Listen to President Tim Russell and Pastor Drew Gysi explore this topic here.


You may have heard of some strange gifts that people have donated to the church. Whether it was baby car seats, camping gear, tires, or even a mobile home, there is no shortage of strange gifts. Sometimes these gifts can be helpful, but most of the time, they become a burden if there is no need for those items. However, there are other (and better) creative ways to be generous to the local church.


First, why give to churches and faith-based ministries?

We give…because ALL that we have is HIS!

“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” – 1 Chronicles 29:14

The main point of this verse speaks to the idea that everything we have comes from God. This includes our finances. The financial wealth we have is a direct gift from God, and in turn, we should give what we have been given to those in need.

We have shared this verse, and many others through this podcast to express a key, important point: ALL that we have is on loan to us!  When we get to the place in life that we take “ownership” of all that is in our care, we are thieving that which is God’s, and placing it into your coffers for your purposes. This is a difficult line that we as believers in Christ ought to explore and see where we are with what we are entrusted to care for.

But, it is not always from the bank account that we can give to our local church and other ministries that we are passionate about supporting!  There are additional ways for us to give. Today we will be exploring just a handful of creative ways to give what is in our care to your local church or favorite ministry so that the Gospel may go fourth in a greater way!


Tax efficient strategies for giving to the Lord’s work


Donating Appreciated Stocks or Mutual Funds

How To do This:

Work with your financial advisor or directly with a mutual fund company to transfer shares of an appreciated fund into the church’s name. Many ministries will use a brokerage account which can simplify the gift. Consider giving your tithe in advance for the year.

The Benefits:

Since churches are tax-exempt, they don’t have to pay the capital gains taxes on the sale that you would normally have to pay.  Therefore 100% of the proceeds from the sale can be used towards the work of the ministry. The donor uses the full value as a reportable donation to lower their tax footprint.

As always, please consult a financial professional to make sure you are doing this correctly for the benefit of BOTH you and your church.


Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs)

How To do This:

Once you reach age 73, you must take a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from your taxable retirement accounts. You can direct some or all of your RMD to your church or other ministry to satisfy this IRS requirement. This is called a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD).

The Benefits:

Since a QCD is not taxable, this lowers your taxable income and may reduce the monthly premium you are paying for part B of Medicare. This monthly premium is automatically deducted from your Social Security check. Your Financial Advisor should be able to keep your income taxes low while keeping your investments easy to understand.

As always, there are caveats. Please consult a financial professional to make sure you are doing this correctly for the benefit of BOTH you and your church.


Legacy Giving Through Your Estate Plan

How To do This:

Try to use a Christian estate planning attorney that will ask key questions about your heart for ministry and the spread of the gospel, then write your desires into a “Christian’s Will.” Include which ministries you want to be financially generous to, including your home church. Legacy Giving is another way to lay up treasures in Heaven. Ask your Financial Advisor how you can benefit from a Donor Advised Fund which adds flexibility and safety to your giving.

The Benefits:

  • It is a way that you can be confident of the fact that your (God’s) wealth will continue to be used to share the gospel and advance God’s kingdom after our death.
  • Your actions will be a testimony to your children and others about your love for Christ.
  • The gifts/offerings will help supply the needs of others.
  • It will be your act of obedience to God by being good stewards of what God has blessed you with during your life and after your death.
  • Plan to leave a legacy of significance for the world to see and rejoice in.


Other Creative Ways to Give to Ministry

  • “Lumpy Giving”
  • Partially fund a scholarship.
    • (e.g.  Christian Camp)
  • Sponsor a matching grant.
  • Use a DAF (Donor Advised Fund).
  • Take on a temporary job to raise funds.
  • Set up a Charitable Remainder Trust.
  • Purchase a gift annuity for yourself.
  • Donate valuable collectibles.
  • Start a family foundation.
  • Donate real estate.
  • Volunteer extra time for projects.
  • Make the Church a beneficiary of IRAs.
  • Think outside the box…


How Can You Maximize Your Giving?

To find out what method of giving works best for you, sign up or a free Personal Stewardship Review! It’s hard to know if you’re taking the right steps to avoid debt and save for retirement as you give to ministry. Our personal Stewardship Review provides a comprehensive financial checkup to examine where you are now, where you want to go, and how to get there, all while applying Biblical principles. You can ask specific questions to an experienced Christian financial counselor and receive practical advice to take the next steps toward becoming a better steward of all your assets.



Material presented is property of The Stewardology Podcast, a ministry of Life Financial Group and Life Institute. You may not copy, reproduce, modify, create derivative works, or exploit any content without the expressed written permission of The Stewardology Podcast. For more information, contact us at or (800) 688-5800.

The topics discussed in this podcast are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations.  Investing and investment strategies involve risk including the potential loss of principal. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Securities and advisory services offered through GWM, Inc Member FINRA/SIPC