What is Faith Promise?
In Faith Promise, individual church members – including adults, young people, and children – prayerfully ask how much God would have them give to missions. Then, they make promises to give as the Lord directs. Such giving is a step of faith, trusting God to provide the resources to fulfill these commitments. The church council (usually through its missions, evangelism, or outreach committees) suggests specific missionaries, projects, or agencies for support.
How does Faith Promise work? Each church member fills out a commitment card which details the member’s monthly, quarterly, or yearly commitment. The cards ordinarily have two parts. Church members take home the signed part to remember their commitments. The unsigned part is between the giver and God. This piece of the card is collected and totaled. The sum of all the cards becomes the congregation’s missions budget for the year.
Why promote Faith Promise?
Churches that use Faith Promise testify that the excitement and vision for missions increase significantly, as does the amount of money given for missionary support. The congregation’s involvement in world evangelism grows and, through it, God is honored.
Why does Faith Promise result in increased giving for missions?
Churches that use Faith Promise cite two reasons: First, it seems that missions committees do a better job of informing the congregation about the various missionaries or projects before Faith Promise commitments are made. Second, church members tend to give and be more involved when they make personal and prayerful commitments. Faith Promise is intentional, not an afterthought.
Does Faith Promise hurt church giving?
All the studies show that Faith Promise missions giving actually enhances other church giving, especially giving to the regular budget.
How do churches collect Faith Promise?
Many churches set aside one Sunday per month as their Missions Sunday or Faith Promise Sunday. Loose offerings that Sunday go into Faith Promise. Some churches prepare special Faith Promise envelopes which they make available to the congregation. Other churches prepare regular budget envelopes which allow for multiple designations, including Faith Promise gifts.
Where to Start
As a committee, decide in advance which missionaries and/or projects you wish to support. Gather up-to-date information on these missionaries and/or projects and prepare a handout for the congregation. See this sample handout.
Prepare Faith Promise commitment cards. See this sample commitment card (feel free to edit it).
Distribute a Faith Promise packet several weeks before your Faith Promise Commitment Sunday. Include enough cards for the whole family. Provide a thorough explanation of the Faith Promise program and the handout you've prepared on the missionaries and/or projects your committee is recommending they support.
On your Faith Promise Commitment Sunday, after prayer and further explanation, ask the congregation to complete the commitment cards. Have plenty available for those who forgot to bring them from home. Collect the cards and announce the total as soon as possible.
Keep the congregation informed about the level of giving and the disbursement. Most congregations disburse their missionary support on a quarterly basis.