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Legacy in the Bible: Creating Standing Stones

1 week ago By The Signatry

There are many examples of God’s people intentionally building legacy in the Bible. After God spoke to Jacob and said to him, “Your name shall be Israel,” Jacob set up a stone pillar and called the place Bethel (Genesis 35:14). After God spoke to Moses and gave him the Ten Commandments, Moses got up early the next morning and stood up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel (Exodus 24:4). And for Joshua, he set up twelve stones from the river Jordan to remember God’s clearing of the river for safe passage. He told the Israelites to use the stones as a reminder to tell their descendants about what the Lord had done for them (Joshua 4:21-24). Each of these examples of legacy in the Bible have a common theme: “standing stones.” The Israelites regularly used “standing stones” to remember a covenant with the Lord and to mark the significant events for their descendants to remember. The same concept can apply to us. Our legacy is not just about monetary transfer of wealth or even passing along a good family name. Biblical legacy is about the standing stones you place throughout your life as you pass the values, faith lessons, and inner wealth on to next generations. Create Legacy God wants us to create historic markers. “They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan … as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down.” (Joshua 4:8) Intentionally marking the points in our life that have impacted our character, family members, and faith creates the opportunity to pass a family legacy.   Tel Gezer is one of the iconic sites of standing stones still in tact today. Like Gezer, many early stones were set up by pagans, and their significance is now unknown today. The custom of establishing standing stones was eventually adopted by the Israelites and used by many to remember God’s work on behalf of His people.   In the gospels, Jesus repeatedly emphasized the important teachings of His ministry that would become His legacy. 1 John 2:6 reminds us that whoever claims to abide in Jesus must walk as Jesus walked. Jesus journeyed with those whom He loved to show the way. He also stopped time and time again to share a parable which the disciples could use to create a clear memory of His teachings. You can mark the moments of your life that establish your family legacy, like standing stones, by journeying with your family, spending time in person or through writings, and communicating the wisdom you have gained through your experiences. Write a family mission statement together as your very own standing stone of remembrance. Remember It is important to look back. Joshua told the Israelites at Gilgal, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’” (Joshua 4:21-22). Throughout the Bible, we see the importance placed on tradition and remembrance. Even Jesus sought to establish a way for His disciples to remember His sacrifice. “And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’” (Luke 22:19) Have you established tradition with your family? Consider setting up specific family meetings to consistently share the written and verbal stories of what has shaped you and your family name. Hang that family mission statement in a common place for all to be reminded of what drives your family. Impart and Entrust Joshua set up the twelve stones “so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.” (Joshua 4:24). Joshua’s careful action after the Jordan river crossing teaches us that these stones also serve to remind God’s people that they are to represent God’s glory to the rest of the world. Perhaps God has blessed you in some way or an event has changed the way you walk with the Lord. In your shared stories, include the eternal lessons about God’s promise, His power as Comforter, Teacher, and Savior to mankind. What are the lessons you take away from these stories of legacy in the bible? What are your standing stones? 1 Peter 2:5 tells us that “you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house.” Not only are we called to create standing stones, but we are also to remember them with our loved ones and to share the lessons of impact they had on our character, faith, values, family history, and life. The sight of stones erected by many in Biblical times may hint of a previous significant event, but without their story, without the intentional remembering and imparting of their significance, their legacies are lost. Intentionally pass on your family legacy.   Originally Published February 19, 2021.

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Building the Bridge for Generations

2 years ago By Alan Pratt

Where do I begin legacy conversations with clients? What are the attributes of families who are good candidates for discussing a life-long legacy? These questions are so important for embarking on a powerful relationship with clients and building the bridge for their future generations to continue to work with you on their family wealth. Opening the Relationship Early on, I realized it was not about closing the sale or deal, it was about opening the relationship. When you open a relationship, ask yourself what level of a relationship is needed so that when it is the appropriate time for a transaction to occur, it is very natural. There are action steps for both clients and advisors to find success in relational advising, and in bridging wealth over to future generations in the family. Understanding your own values. Do you have a way of reaffirming what you stand for? What are the non-negotiable items in the way you live your life? You can spend some time yourself to uncover these if you need to, but then how do you make them known to others? If one of my clients left the room, they would be able to explain a lot about what drives me and describe my character pretty closely. Why? Because I have spent time with them. You will accomplish more by opening a relationship before you start the transactions. Everything in life starts with a conversation. I have learned years ago that I should go into a first-time meeting with one thing. A blank sheet of paper. The people that are legacy focused are not product focused, and the same principle applies with advisors toward their clients. Products are a byproduct of the clients’ desire to really engage in a trusted conversation. Develop a process. Develop material with short essay questions that take them on a journey of discovering their family legacy. Uncover what they care about, and how that will eventually play into their goals. Ask them about the five areas of wealth: Good relationships Health Spiritual Development Intellectual Growth Financial Resources In financial services we tend to focus on financial resources the most. Quite frankly, in legacy planning, that is not what they care about. Where their minds are stuck is the first one— their relationships. Start there. The balance sheet with all of the assets under financial resources is just a tool to bring value to the other four areas of wealth. It exists to enrich their relationships, their learning, and their physical well-being. Uncover their multi-generational values. Have you developed a values exercise where you can facilitate a values conversation with two generations of one family? When you get into proactive action steps in legacy planning, it is a family affair. Are they planning with their family or are they planning at their family? Conventional estate planning 30 years ago was planning at your kids, and unfortunately it is still practiced today. Incorporate charitable giving conversations. As a part of your values conversation, ask about what causes are close to everyone’s heart. Talking through generosity plans strengthens your relationship with clients. To reinforce the importance of understanding and sharing your own values, talk about your own generosity to spark the conversation. Less than half of advisors discuss their own charitable giving with their clients. Among all individuals who discuss philanthropy with an advisor, 53% say that they would place greater value on the philanthropic advice if the client was aware of the advisor’s own philanthropic engagement.[1] Talking about charitable giving as a group leads to understanding their passions and goals and leads to inter-generational understanding of how to carry on those goals. Encouraging planning with the family and seeing multi-generational discussion and value-based conversations will always yield a higher degree of long-term success. Be curious not for the size of their balance sheet but be curious to know the size of their heart. If you lead with this in mind and use the building blocks above for opening a relationship with your clients, you will build the bridge for their future generations to know you, trust you, and you receive the gift of becoming a part of their success in transferring not only their family wealth, but their family legacy. [1] 2018 U.S. Trust Advisor Study

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Ministry and The Marketplace

3 months ago By The Signatry

Ministry and The Marketplace  I have been inspired and challenged by the positive role models I’ve studied in the Bible and the work they did. Jesus is clearly our most inspiring and challenging exemplar, but many others also stand before us. I’ll nominate the Apostle Paul for inclusion in this group. He was a giant among the early church leaders, a brilliant theologian, church-planter and… tentmaker. He voluntarily chose to stay in the marketplace to support himself so he would not be a financial burden to the young church: “We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.” (2 Thessalonians 3:7b-8 NIV) Paul chose both ministry in the church and ministry in the marketplace to be an example for both groups.  God has designed the church leadership structure to flow through two primary channels: 1) those called to full-time ministry and 2) those that comprise a large support team of volunteer leaders that tend to work in the marketplace. Just as a bird needs two wings to fly, the church needs both groups in order to flourish and grow. Many of the volunteers coming from the marketplace need wisdom to bridge the gaps between the two cultures. Both sides need to learn how to respect the differences, resist the urge to jump to conclusions, actively listen, and act as interpreters (because at times it can feel like we’re speaking two different languages between ministry and the marketplace.)  I’ve heard the statistic that church staffing equates to approximately one full-time minister for every 100 church members. Even if we stretch that to say two per 100 members it means that 98% of the church will never be in full-time church ministry. I have a sense that Paul maintained both ministry in the marketplace and ministry in the church roles so he could serve as an example and “interpreter” to both the “2’s” and the “98’s”.  An example can be found when Paul was in Ephesus (Acts 19). For two years he split his time between making tents in the morning and preaching during the lunch hour at the “lecture hall of Tyrannus” (Acts 19:9-10). His tent-making craft required him to wear a work-apron that had pockets for his different tools. He would also tie a handkerchief around his forehead to keep the perspiration from getting in his eyes (visualize today’s bandana).  The next verse says, “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.”  (Acts 19:11)  It appears that Paul would take his lunch break and show up in his work clothes at the Lecture Hall to preach after making tents in the morning. Some of the believers would borrow his work apron and bandana so they could take them and place them on people who were too sick to get to the meeting in person. His work clothes carried enough power to heal illnesses and break the grip of evil spirits. The author of Acts, Luke, called this an “extraordinary” miracle!  I think we’d agree that all miracles are extraordinary, but this one stretches our faith in a new direction when we consider how God used Paul’s work clothes as a tool to heal and deliver people. It should speak volumes to us about the value God places on our careers. It shows that God can use people in “secular jobs” like tent-making to do very effective ministry in the marketplace. Let’s pray for a greater convergence of the ministry in the church and the ministry in the marketplace so the sum total of our combined efforts will far surpass what each group could do on their own for eternal impact.  —  “Peter Roselle is the NYC Director for Archetype Wealth Partners, a leading Wealth Advisory firm specializing in family legacy planning and advanced charitable giving strategies. Peter is a published author on the topic of Sustainable Investing and a thought-leader in the growing field of portfolio values-alignment.  Visit Archetype’s website at”  Disclaimer: Our intent in providing this material is purely for informational purposes, as of the date hereof, and may be subject to change without notice. This article does not intend to constitute accounting, legal, tax, or other professional advice. Visitors and readers should not act upon the content or information found here without first seeking appropriate advice from a trusted accountant, financial planner, lawyer or other professional.  This article was originally published on September 14, 2018. 

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