The Board of Retirement’s goal is for every person in our denomination to be prepared for their next ministry opportunity while they do the work of their current ministry. Everyone has a ministry, whether you are pastor of a church, Wall Street stockbroker, or a crew member at the local McDonald’s. So, what do we mean by “your future ministry”?
If you are not building financial stability in your life, it limits the opportunities you will have in the future. If the opportunity arose for you to do something for the Lord, would your finances dictate whether you followed through with that opportunity? For many people, it would. Many opportunities are missed because of an unprepared financial position. However, being unprepared financially is not limited to individuals alone.
In the second half of 2016, the Board of Retirement started a new program named Institutional Investing. We started this program as a way to allow churches and church organizations to set aside funds for their future ministry. This allows them to prepare for ministry opportunities presented to them while carrying out their current ministries.
Imagine how effective our organizations would be if, when an opportunity arose, our focus was only on whether it was the right opportunity rather than facing the reality that we cannot afford it. Almost every church or church organization sets funds aside for maintenance, emergencies, or a building program. The institutional investing program is the next step in that process, allowing churches and organizations to invest these funds so they are working just as hard for the future as you are in your current ministry. The power of compounding interest works not only in personal retirement accounts but also for a church or organization.
Imagine a church currently setting funds aside into a savings account, earning around 2% annually. These funds are working, but they are set up for short-term gain and sacrificing the long-term advantage of investing those funds. This is especially true of funds with a long time-horizon (five years or more) before they are withdrawn and put to use. The average annualized return of the stock market has been around 12% over the history of the stock market dating back to 1923.
By using the tools available to us, we can do more with funds that have been set aside through the power of compounding interest. How many opportunities do we miss by not using the tools available?
Even the IRS understands the importance for churches and church organizations to set funds aside for the future of their organization. The IRS has introduced a special provision in denominational retirement plans to provide this service to our organizations. We want our churches and organizations to be in the best financial position possible and to take advantage of the opportunities the Lord presents in the future. That means preparing today.
Contact the BOR for more information on how to position your organization for its future ministry.
This article was previously posted in the April/May 2019 edition of ONE Magazine.