Click below to listen to Episode 79 – Creating A Family Legacy

Creating A Family Legacy

Does your family have a mission and vision statement?

Bob is joined by guest Bill High. Bill is the CEO of The Signatry, a global Christian Foundation that equips donors, advisors, and ministries to fulfill their unique roles in expanding and impacting the Kingdom of God. He is also a published author and conference speaker on creating lasting legacies. Creating a lasting legacy is exactly what Bob and Bill discuss in this episode of Christian Financial Perspectives.

They examine the differences between estate planning and creating a family legacy. Estate planning is typically only for 1-2 generations, whereas legacy planning is meant for several generations down the line. Learn how to get your family involved to create a family mission statement and a lasting legacy.

Ask yourself these questions: What does your family tend to prioritize? Is it items for the here and now or is it planning for the future of generations to come? What if you could create a lasting legacy for your grandchildren and their grandchildren?

GUESTS: Bill High
HOSTED BY: Bob Barber, CWS®, CKA®

Mentioned In This Episode

Christian Financial Advisors
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Bob Barber, CWS®, CKA®
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Bill High
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The Signatry
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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

[INTRODUCTION]

Welcome to “Christian Financial Perspectives”, where you’re invited to gain insight, wisdom and knowledge about how Christians integrate their faith, life and finances with a Biblical Worldview. Here’s your host Christian Investment Advisor, Financial Planner, and Coach Bob Barber.

[EPISODE]

Bob:
Deuteronomy 6:6-9, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up, tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Again, that’s from Deuteronomy 6:6-9 talking about the commandments of loving the Lord, your God, with all your heart, soul, and mind, and teaching that to your children, teaching the 10 commandments, and all those things that God would want. This is teaching us and telling us it always should be top of mind. So, I want to start off today’s podcast with a few questions for you. And I want you to think about this, and then we’re going to get into the subject of today’s podcast. In your family, what do you prioritize? Again, let me ask that. In your family, what do you prioritize? Is it always the urgent or is it the important? Have you ever thought about having a 100 year view for what you want for your family? When you hear the word legacy, what do you think of in regards to your family? What kind of lasting legacy would you like to create in your children and your grandchildren and the generations to come after that? That’s a lot to take in, but there’s a little bit more and then we’re going to get into today. Next, I want you to think about these two words, vision and mission. What do you think when you hear them? Have you ever thought about coming up with a vision and a mission statement for your family? On today’s podcast, we’re going to be talking about all these questions I just asked and creating a lasting family legacy, and I have a guest, Bill High. Bill, he’s the chief executive officer of “The Signatry”, a global Christian foundation that equips donors, advisors, and ministries to fulfill their unique roles in expanding and impacting the kingdom of God. The Signatry has facilitated sending more than $2 billion – that’s with a B – to ministries and organizations throughout the globe to help fulfill the great commission. So, besides Bill being the CEO of The Signatry, and I’m so excited to have him today on Christian Financial Perspectives, he’s also a published author and conference speaker on creating lasting legacies. Prior to joining The Signatry in 2000, he was a partner in a law firm. He’s been married for more than 25 years and he and his wife, Brooke, have four children. So, welcome Bill to Christian Financial Perspectives.

Bill:
Well, Bob. Thanks for having me. I’m really glad to be with you today.

Bob:
Bill, when I mention this word legacy, it can mean a lot of different things to people. What does that exactly mean? So Bill, this is what you do for a living. You help people with a legacy. So can you define for us, from your experience in helping many families create a lasting legacy, exactly what is this word? What does legacy mean when I asked you that?

Bill:
Well, I think in the traditional sense, when people hear that word legacy, so many people actually go to the idea of I’m going to plan my estate. I’m going to do a legacy plan, an estate plan, and they think about leaving money to their kids. And that’s usually the way they think about it. But I think that one of the best definitions that I’ve heard of that I think makes a lot of sense is legacy is not what you leave behind, but legacy is really what you put in motion. And I think it all stems from this basic worldview that you have, because if our lives are based in the here and now, then it really is what do you leave behind? Because that’s all there is. But if your perspective is that we’re living for that day that we stand before Jesus and are held accountable for our use of his resources and the fact that we are part of this heavenly place in heaven, then it really is what are we going to put in motion? All the people that are going to stand around us on that day and heaven. So that I think is a much different kind of perspective. What are you going to see when you stand in heaven, who will be the people around you? Will it be your wife? Will it be your kids? Will it be the people that you helped lead to Christ? Will it be people that you’ve given to, like missionaries? That’s what I think is a much more complete and fuller definition of what legacy looks like.

Bob:
So it’s really different than just estate planning and it’s like you said. It’s what you actually put in motion today versus after you’re gone. Is that the right question?

Bill:
That’s absolutely right. And even the verse that you started off the podcast with, Bob, the idea about trying to pass down a set of values. The problem, I think that’s happened in our culture today is that we’ve really allowed culture to define family and what family means. And so, some of the perspective is, okay, I’ll have some kids, but I don’t need to have too many because kids are expensive and yeah, I’ll leave them some money when I pass on. But that’s a cultural definition of family. Kids are convenient, but the scriptural definition of the idea of family, you probably remember the verse in scripture in Exodus 20, where it talks about God will visit the sin of fathers to the third and fourth generation. You’ve heard that verse before, right, Bob?

Bob:
I have, and it’s kind of scary.

Bill:
Yeah, it is, but it represents the generational idea to the third and fourth generation. That’s Exodus 20:5. But what a lot of people forget to read is the next verse, and I’m going to paraphrase a little bit, but showing steadfast love to thousands who love me and keep my commandments. Now, other translations would say that it’s showing steadfast love to a thousand generations and that’s a far different perspective. So, if Bob gets it right with your family, we want to think about a thousand generations. So, if it’s okay with you, Bob, I’d like to at least share one story from scripture about a family that represented literally thousands of years. That okay?

Bob:
I would love it, go for it.

Bill:
So you, you may be remember the story. Of course, Israel had 12 sons. The oldest son was Reuben. Reuben was disqualified from leading the family, which if you remember, Israel was a primogenitor culture, meaning that the oldest son inherited the bulk of the estate. But Reuben was disqualified because he was unfaithful. Sons two and three were Simeon and Levi, and they were also disqualified from receiving the bulk of the inheritance because they had an anger problem. So it was actually son number four who received the inheritance. You remember that was, by chance?

Bob:
That would be Judah, right?

Bill:
Judah is son number four. Okay. So, and that’s why you have so many of the references to Judah and the like throughout all of scripture. And ultimately the fascinating part of Judah is Judah is not necessarily the best guy either. Because again, since you’re doing the read through the Bible, part of what is fascinating about Judah is that he has two sons, ultimately three sons, but the first son marries a woman named Tamar. And that son, God puts him to death because he’s evil, and they don’t have any kids by Tamar. So, by Jewish law at that time, the next son was supposed to step in and fulfill the family obligations so the oldest son didn’t leave without any kind of inheritance. And he also is evil. So, God puts him to death. So Judah gets worried that I’ve got a third son named Shayla, and I don’t want to give him to this woman because he might be put to death and I’ll be left with no kids and no way to pass on my family name. So what happens is Tamar sees this, and she goes out and as a prostitute and ultimately Judah comes in and picks her up as a prostitute and impregnates her and has a kid. And you think, wow, what an incredibly screwed up story, no question, you know, really messed up. But what a lot of people don’t recognize is that within that story, the son Perez is actually the son born of that relationship between Judah and Tamar. Now, ultimately Tamar is saved. And again, she ends up having a son named Perez. So it’s a bad beginning to a family story, but here’s, what’s fascinating about the story of Tamar and Perez. And the son that’s born is that if you go into the book of Ruth hundreds of years later, what you’ll find is that the elders of Bethlehem come in and when Boaz and Ruth get married, they say, Hey, may your kids be like Perez and ultimately the blessing upon Tamar, because it was Perez sons who ended up become pillars in Bethlehem. And of course, continuing in that family line, Boaz is part of the line of Judah and Judah, or rather Boaz, was described as a man of standing. So again, here you have this wonderful story, but then of course, out of the union of Boaz and Ruth, that’s the Davidic line. And you’ll go on and you’ll find in the book of Chronicles that one of the key leaders in David’s army is a son of Perez who is one of the chief commanders. And then even when you go into the book of Nehemiah, Nehemiah 11:6. It says, so that when they’re rebuilding the walls in Jerusalem, there are 468 sons of Perez who are described as valiant men. So from the book of Genesis to the book of Nehemiah, it’s approximately 1400 years, at least, of Perez’s legacy, but that started with this kind of incredible story of Judah and Tamar. And so that’s why we say, man, it really is possible. Think about what Perez put in motion, starting with his mom, something God placed in them to say, guys, you’re always going to be these valiant kind of people and think about what kind of impact that has on the world today.

Bob:
Okay. So I’m listening to this and I’m thinking, this is speaking to me. You’ve used that biblical story about how I could create a legacy for so many generations following that could follow a godly legacy like that.

Bill:
Yeah. And if you come back to that definition, legacy is what you put in motion. I know that one of the questions that sometimes people ask is, okay, so what’s the difference between an estate plan and a legacy plan. An estate plan really is built around a document and it’s built around the transfer of financial assets. It typically involves a lawyer, of course. There’s a trustee and the like, and it’s a very transactional kind of process. It’s necessary. But a legacy plan is really built around first, this idea that your family has a set of values that you’re attempting to communicate from one generation to the next. It is built upon a culture of family communication and trust from one generation to the next. So the idea of the estate plan, typically, is let’s think one generation, maybe two, if we’re thinking about grandkids. Legacy plan says, how can I have this set of values? This belief system that gets carried on from one generation to the next. And again, Bob, if we started with the Bible verse that you talked about – that whole idea of talking about the scriptures, when you rise up and when you lie down, communicating to your kids was part of a practice with the idea that that would continue with kids and grandkids and great grandkids. That’s how you transmit this set of values from one generation to the next

Bob:
I’m thinking of it like bookends, and you’ve got the estate plan. You build it and then your life’s over. They read the estate plan, books closed. That’s it for you. Where the family legacy is not the end of the book, it’s the beginning of the book. It’s the beginning of other generations and what are they doing behind you and how are they following Christ behind you? And this is why it’s so important, isn’t it, to build a family legacy. I want my life to count for something. I just wasn’t born and I lived 85 or 90 years and I’m gone and that’s the end of Bob Barber. I mean, I hope that I carry on a legacy. You know, Bill, I come from quite a legacy in Texas. My ancestry goes back 190 years and my great, great, great grandfather was the first settler of Travis County. That’s where Austin sits. Austin, Texas. And he was known for his Christian hospitality. And when we go to what’s called Hornsby’s Bend, you see the historical marker and you read that, that they were known for their Christian hospitality and helping others. That still, 190 years later, hits me to carry that on. It just wasn’t a bookend or the book closed. It was open to where let’s continue to carry that forward.

Bill:
Right on. You’re right on. And that’s the thing that we try to impress upon people is you need to look at your estate plan documents as a necessary part, but most of the estate plan documents are poor legacy documents. They don’t actually contain any of that story, any of the heritage. That’s really what you’re trying to pull out because ultimately, when you stand before Jesus and heaven. I mean, in 2 Corinthians 5:10, the Bible talks about that we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and be held accountable for what we’ve done in the body, whether good or bad. What is God going to ask us? What’s Jesus is going to say? One of the first things he’s going to ask you is how did you steward the resources that I put in your hand? Well, what are those resources? First, it’s going to be relationships. And those relationships, if you’re married, he’s going to say, how’d you do with your wife? And if God allowed you to have kids, he’s gonna say, how’d you do with those kids? Did you steward those relationships well? If you have grandkids, that you’ve had an opportunity to have an influence on how did you steward the relationship with the grandkids. It’s not going to be that first question about, Hey, how’s your bank account, or even about your giving. It’s going to be, how did you invest in the people that I gave you? And then from there, it might turn to your neighbors. Did you love your neighbors well? Did you invest in your community in such a way, and you were a light? And then maybe it might be, hey, what were some of the things that you gave to financially that also, in turn, brought other people to Christ and there might be this cloud of witnesses that said, Oh yeah. I came to know Christ because of a gift that Bob Barber made to this missionary work in Africa or otherwise. I think that’s a far different picture of just saying I was just supposed to leave money to my kids.

Bob:
You know, bill, I do podcasts all the time, and every time I do podcasts with such incredible speakers like you and those that are so challenging, there’s no doubt you’re coming across in a way that these are words that people do not hear. They flat don’t hear them. They don’t think about them. We get so caught up in our lives, all we think about is the moment not in the future. Do you think that’s why so many people, they’ve never even thought about legacy or creating one? I mean, they just don’t think about it?

Bill:
Well, I mean, at the end of the day, you see that in business, you’ll see businesses that create vision statements and mission statements and value statements. But somehow we tend to think that we shouldn’t do that for our family. And yet the whole idea of the biblical covenant is first and foremost, that the family adopts a biblical covenant, a set of values. That was the idea. And then you talk about that covenant man. Guys, here’s the things that we agreed to. That’s why in the concept of the Passover, when you go to celebrate the Passover, the way it starts is the youngest kid in the family who is able turns to the elder in the family, a grandfather or great grandfather and says, father, tell us why this night is so different from any other night. And the whole idea was to create this culture of storytelling, of remembrance, of what God has done. The flip side of that in our world today is the Western view of family is that we raise our kids up to independence. We raise them up and then we kick them out and say, Hey, you go make your way in the world. I call it the up and out theory. Raise them up, kick them out, and go be independent, stand on your own two feet. But that’s not the biblical definition of family. The biblical definition of family was really this idea is that we still were interdependent. We still need one another because we come from this same story, this divine story, that God is writing throughout time. And when we realize that we’re not independent of the story, but we are still interdependent, that we need one another, that we’re part of this grand story that God’s writing, it changes our perspective totally. And so, part of what I try to teach is we need to return to this biblical definition of family, not a cultural definition. The biblical definition of family is that we are part of a big story that God’s writing. We need to remember time and time again, all the things that God’s done for us, that set of values, that vision, and that mission that we’re called to

Bob:
Did y’all hear what he said there? Bill said, it’s not about independence, but it’s about interdependence. That is so true, Bill. It’s not about independence from God, but interdependence on God, we’re working together. I think about this. Someone’s listening to us. They’re thinking, okay, I’m just a little perplexed. I’ve never heard this kind of conversation before. How would my family get started and involved in setting up a vision for the family’s future? Do you have kind of a way that you do that and help people get started on that?

Bill:
There’s a process that people follow. This is something that we’ve led individual families through. And sometimes that is where you go away for a weekend and you actually facilitate a conversation. There’s three big things that you really want to walk away with. You want to walk away with a set of family values. What are the anchors that are going to be there for your family for the next 150 years? Then, you’ve got to define your family mission. What will we do then to fulfill the third thing, which is what is God’s vision for our family? So those are the three big takeaways. By the way, at my website, my personal website, billhigh.com, people can click on the legacy button. They’ll actually see a little bit of a worksheet that people can walk themselves through. So it’s not rocket science by any means that people need to do so it’s nothing to be overwhelmed by. It’s something that a husband and wife can do together. The other thing, Bob, that we do is we facilitate a family legacy workshop, and we’re starting to do those around the country, 10 to 12 couples at a time because we know sometimes families have good intentions. I’m sure you’ve heard that. They have good intentions, but they never get to it. So we lead this family legacy workshop where we actually focus on some of those ideas, the biblical definition of family, family communication, mission, vision, values, and they’ll walk out of there with a good working statement of what their family values, family vision, family mission would be. By the way, the idea would be true. You’ve heard the notion that very few people have goals. 3% of the people in the country really have goals for themselves. It’s the 97% of the people that work for the 3% who have goals. Well, the same idea holds true and family legacy. If you take the time to define your mission, vision, and values, then you can set the compass settings for the next 150 years for your family.

Bob:
As I was listening to you say this, and I’m writing this down: mission, vision, and values. Give me an example of a vision and some examples of values and mission. Can you give me some examples of that so that I can grab that tool and have something that I can look up to because I think about those that are listening to us and in our society today, where do they have examples? I mean, you were talking about that in business. Maybe business has a vision or mission, but I don’t know many families that would say our family has a vision. Our family has a mission. Where’s the example?

Bill:
So, and the vision statement by the way is described as what can only God do? You want something that’s hard, that’s incredible and impossible and exciting. A mission statement is more practical. It’s what we will do to fulfill the vision. So, in the book that I wrote with David Green called, “Giving It All Away And Getting It All Back Again”, their vision statement is to go on the adventure of impacting our world for Christ. So, it’s a big vision. We’re going to impact the world, and it’s an adventure. Their mission statement is to love God intimately and live extravagant generosity. That’s an example of a modern day family that’s come up with a vision and a mission. Their values, frankly, are very simple. God, family, others, but in those values, they have a whole subset. So in the God category, they have things like we’ll pray. We’ll spend time in God’s Word. They have a whole bunch of specific verses that they cite too. So that’s just one family. We’ve led these kind of facilitated sessions with other families, one family in the family legacy workshop. We give examples of it. But one family, their vision statement is very simple. Every generation serving Christ, great, simple, short, memorable, all those kinds of things. Another family in terms of their mission, it is very similar to like the green family. It is to love God, serve others, always. So you see lots of simple things like that. If I go back to the biblical story that I started with of Perez and his family, there must have been something that he taught the family about, “Guys were valiant men. We are a valiant family,” because you see that repetition in scripture about Perez and his family. So, simple thing. There are other examples, by the way, of that in scripture where you’ll see, it appears that the family adopted something. That was the same idea, by the way, go back to Abraham and the covenant, ultimately, that God was laying out with the children of Israel. You’re a separated people. You’ll love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Again, this isn’t necessarily creative rocket science. Go to the scriptures and you’ll see it. What did Jesus say? Love God with your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. That’s a pretty simple mission statement.

Bob:
Well, where I found out about you and learned about you was through Kingdom Advisors and you spoke a couple of times, actually. We have our monthly study that’s done by video across the nation. I’ve got that right in front of me, the listening guide. I remember hearing you speak, and I pulled this back out and it’s got some really good stuff in it that can help our listeners. You have this 5 step process that you showed us and then you had six steps to actually implementing these vision and values and admission. So quickly go through this 5 step process. And then let’s go through those 6 steps for implementing that you shared with us with Kingdom Advisors.

Bill:
Yeah. I might have modified some of this, to be honest, since I last presented, but here’s the five steps that we talk about that a family needs to go through. So, one is really just discovery. The discovery process is identifying what your goals are as a family. Where are you at now? Where have you been? What have been the hurts that have occurred the past? What specific problems do you have? But it’s identifying and saying, here’s where we’re at now. Here’s some of the problems, but here’s where we want to go. So, that’s what the discovery process looks like. That often involves sitting down, much like the work that you do, Bob, but it’s just sitting down with that husband and wife and just saying, tell us the story. What do you really want to get accomplished? So that’s step one. Step two is really focused on communication. Some of the work that I do, we have families that tell us that we’re really re-introducing the family to one another. So we use a variety of assessment tools, including personality profiles. We try to help people understand how God has wired them uniquely. That’s actually one of the biggest things that we see is that many times people are always trying to say, why can’t you be like this? When in fact, God wired them a specific way. Some of this stuff’s not going to change. So just by improving family communication, you get the family health. Usually, that is one of the biggest parts of the process is just dealing with family communication because you know it. So many times you see families who just sweep old issues under the rug for years and years and years. It’s like the big pile of dust under the rug that everybody keeps tripping over, but they never want to discuss. So that’s step two.

Bob:
Ooh. That’s like pulling the dust out from underneath the bed, huh? That could be difficult. You really need a Godly leader and be in much prayer when you start pulling some of that stuff out, right?

Bill:
It is. And the honest truth is we tell the patriarch or matriarch in the family is don’t try to do this by yourself, particularly if it’s a hard driving patriarch who’s used to getting his way. If you try to go facilitate this kind of stuff by yourself, the kids will resist because it’s like, “Oh, this is dad’s deal again. And he’s just trying to impose his will again.” And they won’t open up. That big pile of dust is going to sit there under the rug again. But usually, there are issues from the past that have gotta be addressed in some way, shape, or form. And I see that, frankly, in families that would consider themselves healthy. So the communication process of working through that sometimes takes quite some time. Usually, we find that mom and dad want to drive to the result, which is let’s get the estate plan done. Let’s get this work done, and really what they need to do is focus on some of these soft issues, which is making sure that the relationships are healthy. So any event, that’s step two family communication, can’t be the longest one.

Bob:
Right? Discovery, communication, and then we go to step three.

Bill:
Step 3 s alignment. Alignment is actually where you often start to say, hey, we have these goals, but we realize that we’re here. So let’s work on an alignment plan. Usually that means family mission, vision, and values. Let’s agree on what our vision is, where we’re going in the future. Let’s agree what our values are, and then let’s agree what the mission is. Sometimes, by the way, part of that alignment process is also as simple as a code of conduct. Here’s the 14 rules of how our family behaves. Treat each other with respect. Deal with the hurts immediately. Ask for forgiveness. Give forgiveness. Deal with the conflicts in a timely manner. That can be a whole set of those ground rules that are just really helpful in the context of family. When you have those ground rules and somebody steps outside of them, you can lovingly and gently say, hey, by the way, we agreed to this, didn’t we? And so you’re not acting in conformity with those set of rules. So, that alignment process begins to create this pathway for a family to move forward and say, we’re agreeing upon this way of living and this way of living going forward. So that’s step three. Step four is action. This is where most people want to start, which is what are the documents that we need to accomplish the family mission, vision, and values, but also what are the documents that we need to make sure that our communication is going to be solid? So, it’s not just the financial plan or the estate plan, but it also includes things like family governance policy. How will we have a family meeting? And by the way, these things don’t just apply to a wealthy family, they also apply to a family of relatively modest means, but that action plan of actually putting structure in place on how you communicate is just really powerful. And then the last step is family celebration. How do we celebrate as a family? The celebration process is where you step back and you see this throughout the Old Testament where people would gather together and they would remember the harvest. They would remember festival times. We just don’t do that enough in the family where we intentionally remember what God’s done in our family. How do we celebrate our mission, vision, and values? So, those are some very basic things.

Bob:
Bill, we’ve shared so much today. I was wanting to get into the 6 steps for actually implementing all that, but you pretty much did that right here. So it’s discovery, communication, alignment, action, and family celebration. So after that fifth step, is there any further steps that need to be taken or is that pretty much the whole journey?

Bill:
Well, the basic idea of repeat and rinse. You gotta keep working on it. Just because you get all that done doesn’t mean that you’re not going to have to come back and deal with family communication. You’re not going to have to tweak an estate plan or a financial plan, those kinds of things. So, it becomes an ongoing journey. And so partly what we say to families is when you adopt a biblical view of family and this idea of legacy is what you put in motion. You always have a job to do. And so the only other part, Bob, that I really haven’t covered in detail, I know that we’re starting to get ready to wind some of this discussion down, is the idea of family generosity. And we talk about family generosity because usually it’s the easiest way to begin implementing family legacy. It’s when you begin to teach your kids, your grandkids, that we want to look out into the world and say, how are we going to give together? How are we going to impact the world? It allows your kids to be in a place where they see that life’s not about themselves, but life is about others. It’s a way of life, just the way Jesus lived. Wherever Jesus went, whatever he did, he had all these divine moments of interruption, whether it was feeding 5,000 or a woman with a flow of blood, the Roman leader, all these kinds of things, you see Jesus constantly given away his life. So that’s one of the big things that we like to talk about is just a practical way of living out the vision, mission values.

Bob:
So, if I’m hearing you say this correctly, like my wife and I, instead of us just giving individually, let’s give as a family and get the whole family involved in the giving part of it.

Bill:
Yeah. We say establish the family foundation. Now people again, hear that. Even today, I heard somebody say, well, I’m not a person that could afford a family foundation. And that’s where the part of the space of what the signature is and does is we’re a donor advised fund. It’s really just like a charitable bank account. You can create it online in 10 minutes. No matter what level you’re at, you can create the account where you’ve got some money set aside, whether it’s a $100 or whether it’s $10,000, we can give some together as a family. And that idea of being able to give together as a family. I say giving is one of the great equalizers in the family. I have four kids, I have two son-in-laws. I have three grandkids. My five year old grandson could come up to me today and say, Hey, Papa. How about if we give to those people over there, because they have some needs. His experience is just the same as mine, because that’s how he experiences the world. On the other hand, if my five year old grandson came to me and said, Hey, I’d like to talk to you about the financial aspects of how you run your business. Well, that’s not a level playing field, but giving is the great equalizer because it’s based upon that work that the Holy Spirit’s doing in your heart. So, we can come together and start talking about things that we care about. And of course, the beauty of family giving is it’s a way that you reinforce your family mission, vision, and values

Bob:
When this podcast comes out, because we prerecord it in advance, but when it comes out, we’re going to be less than 6 months from Thanksgiving and Christmas time. I just think about that time of the year, where you’re getting together and you’re focused on giving and thinking about how much are we going to spend on ski vacations or Hawaii trips. Some may not have that privilege to do that, but some do or how much are we just going to spend on Christmas presents, even if we all stay here and maybe taking a part of that, opening up a donor advised fund and saying children, even if their older children, adult children, grandchildren, we’ve put this money here into this foundation and we want y’all to be involved in helping us give it to worthy causes that would align with Christian principles.

Bill:
Yeah. I mean, I think what we all desire as parents or grandparents, the scriptures say that a foolish son is a grief to his mother or to his father. The great tragedy is when we see kids who walk away from the faith and don’t live out our values and there’ll be those that will listen to this podcast that say, “Oh yeah, that’s me.” On the other hand, there will also be those families that would say, man, the greatest joy I have is to see that my children are walking in the truth. That’s what Paul said as he wrote some of his letters. John said that as well. When our kids walk on a truth, we celebrate. And so my own quick little story in that is we started giving together as a family. When my youngest son was three years old and we’d sit around the dinner table and we would have these occasions where we had talk about man, here’s things we’re going to give to, and it gave us an occasion to talk about our family values. Again, my youngest son was a little bit more than 33 and he was participating and it was kind of a hilarious story in our first family meeting. I think our oldest was 10 at the time, and she was appointed an officer and we appointed. Well, my youngest son true to his personality was appointed the Sergeant at Arms, even as a 3 year old. But the bottom line is we’ve done that giving throughout all these years. And so today he’s now 23 and he graduated from college. When he got his first job, now mind you, this is a first job out of college. So, he’s not making a ton of money, but I ended up getting a phone call and this doesn’t happen every day. But because it was my son, the person on our customer care team called me up and said, by the way, did you know that your son just set up a donor advised fund? I’m like, no, I didn’t. And it was this beautiful testimony, really, that something had stuck. He realized that he wanted to continue to be a giver. And again, this is kind of the illustration that you don’t have to be wealthy to set this thing up, but he chose to be intentional about his giving because something had stuck with him.

Bob:
From the time he was three years old, he was watching. I remember when we used to tithe, when I say we’ve used to, we still tithe, but when we were in church and our children were young, we would hand them the check and say, you put that into the offering plate. Sometimes, they’d try to open up to see how much it was and they would. Their eyes would get real big, and they would see that we’re given as a family. They would say why are you giving it to me? Because we’re giving as a family, and I think that still sticks with my children. So, I encourage all of you that you make giving part of the family, not just mom and dad, but make it part of the family so that everyone is participating and giving. Well, Bill, I want to thank you for taking time out today to talk to us about legacy planning. I want all my listeners to know that I’m here to help you with this. I want to end today’s podcast on a few thoughts just about legacy and how important it is that we leave a legacy. I was just thinking about this as I came to the end, what if I had a letter from my great, great, great grandpa or grandma that shared what it was like for them when they grew up and shared their struggles and victories in life and how they knew the Lord and how they gave and how they served him. I can tell you, if I had a letter like that from my great, great, great grandfather, it would just be cherished. I think all of us, if we think about it, if we had a letter like that about what was important to them, that would be part of our legacy. I want to encourage you, in the next few days or weeks, to sit down and write out those things that are important to you and maybe set up that giving plan that will carry on for many generations and share with your family those struggles and victories in life and what your vision was and what your mission was and what you valued most, your beliefs, your hopes, and your dreams for the future generations of the family. You think about as the future generations read that, that will strike them and they’ll want to continue that legacy as I want to continue that legacy of my great, great, great grandfather that was known for Christian charity way back in the 1830s and 1840s in what is now known as Travis County in Texas. That’s all for today. Bill, thank you for taking time out. Any last words you want to say?

Bill:
I just want to encourage people that this is worth it and just check yourself a little bit. Say, have I been following a biblical definition of family or a cultural definition? And then dig deep into the scriptures to say really, what are those verses about the whole idea of legacy in generations? And if you do that, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised that God really does care about family, and it’s been intended to be generational in nature.

Bob:
I’ll end on that good note. That’s all for today.

[CONCLUSION]

That’s all for now. We invite you to listen to all of our past episodes covering many financial topics from a Christian Perspective. To make sure you don’t miss any of Bob’s upcoming episodes you can subscribe to Christian Financial Perspectives on iTunes, Google Play Music, Spotify, or Stitcher. To learn more about integrating your faith with your finances, visit ciswealth.com or call 830-609-6986.

[DISCLOSURES]

Comments from today’s show are for informational purposes only and not to be considered investment advice or recommendations to buy or sell any company that may have been mentioned or discussed. The opinions expressed are solely those of the host, Bob Barber and his guests. Bob does not provide tax advice and encourages you to seek guidance from a tax professional. Investment advisory services offered through Christian Investment Advisors Inc. DBA Christian Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor.