Financial ministry ‘a question of fair balance’

January 19, 2011 | Focus On | Number 2
By Tim Wagler | MAX Canada

The mission of MAX (MutualAid eXchange)—creating and sustaining wholeness through preserving and restoring property, lives and communities—was very much in action during 2010, both in terms of MAX Canada’s Mutual Aid Ministry programs and its insurance operations.

Supported by insurance operational tithes and charitable donations, Mutual Aid offers ministry programs in partnership with constituent congregations:

  • Burden Bearing Ministry ensures spiritual and emotional support is provided during times of significant loss or trauma. Most frequently, this support is provided in consultation with and by the local faith community. Mutual Aid staff were involved in 41 opportunities in 2010, 17 of which resulted in financial grants from the MAX Canada Share Fund, a registered Canadian charity. Grants amounted to a record $23,366, with congregations partially or fully matching the Share Fund grant support.
  • Support Network Ministry provides a monthly e-mail sent to more than 6,100 recipients across North America. Its motto is, “The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know” (I Timothy 1:1, The Message). These e-mails highlight prayer concerns and requests brought to ministry staff through insurance operations, congregations or MAX members and supporters. During 2010, 50 prayer requests, as well as 15 celebratory stories of thanksgiving, were shared with readers.
  • Property and casualty insurance is primarily about restoring losses. A total of 224 insured loss claims were reported in 2010. Extreme and erratic weather patterns across Canada last year contributed to many storm damage, sewer backup and water loss claims. Added to this were 10 major home fires.

Claims severity in 2010 means that MAX Canada did not have a profitable year. Nevertheless, we celebrate that we were able to fulfill our mission and restore wholeness to members who experienced insured losses, while maintaining a healthy balance sheet. Insurance, after all, involves using the premiums of the many to provide funds for the losses of the few who unfortunately experience them.

The $1.14 million in new business premiums during 2010 set a record. This growth resulted in year-end in-force premiums totalling $7.5 million from 7,190 insured members from Ontario to British Columbia.

The words of the Apostle Paul always resonate with us at MAX Canada: “I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance
(I Corinthians  8: 13-14).

Tim Wagler is president and chief executive officer of MAX Canada.

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