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Frequently Asked Questions on Faith Promise, a system of giving to missions
"They gave of themselves as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. . . . See that you also excel in this grace of giving. . . . Your plenty will supply what they need"-- II Corinthians 8:3, 7, 14
- 1. What is Faith Promise?
- Faith Promise is way of giving to world evangelism. Rather than waiting to respond to individual appeals as they come along, believers ask the Lord how much they should give to missions over the next year. They then commit to that annual total as a "Faith Promise." Faith Promise thus makes missions giving strategic rather than sporadic.
- 2. Is there a scriptural basis for Faith Promise missions giving?
- Faith Promise giving makes us channels of blessing. In His covenant with Abraham, God said that through Abraham's descendants, "all peoples of the earth would be blessed." (Genesis 12:3) Faith Promise giving is a way of handing on the blessing.
- Faith Promise giving is more than one can afford (II Corinthians 8:2-3, II Corinthians 9:6-15) [ Wartime stewardship ] [ Creative frugality ]
- Faith Promise giving reflects our personal commitments (II Corinthians 8:5)
- Though Faith Promise giving is optional, it does clearly demonstrate our love (Philippians 2:1-4; Luke 6:38, Romans 12:9-10)
- 3. Who should give to Faith Promise?
- Everyone! Children and youth may have less money than adults, but it's crucial to train them in systematic giving and faith living.
- 4. What's the relationship between Faith Promise and paying a tithe?
- Faith Promise giving is over and above the tithe. Tithing is a clear scriptural principle, dating back to the earliest pages of Genesis. Tithing recognizes God's ownership over me and all that I have.
In practical terms, tithe money runs the local church and its ministries. Faith Promise is a way for us give specifically to reaching the unreached of the world. Faith Promise giving tangibly expresses my desire that the whole world know the Good News.
- 5. How do I get the funds to fulfill my Faith Promise?
- God may increase your income.
- God may decrease your expenses.
- God may lead you to sacrifice. [ Wartime stewardship ]
- 6. Do I give my Faith Promise before I get it?
- A Faith Promise is a FAITH commitment. Promise only what you believe God wants to give through you. Then trust God to be faithful in this promise.
- Your Faith Promise involvement says that you believe:
- World evangelism is vital to accomplishing the mission of the church
- The gospel can change lives
- Giving, although important, is secondary to faith and praying
- God will help pay the amount promised
- 7. How do I make a Faith Promise?
- Study the scriptures.
- Total up your giving to world evangelism for last year.
- Increase that total by a reasonable percentage.
- Divide the total by 52 or 26 or 12 (weekly, bi-monthly or monthly) contributions) according to your individual pay schedule. [ Giving chart ]
- Prayerfully again consider the amount you can faithfully purpose to give. (II Corinthians 9:7) Do not be surprised at what God lays on your heart. Just be obedient.
- Fill out a Faith Promise Card, indicating your Faith and Promise [ see sample card ]
- 8. How do I give my Faith Promise?
- Give regularly if you can. Missionaries need regular support. Some Faith Promises, however, depend on annual, one-time income. These can be paid when those monies are received.
- 9. Is this a pledge and will I be notified of my progress?
- This is a promise to God, not a pledge to the church. Your Faith Promise amount is between you and God. No one will notify you or keep track of your progress toward your commitment.
- 10. Who can make a Faith Promise?
- Anyone who wants to trust God and who wants to be used of God to get the Good News to the unreached can make a Faith Promise commitment (Luke 6:38, Proverbs 11:24-25). Youth and children are encouraged to participate in Faith Promise giving.
- 11. How long does my Faith Promise commitment last?
- Generally, Faith Promise commitments are made once a year during a missions conference or convention. The weekly or monthly or annual commitments extend for one year from that time.
- 12. Is Faith Promise a pledge I commit to pay even if my income goes down during the year?
- Faith Promises differ from other kinds of giving such as pledges. Pledges are largely horizontal since they are made to a church or some other worthy cause. Pledges are often the basis on which a church takes out a loan to do a construction project. Faith Promise giving is more vertical, since it is made between the believer and the Lord.
- 13. Why do I have to sign my name if this is a commitment I'm making to God?
- Signing your name is optional. However, indicating name and amount allows you opportunity to express your Faith and your Promise. It is a way of saying to God: "This is me, Lord. Count on me."
- 14. What is the advantage of Faith Promise giving?
- One major advantage in giving to missions on a per week or per month basis is that you can give far more to missions that way than you can by giving one or two big sacrificial gifts per year. Faith Promise enables you to give to missions in amounts that reflect what you'd like to do. Faith Promise enables you to reach out to the unreached on a regular basis (rather than just one or two special occasions during the year).
- 15. Is Faith Promise the only way I can participate in missions giving?
- Not everyone chooses to give weekly or monthly through Faith Promise. Local churches usually offer other offering opportunities for them throughout the year. [ see suggested monthly emphases ] Those participating in Faith Promise giving may choose to give additional offerings at these times in response to the Lord's direction.
- 16. Can you suggest a theme for our Faith Promise convention?
- Choose a song title: click here
- Choose a scripture theme: click here
- Choose from a listing of others have used: click here
- 17. Are there scriptural foundations for Faith Promise?
- For me, Faith Promise is "how" I fulfill my responsibility for world evangelism. When I talk to congregations, it's not about how Faith Promise is commanded in Scripture, but how God's people are to be His instruments to take the gospel to the unreached corners of the earth. I've got a listing of passages on that subject at: http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/biblical.htm
So, the question is: How do I respond? Do I respond with that small change that's currently in my pocket? Do I respond with what I think I can "afford" on a particular Sunday. When my wife and I were first married, the church we were in raised most of its world evangelism giving in two big offerings: Easter and Thanksgiving. My wife and would suddenly realize the Easter offering was two weeks away and we would grab our checkbook. Since, like most families, we spend whatever comes in each month, there never was much there. Even when it seemed like we gave sacrificially and made out a check for every single penny in our account, the amount was never all that much. When our church moved to the Faith Promise system of missions giving and began urging us to give on a weekly or monthly basis (however we got paid), we started ratcheting our giving up to the level of giving where we really wanted to be. In fact, we now just simply double-tithe: 10% to the local church and 10% to world evangelism. That level of missions giving would have been unthinkable for us if we tried to give it all in a couple of big offerings a year.
Thus, for us, Faith Promise is simply a way of doing what we feel God wants us to do. Scripture tells us in a variety of ways that He wants us to be a giving people. He also wants us, as spiritual children of Abraham, to be involved in that Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 12 of seeing that "all nations will be blessed." Our involvement in Faith Promise grows from a very pragmatic way for us to respond to God's desire that all nations come to know Him.
Faith Promise bulletin insert by Oswald Smith
| A brief essay on Faith Promise giving by a pastor who helped popularize the concept (in Adobe Acrobat PDF format) [ see essay ]|
SNU missions course materials and syllabi
Howard Culbertson, Southern Nazarene University, 6729 NW 39th, Bethany, OK 73008 | Phone: 405-491-6693 - Fax: 405-491-6658
Copyright © 2002 - Last Updated: June 9, 2011 | URL: http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/faithfaq.htm
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Article by Howard Culbertson. For more original content like this, visit: http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert