The Legacy Team

The Legacy Team

One answer to assuring the future financial security of the church is to use Legacy donors to create a Legacy Team. As you will see in the definition, membership isn’t based on wealth, but on a desire to use whatever wealth they have for The Kingdom. Here are some thoughts I wrote on the Legacy Team.

Legacy Team Definition – A group of people who either have the gift of generosity or they are looking for creative ways to use the blessings God has given them to be a blessing to others.

In 2006, my friend, Glenn Sauls, and I began the process of changing how we worked with churches when they needed to raise capital dollars. We both knew from data that giving was centralized in a few key donors. To raise the dollars needed, we shifted from a team-building concept to helping coach pastors know how to engage these key donors. One of my trained associates coined the term Directed Coaching. We moved away from only focusing upon capital dollars to total stewardship coaching. Frankly, our industry thought we were nuts. COVID changed all that, and now the very same folks who criticized us have moved to a similar concept.

Legacy giving is not a new concept. The term was used by many in our industry to denote top-tiered donors. When I was at ISS, we used this term to define our top band of donors. Pastor Chris Hodges, of Highlands Church in Birmingham AL, has used this concept effectively, and many churches are following a similar process. I believe developing a Legacy Lane that results in you building a Legacy Team is how you can fund your present and future. I am moving every one of my churches to this strategy.

Common Reservations Leaders Have – Let me deal with church leaders’ major objections for not wanting to develop a Legacy Lane.

  1. “I don’t want to know what people give.” Relax, you will never have to look at who gives what if that is your choice. You can alphabetize the list, so you never know who gives what if that is your desire.
  2. “I don’t want to show favoritism.” Anyone can join this team, including and especially Senior Adults.
  3. “Won’t this create a restricted gift crisis?” No, not if you set it up correctly. The focus of your Legacy Team is to help you raise whatever is over and above your church needs and secure your financial future.
  4. “Isn’t this a large church strategy?” Any church can implement this strategy as every church has people with a heart for generosity.

You and your people will love this approach to raising dollars! Setting up a Legacy Lane and building a Legacy Team will forever change how you approach raising funds! I have seen pastors who normally hated any talk about money be changed by this concept. One reason why is your focus is not on money. It’s on missions and ministry. The other reason is your Team gives you permission to reach out to them when there is a need. The Legacy Team allows you to communicate your vision at a deeper level with key leaders, and it allows your key leaders a more inside view of the church they support.

I believe this is the future of giving, and remember, the church that survives the future is the church that plans TODAY for tomorrow!

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