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Answering the Call: Ben Bell’s Passion for Serving Ministries

4 months ago By Ben Bell

Prior to joining The Signatry, I was never in a full-time vocational ministry role, although I could consider full-time vocational ministry as “the family business.” My dad’s parents were medical missionaries in China, my dad was a pastor, one uncle was an evangelist, and another aunt and uncle were Korean missionaries. I have several cousins and second cousins who have founded and operate ministries on a full-time basis. Despite several opportunities over the years to move into a full-time vocational ministry role, usually as their COO or CFO, since that was my training and skillset, I never felt called to full-time ministry. I considered myself “in ministry,” but not in a vocational way. I knew my calling was in the secular business world as a Christian witness, and I have always thought being a Christian witness in the secular business world was and is a very noble calling. How were you introduced to The Signatry? In 2018, I got the call to full-time vocational ministry at The Signatry. It followed a long period of soul-searching, reaching out to friends, and seeking the Lord’s guidance before I had ever heard about The Signatry. This period of seeking the Lord extended through my discernment process. I was not seeking to leave the business world. In terms of analyzing the opportunity at The Signatry, I wondered whether I’d enjoy it and if I would be any good at it. It was entirely different from my daily routine, experience, and skillset, so naturally, I had questions. But then the Lord told me to join The Signatry in the clearest way possible – that is all I needed, and all my analysis stopped. I joined the team three weeks later.

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Family

What is Biblically Responsible Investing?

5 months ago By The Signatry

One characteristic that sets The Signatry apart from many other foundations is our commitment to biblically responsible investing (BRI). You have most likely heard of biblically responsible investing, but what exactly is it? And how does it work? What is BRI?: Aligning finances and values Biblically responsible investing is a proactive approach that aligns investments with biblical values and principles. This alignment of faith and growth yields a present and an eternal return by investing in companies that are making a positive impact in the world. The goal is to invest in businesses that create value rather than extract value.…

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Family

A Guide for Charitable Planning

5 months ago By The Signatry

Planning ahead and counting the costs of a plan are essential aspects of any project. Jesus even talked about this, in light of Christian discipleship: “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it” (Luke 14:28). The season for year-end giving is fast approaching, and now is an excellent time to begin to plan ahead, not only for year-end giving, but for your year-round charitable giving as well! You may be accustomed to planning ahead for a business proposal but may not have thought…

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Ministry

Maximizing the Middle

5 months ago By Kristin Hammett

Are you a middle child? Do you have a middle child? Middle children commonly share they don’t get enough attention, or they don’t “fit” in the family. I have three kids of my own. My husband and I often say our oldest demands attention, our youngest requires attention, but our middle child needs attention. I think the same can be true with donors. Major donors warrant a considerable amount of attention and relational investment. General donors require regular mass communication. But middle donors? They need (and deserve) attention from ministries as well. And they may be the most under-served donor…

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Family

Women of Legacy: Creating Vision

5 months ago By The Signatry

Florence Chadwick was the first woman who tried to swim the twenty-six miles between Catalina Island and the coast of California. It was a cold, foggy day, and she had been swimming for fifteen hours. She gave up and got in the boat, not knowing she was just half a mile from reaching the shore. At a press conference the next day, she said, “All I could see was the fog. […] I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.”[1] This is the power of vision. We need the reminder of where we are…

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Family

Women of Legacy: Living Purposefully

6 months ago By Wendy Rogers

History is replete with women who said ‘yes’ in response to God’s outrageous love and invitation to live and give generously. From Mary Magdelene, a first patron of the early church, to Lydia, an industrious entrepreneur who strategically funded early missions, women change the world with their sacrificial giving. Here are a few other women whose generosity had eternal Impact: Lady Huntingdon born into royalty and used her wealth and influence to fuel the great revivals of John Wesley and George Whitfield, hosting thousands at her estates and funding Kingdom projects. Lilias Trotter who gave up the wealthy lifestyle she was born…

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The Time to Sell is Now

6 months ago By The Signatry

You have worked hard to build your business. You have put in the work, stood firm through the tough times, and rejoiced in the triumphs. You have seen your business grow into a thriving, successful organization. Now you are thinking about selling your business, but when is the best time to sell?  The time to sell is now! In their most recent mergers and acquisitions (M&A) Market Update, M&A advisory firm ArkMalibu reported that pricing levels of business sales in Q2 2019 rose to “near-record levels.” ArkMalibu reported businesses selling at an average of 11.2x earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and…

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Ministry

How to Prepare for Year-End Giving

6 months ago By Kristin Hammett

Summer is drawing to a close. With fall around the corner, the prospect of cooler temperatures, autumn colors, and pumpkin spice everything, the year-end giving season is also upon us. The 2019 Year-End Giving will be interesting to watch. The 2018 Giving USA report indicated a slight growth in giving of 0.7 percent, but individual giving was down 1.1 percent. According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 26 percent of nonprofits said the changes to the 2017 tax law did not affect their fundraising.  Just 17 percent said they saw a negative effect. This leaves some question marks on the philanthropic…

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Family

Generational Thinking

6 months ago By Alan Pratt

Generational thinking does not come naturally to most of us. By “generational thinking”, we mean intentionally planning and being cognizant of our own actions, preparation, and decisions that will affect our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. They will make their own decisions, whom they will marry, how they will invest their time, energy, and wealth. They will also make decisions on how they receive gifts of inheritance or access to trusts. When we are long gone, the time we share and the planning we put in place will affect them directly almost always in a positive way. Correspondingly, the lack of time spent and…

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