October 27, 2015

A congregation’s MIF4KIDZ gift at Baptism

For most families, when the sacrament of Baptism is administered, it lives on in spirit and in memory. The pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, has found a way to celebrate that sacrament and keep it alive for the baptized children, the congregation and the entire Lutheran church for years to come.

“Whenever we baptize one of our little ones, we open up a $50 MIF4KIDZ account in their name and turn it over to the parents,” says the Rev. Ron Bock, pastor of the congregation. “Then the child and the investment can grow up together.”

The Mission Investment Fund’s MIF4KIDZ account is a special savings account intended for children, aged 16 or younger. It steadily appreciates over time, and matures on the child’s 18th birthday—just in time to help pay for college expensesor other big-ticket items, such as a car or travel. In the meantime, that money is constantly working to help build the Lutheran church.

“When we talk to parents and the congregation, we say that Baptism begins our mission in Christ. Of course, there’s not a lot that a baby can do, and yet we’re saying, ‘They are doing something. With this MIF account, they’re helping to build congregations around the country. Their mission begins now.’ ”

Fifty dollars may be the minimum investment for an MIF4KIDZ account, but according to Pastor Bock, it’s not about the numbers— it’s a seed, a symbol of ministry and good stewardship, which adds a new dimension to the sacrament of Baptism and paves the way for wise planning.

“We often hear comments from the family of the baptized, who want to know what the MIF4KIDZ account means for them. And we tell them that they can contribute to the account themselves,” the pastor says. “The more money that goes into these accounts, the more money gained when the child turns 18, which they can use for all sorts of things—particularly college. But also, more money means a bigger contribution we’re making to the Lutheran church, and the more we’re doing to help build God’s kingdom. And that’s one of the coolest programs I know.

“I remember when we first started this tradition,” he recalls. “I had some money that I had inherited from my mother, and I thought it would be a great fit for what my mom was about. And it’s taken off really well—it’s really rewarding to see par- ents’ eyes light up when we tell them all the good their account is going to do. When people visit from other congregations, they ask how they can do something like this, too.

“It’s such a great feeling to see this idea, which started with a little money from my mother, grow
into this amazing tradition. Even a single MIF4KIDZ account can make a difference. And when you multiply that by all the Baptisms we’ve performed, I feel blessed that I can be a part of that, and I know this congregation does, too.”