Tag Archives: faith promise missions

Faith Promise

Faith Promise Card

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Rather than have a centralized mission board like other denominations use, fundamentalists have at last count one and a half bajillion missions boards — most of which are located in an around the South-Eastern United States. Greenville, South Carolina alone has more missions agencies than there are new countries created from the former USSR. There are also some fundy missionaries forgo using a mission board all together, deciding rather to go to the field without the help (or training) of a missions agency. Missionary school? I don’t need no stinkin’ missionary school!

Since there is no requirement that fundamentalist churches contribute to any given person or organization, it’s up to each congregation to decide how much they want to give. In many fundy churches they do this by a process called “Faith Promise.” Basically this involves each person making a wild guess and then putting God on the hook for the funds. Promising to give more money than I can afford and assuming that God will make up the shortfall is apparently a great act of faith. Are you a retiree on social security? Go ahead an pledge $1000 per month. I’m sure God’s good for it.

Based on these guesses, the church puts together its budget for missionary support and promises missionaries that they will be sent a certain amount each month — with no guarantee that they will, in fact, be able to pay it. This is called “living by faith” and allegedly gives the missionary great spiritual maturity and more than a few ulcers when paying his bills.

It’s strange that pastors don’t operate their salaries on this same principle by giving away all the church budget and only living on the extra that God brings in. There’s a fine line between faith and foolishness.