Faith Promise Missions is a step of faith whereby you simply seek the Lord’s will, in faith, trusting Him to provide a monetary offering above and beyond your tithe to give to World Missions. Each month you trust the Lord for the amount you desire to give towards your yearly commitment. It is exciting to see what the Lord can do as we trust Him to provide the money to support our missionaries each month. Faith Promise giving is designated to the church missions fund and not necessarily to a specific missionary.
During our Mission Conference, we will pass out cards to make your Faith Promise commitment for the coming year. When ready, you fill out your card with the amount promised, without your name, and drop it into the offering plate.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
By Ray Shepherd
1. What is the Faith Promise for Missions Offering?
Answer: It is a financial offering to the missionaries of a given church.
2. Who gives this money?
Answer: It is not limited to members. Any Christian may give.
3. Is it like a pledge, which some churches take to raise money for buildings?
Answer: No! In this church, no one knows what you give (except the treasurer, who gives you a receipt for tax purposes). It is a promise between you and the Lord. No one will send you a note if you do not turn in the promised amount.
4. How does one decide on the amount to promise to give to the Lord for missions?
Answer: By prayer and Bible study, the Lord will lead you to a specific figure. Many suggest that you begin your thinking about the amount by going beyond your tithe. The tithe can be given to the church to keep the “home base” going; that which is beyond the tithe can be sent to the field. There is no Scripture injunction telling you to do it this way – It just seems practical to do it this way, and numbers of people testify that the Lord does bless this approach.
5. Where does one find the Faith Promise for Missions in the Bible?
Answer: There is one example of this principle being used in 2 Cor. 8:9. The Macedonians were commended by the Holy Spirit (through Paul) for giving to meet the needs of the saints in Jerusalem (8:1-5). They gave, not what they could give, but beyond that, they gave what they could NOT give! “For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift…” (Underlining mine). Further, they “first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.” The Holy Spirit urged the Corinthians to acquire “the same grace also.” (8:6,7) it must be noted that this was apparently a one time offering, not like the year-by-year offering we give at our church. But the principle of giving themselves first to the Lord, and then trusting (implied), the Lord to enable them to give beyond their ability is taught in this passage. In 8:12, 13, the Holy Spirit instructs them that they were not expected to meet all the needs by themselves; the burden would be spread around by the Lord. But, they could expect the Lord to enable them to give beyond that which would be considered “normal.”
6. Is it possible to designate some or all of the money I give to the Faith Promise for a specific missionary?
Answer: No. The distribution of that which comes into the Faith Promise for Missions is decided by the whole church. Of course, one is free to designate gifts through the regular church offerings, so long as that mission or missionary has the approval of the church. Consult the Board if you have any question concerning a gift.
7. What happens if I promise an amount, which I later feel I cannot give?
Answer: This is between you and the Lord, period. If He accepts your reason, you’re free. If you are careful through prayer and meditation in the Word of God to discern the will of the Lord for the amount before you turn in your promise, you will not likely face this situation.
8. How exactly do I pray to find out how much I should promise to the Faith Promise for Missions?
Answer: Just ask the Lord to show you through prayer and mediation in the Bible, the amount of money that HE IS GOING TO ENABLE YOU TO GIVE TO THE FAITH PROMISE FOR MISSIONS FOR THE COMING YEAR. Remember, it is not an amount that you “can spare.” It is an amount which the Lord is going to enable you to give back to Him week by week (or month by month) in the coming year. HE WILL SUPPLY IT. HE WILL GIVE IT TO YOU SO THAT YOU CAN GIVE IT TO THE FAITH PROMISE.
9. Is it possible to promise to give too much?
Answer: Yes. One can be presumptuous and run ahead of the Lord just as easily as he can fall behind in unbelief. But, you face this dilemma in anything you do for the Lord. The solution is to walk closely with Him, spend time in the Word and in prayer, and TRUST HIM to lead you. He will do it. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Heb. 11:6 Happily, He is trustworthy, so you need not shrink back in unbelief. TRUST HIM!
10. Isn’t all this adding fuel to those who claim that churches are too much concerned with getting “money, money, money,” and thereby turning many people away from the church?
Answer: We do not make decisions in our Christian lives by what others say of us, or what they think the Bible says. We go by what the Lord shows us in His Word as we pray and trust Him to lead us by His Holy Spirit. The Bible says, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9) And, in describing this “grace,” He (through Paul) commands us to: “see that ye abound in this grace also.” (2 Cor. 8:7) If we were raising money to build a costly sanctuary, or to build a reputation for ourselves, we might feel guilty. But we give this money solely for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave all for us, and who continues to give abundantly to us so that we might have plenty to give back to Him!
11. How will this money be handled?
Answer: VERY CAREFULLY! Our treasurer (who, by the way, is the only person who will know the amount you give) keeps complete records of All MONEY GIVEN TO THE CHURCH, AND POSTS A DETAILED REPORT (with no names, of course) of all that is given, and how it was spent. You are welcome to read these reports or to have your own copy. Simply ask the treasurer for a copy.
Pastor’s Note: Pastor Ray Shepherd gave the above position paper to me some years ago for our use. I believe it to be the standard policy for a “Faith Promise” program by most churches utilizing the faith promise offerings for missions. –Pastor Horst Trojahn
Faith Promise Giving Policy
- Faith Promise giving is put in the Mission Fund and tagged as ‘Faith Promise’.
- Each month Faith Promise offerings are dispersed from the beginning of an ordered list of missionaries as offerings allow.
- Remaining Faith Promise offerings < $100 are carried over to the next month.
- Transfer 10% or just $100 from the General Fund to the Missions Fund and tag as ‘Faith Promise’.
- Designations to an individual missionary may supplement a Faith Promise supported missionary.