As we approach Faith Promise Sunday, take a moment to read this excerpt written by our very own Dr. Loran McAlister from our “Essential” conference magazine.
Faith Promise Defined. Faith Promise Missions is a plan for regular, purposeful giving above the tithe to the missionary ministry of our church. A commitment is made for weekly or monthly giving for one year and is renewed at the annual mission conference of the church.
Faith Promise is Scriptural. Faith Promise is not a man-made scheme to raise money. Paul commends this form of giving to the churches of Macedonia in 2 Corinthians 8-10. The Faith Promise offering is giving above the tithe and regular offerings. Paul tells the Corinthians they should first learn to give what they have before they can give what they do not have. (2 Corinthians 8:12). There are many passages in the Bible which illustrate the principles of giving by faith. One of the greatest of these is the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel chapter 1.
Faith Promise ought to be motivated by love. 2 Corinthians 8:8 tells us to prove the sincerity of our love through this type of giving.
Faith Promise giving at Cherry Street Baptist Church is for missions. In 2 Corinthians 10:15-16, Paul teaches the key to preaching the Gospel in the regions beyond you (missions) is an increase in faith.
Faith Promise builds stronger Christians. Those who have participated in Faith Promise know that the value to them personally is greater than the value to their church. It teaches individuals to step out by faith. It also teaches them to look for and expect God to work in their lives on a daily basis. While it does provide funds for missions, it does far more for the giver.
Faith Promise is between the individual and God. The promise is not made to the church. The promise is not made to the pastor. The promise is not made to the missionary. The Faith Promise is made to God.
Faith promise teaches dependence upon God. The promise is made to God because He has burdened our heart to get involved. When He moves on our heart, God also moves to provide what we need for our Faith Promise. Luke 6:38
Faith Promise is dependent upon prayer. A true Faith Promise commitment will not be made until after time has been spent alone with God, seeking His leadership and direction as to the amount to promise. Not doing so may lead to a promise made in foolishness, not in faith.
Faith Promise offerings are normally not designated. The money is given through the local church and there should be enough trust in church leadership to allow them to make the decisions concerning the dispersal of the gifts.
Faith Promise is based upon God’s ability, not ours. Paul wrote about how the Macedonians gave beyond their own power (2 Corinthians 8:3). The classic story about Hannah in 1 Samuel 1 reinforces this great truth.
Faith Promise giving works. I personally do not know of anything that has impacted my spiritual life more than giving by faith. It has taught me to live by faith. Once I learned and applied the biblical principles I began to see God work in my life. I have spoken at a multitude of Faith Promise conferences. I can do so with the confidence that what God has done in my life through Faith Promise He can and will do in the lives of others.