For the last two years, Brighton Fellowship CRC (Brighton, ON), has increased their budget for missions by 12 times the amount it had raised in previous years! So what prompted this change in commitment? The church began to use Faith Promise giving.
In Faith Promise, individual church members prayerfully ask how much God would have them give to missions for the upcoming year. Then, they make promises to give as the Lord directs. The church council (usually through its missions, evangelism, or outreach committees) suggests specific missionaries, projects, or agencies for support.
Henrietta Indewey, who coordinates the Faith Promise program at Brighton Fellowship along with her husband, shared several reasons why she thinks this alternative way of giving has helped members of her church feel more connected to missions.
A Renewed Commitment with God
First and foremost, Faith Promise teaches church members to trust God and seek His will. After a time of prayer and discernment, members write their commitment on two pieces of paper—an anonymous one for the offering plate and another for the individual to sign and take home as a daily reminder.
“It becomes a commitment between the giver and God,” said Henrietta, “a personal vow to give to missions.”
More Frequent Giving
In the past, Brighton Fellowship had four special offerings for missions each year. Today they have a special Faith Promise offering every first Sunday of the month. The church chose to put these offerings toward supporting the ministry of a Christian Reformed World Missions missionary as well as local ministries in Brighton.
“People really got into the habit of remembering,” said Henrietta. “In the past, if you didn’t read about the mission offering in the bulletin the week before, you wouldn’t be able to give extra.”
Increased Missions Awareness
With an increased number of offerings under Faith Promise, people are sensing a more personal connection to their own role in missions, even if it’s taking place on the other side of the world.
“It’s a very intentional way of helping us remember that missionaries are out on the mission field,” said Henrietta. “Remembering this makes you want to give more to them and helps you remember to pray for them.”
Everyone Gets Involved
Faith Promise isn’t just for the adults. Many children at Brighton Fellowship also take part in the process of praying for God’s guidance in their commitment to missions giving.
“Children will set aside some of their money or do extra chores as a way of partnering with missionaries,” said Henrietta.
Does your church use Faith Promise giving? Share more tips that help this way of giving to stay fresh. If you are interested in starting this form of commitment, contact Trish DeJong in Canada ([email protected]) or Marcea Holtrop in the United States ([email protected]).