The missionary faith promise offering is a method of giving to fund a local church’s missionary endeavors. Members of a local church, individuals or families, follow this plan to give consistently and orderly to missions. First, you pray and ask God how much he wants you to give to missions. Second, you make a promise to God by faith to give a certain amount, in certain increments and for a certain amount of time. Third, each month you plan and trust God to supply your “faith promise offering” and give it according to the frequency you chose (weekly, monthly, yearly), along with your other regular offerings. As you are encouraged by God to give, know that He also supplies the gifts, and you are trusting God to take care of your needs, for the Bible says, “he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”
2 Corinthians 9:6-10
The New Testament Paradigm For Giving Applied To Missions
- The missionary faith promise offering is not a “specific command” in the Bible. Still, it is a “method of giving” derived from Biblical principles that help believers be more intentional about their giving to missions. It follows the same principles of the New Testament paradigm for giving but focusing on giving specifically towards missions.
- The New Testament paradigm for giving is generous grace giving. This resembles the Old Testament freewill offerings. Its principles are as follows: complementary—a balance between the spiritual and material workings within the church; proportional—the amount is given is “within” our financial ability and “sacrificially beyond” depending on God to provide the means to give (by faith); regular—a pattern to follow so that we can excel in our giving; cheerful—a joy because it is a privilege and not an obligation; honest—the process of dealing with money that is given through the church needs to be done in an accountable way, so there would be no reason for criticism.
2 Corinthians 8:1-3; 8-24; 9:1-15; 1 Corinthians 16:2-4
- The principles of generous grace giving are applied to missions and are formed into a plan to support the Lord’s mission around the world: complementary—we give to missionaries and pastors to take the gospel to places we can’t go, and they minister on our behalf; proportional—we make a commitment to give to missions from what we have, but also try to sacrifice so we can do more, give by faith, trusting in God to provide for our giving and to care for us along the way; regular—we can give monthly or weekly, but we choose a pattern to follow so that we can be faithful in our giving; cheerful—we don’t “have to” give to missions, we “get to” give to missions so other can hear of Jesus; honest—everything is done orderly and truthfully with accountability.
- New Testament Motivation: The missionary faith promise offering isn’t given out of obligation or command, but out of love and done all for the glory of God!
1 Corinthians 10:31; 2 Corinthians 8:8; 9:7
Other Biblical Principles And Practical Applications
2 Corinthians 8-9
- The missionary faith promise offering is a voluntary offering given to the Lord’s great commission work around the world so that we can be a blessing to others. We are blessed to be a blessing. This life’s greatest blessing is knowing Jesus. Biblical Principle: We are to eagerly and enthusiastically be willing to give to God’s work. But were aren’t only to desire to give, but match our desire with our giving. The Bible says, “Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.” Practical Application: Do you desire to give so that the world can be evangelized? If so, will you voluntarily and enthusiastically choose to give to this missions program?
2 Corinthians 8:8-15
- The missionary faith promise offering is a promise by faith to give a certain amount of money as an offering for missions for a certain period of time. At the end of that period of time, a new commitment is made. Biblical Principle: You can see a time frame when Paul is talking to the Corinthians. He refers to “A year ago”—meaning a year before they were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so, and then he encourages them to complete or finish that giving they had originally planned. Practical Application: “One year” seems like a reasonable time to promise to give a certain amount of money towards missions (for example, I promise by faith to give $500 each week for one year). After that year is up, you can reevaluate your giving, increase your faith, and, Lord willing, give more for the following year. (Note: Once a year, the local church should have a “Missionary Faith Promise Sunday” to make new commitments for the following year.)
2 Corinthians 8:10-11; 9:2
- The missionary faith promise offering is given alongside your other offerings that are part of the firstfruits of your increase. Biblical Principal: Giving to God should be a priority. Giving goes against our sinful nature of selfishness, but believers are to be selfless and generous givers. God even offers to bless us for obedience. Practical Application: Each month, we should first take the amount we promised and give it or lay it aside to be given when needed. This protects against spending everything and having nothing left to give or only having a little leftover to give. Each week, before you come to church, make it a priority to prepare your missionary faith promise offering so that you can give it joyfully and consistently.
Proverbs 3:9-10; 11:24; Luke 6:38; 1 Corinthians 16:2
Practical Wisdom, Good Judgment And Common Sense
- The missionary faith promise offering is an offering that is above and beyond your normal giving or tithe. It shouldn’t replace it, but it is in addition to it and given alongside it.
- The missionary faith promise offering is not designated to be given to just one missionary or organization, but it is used to support different missionary families, missions organizations, and the missions mobilization and outreach efforts of the local church. Our goal is to support those who are evangelizing the lost, establishing local churches, and equipping national leadership. The distribution of these funds is agreed upon by the local church.
- The missionary faith promise offering is not a pledge. It is not a legally binding agreement. But it is a promise or vow which is encouraged in the Bible.
Ecclesiastes 5:4-5; Psalm 76:11
- The missionary faith promise offering is a decision made between you (or your family unit) and the Lord. No one will have knowledge of your decisions, nor will anyone come and collect this offering from you. You cheerfully decided in your heart to give by faith for world evangelism.
2 Corinthians 9:7-8
- The missionary faith promise offering should include every member of the family. Parents and children all need to be involved in giving and watching God provide as the family gives to spread the gospel worldwide. Your heart follows your treasure. We want to raise children whose hearts are consumed with making Jesus known around the world!
- The missionary faith promise offering should include two promises: First, you commit your life to take the gospel to the world. Second, in dependence upon God, you will endeavor to make a faith promise to contribute to world evangelism.
Mark 16:15; 2 Corinthians 8:4-5
- What is the three-step plan of the missionary faith promise offering?
- What is the New Testament Paradigm for giving? What are its principles?
- How are the principles of generous grace-giving applied to missions?
- What are some Biblical principles and practical applications?
- What are some practical wisdom, good judgment, and common sense?