoundation.com or (888)448-3040.

    Print (Other), Fact Sheets

    Provide your broker with this document to transfer your gift of securities to Barnabas Foundation. 

  • IRA Charitable Rollover

    Legislation Provides Charitable Gifting Opportunities 

    On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the "Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015."  This law includes a permanent extension of the IRA Charitable Rollover and is retroactive to January 1, 2015.

    What does this mean to you as a supporter of Christian ministries?

    It allows you to make direct charitable gifts from your IRA. Individuals may make gifts to charity from traditional and Roth IRA accounts without any federal tax liability as long as the gifts are “qualified charitable distributions." No charitable deduction may be taken by the owner, but distributions will qualify for all or part of an IRA owner’s Required Minimum Distribution.

    Requirements for IRA qualified charitable distributions:

    • Gifts are tax-free up to $100,000
    • Gifts will qualify for all or part of your Required Minimum Distribution
    • This provision is now permanent
    • IRA holder must be 70 ½ or older at the time of gift
    • Gifts must be outright gifts to a charitable organization
    • Gifts may only be made from traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs

    IRA Charitable Rollover Fact Sheet

    Special note:  A donor-advised fund (like our Stewards Fund) DOES NOT qualify for IRA Charitable Rollover distributions.


    Forms & Information, Information

    On December 18, 2015 President Obama signed the “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015.”  This law includes a permanent extension of the IRA Charitable Rollover and is retroactive to January 1, 2015. 


  • Making the most of every opportunity

    “Be very careful, then, how you live...making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.” 
    - Ephesians 5:15

    Paul reminds us that the very nature of our world discourages our stewardship of time. “The days are evil,” he writes (Eph. 5:15). And because evil seems so powerful in our world, we are tempted to despair of making a real difference. The author E. B. White once said, “When I get up in the morning I am torn between saving the world and enjoying the world. This makes it very difficult to plan my day.” 

    He’s right. Saving the world seems an impossible task. What difference will our little acts of goodness make in the overall scheme of things? No wonder so many people today allow time to run through their fingers like sand on the seashore. We pursue meaningless activities that kill time and the possibilities it presents.

    Paul challenges us to be stewards of time, “making the most of our opportunities” (v. 15). Paul understands that because of Christ’s victory on the cross, time is redeemed. Our efforts to use time in ways that make a difference for the kingdom of God will not be wasted. God will establish our work through the power of his grace.

    But then, should we go from one extreme to the other? Does seizing every opportunity mean we can never relax, never have a moment for ourselves, never take time to “smell the roses?” Is Paul calling us to become workaholics for the kingdom of God?

    No! Here in these verses, Paul sets our use of time against an invitation to worship God. In so doing, he reminds us that using our time well is set against the backdrop of God’s divinely established rhythm for life. Early in Israel’s history, God set a pattern for us. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God” (Ex. 20:9-10). God’s “six and one” pattern reminds us that we do not live by work alone. Not even God’s kingdom comes about by our work alone. Rather, our times are in God’s hand. God’s grace working through us makes a difference—not only for today but for eternity.

    Source: “The Joy of Generosity" devotional series developed by Barnabas Foundation and available at www.barnabasfoundation.com; adapted from the HomeLink series written by Pastor Bob Heerspink and released by Faith Alive Christian Resources.

    Time is a remarkable gift from God. The pages of our personal planners and the squares on our calendars represent the moments God has entrusted to our care. But how should we use them? We can fill those moments in an almost limitless variety of ways.

  • Mapping your Congregation’s Assets

    Webinar (For Churches)

    In this webinar, Fred Milligan, Stewardship Consultant at Barnabas Foundation discusses mapping your congregation’s assets. Asset Mapping is a term which arrived in the not-for-profit world a number of years ago as community development leaders sought ways to move economically distressed communities from a scarcity mentality focused primarily on their needs to an abundance mentality focused on their existing resources.  Applying this technique to church stewardship attitudes and practices is relatively new and holds potential for helping churches operate out of an abundance mentality. 

  • Money & Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples by Matt Bell

    Marriage Money

    Features and Strengths 

    Spiritual Discipline:  “When we are generous, we live in concert with our design, so it should come as no surprise that modern-day researchers studying the causes of human happiness have found that generous people are happier than those that are not generous.” Throughout the book Bell gives explanations reinforced with scripture verses. He shares his knowledge on the importance of making generosity the highest priority, as well as staying out of debt. Jesus was very clear about money, and Bell makes it easy to follow His example. 

    Easy to read: This book is divided into a “Ten-Step Action Plan for Financial Success.” The reader is taken on this journey of budgeting, working hard, staying out of debt and giving back to the Kingdom of God. Chapter by chapter, the reader is given direction and encouragement that living a debt free life is more than a possibility.

    Challenge: Bell challenges the reader to be proactive with their finances. This book tells of the importance of knowing your credit score and how to manage it. Setting financial goals and creating a budget are discussed, as well as paying back mortgages and car loans in a timely matter. The reader is encouraged to start marriage in a financially stable manner, and encouraged to apply good money management into the couple’s relationship now. “Strive for oneness and teamwork in your finances, and such characteristics will show up in other areas of your relationship, as well.” Money & Marriage helps the reader understand that preparation is indispensable to maintain a healthy money life, not only in one’s own life, but as a couple. 
     

    Perspective
    “You are in the midst of one of the happiest phases of life, but it can also be stressful. If you are engaged, there are countless decisions to be made about your wedding. If you are newly married, there’s a lot to be accomplished in bringing your lives together, financially and otherwise.” This book was designed to guide the reader through the journey of engagement and marriage. Bell demonstrates to couples that planning is the key to a successful financial future, as well as a successful marriage. The reader is brought on this sometimes confusing journey through credit cards, car loans, mortgages, credit scores, and debt. All the while, Bell shows how to maintain good credit, as well as how to get out of tough financial situations.

    Available at Barnesandnoble.com.

    Bell has written a book that is a “must have” for young adults both engaged, and married. He walks the reader through living on an established income and guides them through the tough subjects of debt, mortgages and combined salaries. Bell discusses the difficult decisions couples must make regarding money choices and many more topics.

  • Money Matters

    Devotions play a key role in moving our hearts and minds into a receptive attitude.  Their impact on our growth as "good stewards" can be significant, as the opportunities to select appropriate devotions for specific groups expands.  We've selected some of the best resources available to guide you in this area.