January 28, 2014

Investing in youth. Our kids get it!

Every day, the Mission Investment Fund’s Regional Manager LuAnn Ferguson touts the benefits of MIF’s investment products as she meets with customers in her territory—the congregations, ministries and synods of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

It’s no surprise, then, that she has an MIF4KIDZ account in place for her 10-year-old son Connor—and that she makes sure to communicate the importance of investing in MIF.

“I told Connor: Before, your savings were in the bank. Then I asked him: Do you know where your money is now?”

MIF’s regional manager mom answered her own question: “With your MIF4KIDZ account, you’re helping more people know moreabout Jesus. Your money is helping to build the church.”

The MIF4KIDZ account is designed as a savings tool for youth from birth to age 16. Additions can be made up to maturity, and the investments mature on the youth’s 18th birthday— just in time for college or the purchase of big-ticket expenses like travel or a car.

Connor responded positively. He asked his mom to tell him more about the churches and ministries that MIF helps grow. He wanted to hear the stories of MIF loans at work in congregations—and how those loans build sanctuaries, classrooms for Bible study, soup kitchens, food pantries and more. “Mom, that is so cool,” he responded. “It’s so cool that more people know about Jesus because of my savings and your work.”

It wasn’t long before Connor had the opportunity to experience one of the churches that is expanding with the help of an MIF loan. Ferguson brought her son along for a visit to First Lutheran Church in Little Falls, Minnesota, where an MIF loan helped the church create an updated, brighter sanctuary. Connor’s eyes widened and a smile spread across his face as he entered the revitalized space. “Now I can see my money in action,” he said. “This is a great thing!”

Ferguson is delighted that she was able to play a role in her son’s epiphany. “Christ was clearly working in me as a mom to teach my son to be a wise steward of his finances,” she says. “Now Connor has a stronger connection to his church and a greater appreciation for sharing the good news of Jesus with others. It’s wonderful to have the ability to help nurture the seed in a child. It is our responsibility to help teach the next generation.

“It’s so important for kids to connect with the church.”

And while Connor still has many years before his MIF4KIDZ account matures, being the thoughtful 10-year-old that he is, he’s thinking ahead. How might he apply those funds? “I’ll use my MIF4KIDZ account savings to help with college tuition,” he says. Connor is slated for a “good college,” he says confidently, “like MIT.”