Faith Promise for World Missions

Systematic giving for world evangelism

PowerPoint: Missions Giving Through Faith Promise

Questions and answers: Raising money for missions

"The number one factor that leads to God's blessing and revival is radical generosity!" -- Bill Johnson

Is it important that we give regularly by the week or month?

For most of us . . . yes. Most wage earners find it easier to give weekly or monthly rather than in occasional large lump sums. Regular giving also helps us remember to pray for world evangelism. [ more on prayer ]

Are Faith Promises pledges?

No. A Faith Promise is not a pledge. Faith Promise is also not a tithe; it is an offering of thanks. It is an agreement with God to participate in Kingdom work worldwide through giving beyond the tithe. The amount is determined after earnest prayer.

If Faith Promise is systematic giving to missions that become part of a person's weekly or monthy financial budget, where is the sense of joyful sacrifice in it?

The joy is in seeing the needs supplied, hearing what is happening through the Church around the world, and and in realizing that we have entered into a partnership with God that will have effects for eternity.

C.S. Lewis said it well: "The only safe rule is to give more than we can spare."

Sample Faith Promise commitment card

Here's a sample of wording for a response card (sometimes called pledge cards) that can be used during a local church Faith Promise missionary convention. This particular card was printed front and back on a 4¼ x 5½ card.

(Printed on the front of card)

My Faith Promise for world missions

In sacred trust and total dependence, I choose to give by faith so the world may know God's grace, experience His love and surrender to His Lordship. I am trusting God to enable me to:

I understand that my Faith Promise commitment (the amount I'm promising to give) is for the 2021-22 church year.

Please fill out this card and write the total yearly amount you plan to give in the space below.

Total to be given in one year ________(see chart)

Check method of contribution: ___ Weekly    ___ Monthly    ___ Lump sum payment

Name: ___________________________________________________

(Printed on the back of card)

What regular, systematic giving will accomplish

A weekly gift of . . .   
$ 5
equals yearly   
A monthly gift of . . .   
$ 10
equals yearly   

Print this card

This card is available in PDF format.

Sample of another card

Check out this card used by The Fellowship at Western Oaks Church of the Nazarene in Oklahoma City.

Oswald Smith, pastor of People's Church in Toronto, Canada, publicized the phrase "Faith Promise" to describe his asking the people of his congregation to make an annual financial and prayer commitment or pledge to world evangelism. The idea was born from his own experience of feeling that God was asking him to give more than he thought he could.

Front of sample Faith Promise commitment card

Faith Promise commitment card sample

Back of sample Faith Promise commitment card

Faith Promise commitment card sample

How does a church go about calculating a Faith Promise goal?

Your total Faith Promise goal depends on what items you put into your church's Faith Promise budget.

Some churches set Faith Promise budgets with different levels to inspire people to give sacrificially. The bottom level is the bare minimum that will be needed. The second level will enable the congregation to give to specific needs and projects. Then, the highest level will help fund some mission trips and other things. Here is what a three-level Faith Promise budget from one church looked like:

Faith Promise

Some goal possibilities for this year

Level: Takin' care of responsibilities

$8800 Fulfilling our World Evangelism Fund commitment to fund outreach, discipleship and leadership training ministries in 165 countries

Level: An offering of praise

The above plus . . .

$600 Faith Promise weekend expenses, including speaker honorarium

$350 District NMI budget

$350 Missionary speakers on home assignment who speak in our church

$300 World Evangelism Broadcast offering

$275 3% Overpayment of World Evangelism Fund (goes to open new countries)

$1000 Offering which district asks us to give to missionary speaker at fall district tour

Level: Isn't God awesome?

All the above plus . . .

$3000 Local Hispanic outreach ($1,000 per month for three months)

$1000 Support for church members going on mission trips (Work and Witness, Youth in Mission, MissionCorps)

What will your part be?

More examples of churches' Faith Promise budgets: Example 1        |        Example 2

"The present global financial situation is a good opportunity for us to examine our ways, to repent of our greed and wastefulness, and to reassess our stewardship practices. However, it is also an excellent opportunity for us to demonstrate faith and trust in God's radical generosity. We do this by giving freely, not withholding or hoarding. God delights in a cheerful giver because He is a cheerful giver. As we trust Him, we become like Him!" -- Daniel Psaute, Nazarene missionary

World Missions Faith Promise FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions on Faith Promise, a system of giving to global evangelism outreach

"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"-- 2 Corinthians 8:3, 7, 14

Common questions

1. What is Faith Promise?

Faith Promise is a way of systematically supporting world evangelism efforts. 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." Thus, making a Faith Promise commitment turns giving to global missions into something strategic rather than sporadic, spur-of-the-moment.

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.
3. Who should give to Faith Promise?

Everyone! Children and youth may have less money than adults, but training them in systematic giving and faith living is crucial.

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 to give specifically to reaching the unreached of the world. Faith Promise tangibly expresses my desire for the whole world to 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, and then trust God to be faithful in supplying your needs (Philippians 4:19).

Your Faith Promise involvement says that you believe:
  1. World evangelism is vital to accomplishing the mission of the church
  2. The gospel can change lives
  3. Giving, although important, is secondary to faith and praying
  4. God will help pay the amount promised
7. How do I decide how much my Faith Promise should be?
8. How do I give the money for 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 by 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 for 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 your name and amount allows you 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 (at least that's the experience of our family). Faith Promise enables you to give to missions in amounts that reflect what you'd like to do but probably could not in just one or two big annual offerings. Faith Promise enables you to give to missions in amounts that reflect what you'd like to do but could not in just one or two big annual offerings.

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

Choose a scripture theme

Choose from what others have used

17. Are there scriptural foundations for Faith Promise?

Faith Promise is the "how" of fulfilling a significant part of 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. Check out this listing of passages.

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 contributions in two big offerings: Easter and Thanksgiving. My wife and I 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, Faith Promise has simply been 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 people in all nations (or people groups) come to know Him.

"Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you." Luke 6:38

A productive investment of world missions money

Pierre Madsen went to St. Michel de l'Attalaye fresh out of Haiti's Nazarene Bible College. Pierre had gone to that Haitian town with the challenge of planting a new church.

To fund the church planting project, the Haiti North Central District offered Pierre $100 per month. This monthly subsidy from the World Evangelism Fund would last a maximum of three years. That meant that within three years, Pierre had to find a way to support himself, his family, and the new congregation.

It would not be easy. As Pierre rode in the back of a truck into St. Michel for the first time, he knew th at he and his new wife would face some lonely days. The district superintendent had told him that, as far as he knew. Pierre and his wife would be the first Nazarenes to live in that valley. Pierre would not have the advantage of a core of longtime Nazarenes transferring from nearby congregations to help him. He would be starting from "scratch" with only three years of minimal financial help.

Haiti's extreme poverty would make reaching total self-support in 36 months a difficult goal to reach. As Pierre and his wife went to St. Michel de l'Attalaye, they were clearly taking a step of faith.

Six years went by. Then one day, I saw Pierre walking across the Haiti Nazarene Bible College campus. He had come to the capital city to complete paperwork for a government license for his church's elementary school. I recognized him and walked over to where he was talking with some students.

"How's it going, Pierre?" I asked.

"Oh," he said rather matter-of-factly, "OK."

He paused. Then a smile lit up his face. "Well," he said, "Actually, it's going really well! Our elementary school is about to get a government license. Exciting as that is, it's only part of what the Holy Spirit has been doing. Not long ago," he said, "a registered nurse found the Lord at our altar. With her help, we started a small medical dispensary. So we're saving souls and also healing bodies. Then, the biggest news of all is that the Lord has enabled us to start five other churches in the surrounding mountains. God has so used us to transform lives and situations in that valley that people have begun to call it 'Nazarene Valley.' "

"What a bargain," I thought to myself as Pierre finished his story. Six churches, a school, and a dispensary -- all for a three-year investment of $100 per month. That particular World Evangelism Fund investment paid some impressive dividends.

Because you gave!

Ideas for a faith promise sermon or even a sermon series on missions

Faith Promise bulletin insert by Oswald Smith

next A brief essay on Faith Promise giving by a pastor who promoted the concept

    -- Howard Culbertson,

Need decorating stuff for a missions dinner or event?

Liven up your missions conference events. How about some Chinese fortune cookies with scripture verses inside or paper place-mats which a particular nation theme?

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