Brackenhurst Baptist Church is passionate about missions, and the highlight of the church’s calendar is the annual missions conference (known as the World Outreach Celebration or WOC). The purpose of this conference is to strengthen the church’s vision for God’s mission, which is to secure the worldwide fame of his name by the proclamation of his gospel and the discipling of the nations, resulting in the extension of his kingdom. His kingdom will be consummated one day when his will is fully and finally done on earth as it is in heaven. This is truly cause for worldwide celebration.
BBC is passionate about practical involvement in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18–20). Of course, this requires funding. The church’s missions ministry is funded primarily through a “faith promise commitment.” Newer members may be unfamiliar with how this works and may benefit from a brief explanation. Five things must be said about the faith promise.
First, the faith promise is a financial pledge raised from the membership of BBC for the support of outreach and missions. The church has nowhere to look but to itself for missions funding. God has provided for BBC through BBC over the past four decades, and there is every reason to believe that he will continue to do so for decades to come.
Second, these funds are promised by the members of BBC. During WOC, members are asked to meditate on the word preached and to pray about what God will have them to give toward the missions ministry of the church. On the last day of WOC, at the end of the final service, each member (or member family) is asked to complete a provided card stating how much they will commit, on a monthly basis, for the coming year, to give toward the missions focus of the church. (It is important for budgeting purposes to state the monthly amount rather than an annual amount.) The card has no space for a name because the commitment is between the member (or member family) and God. While the church has already approved a missions budget, proposed by the elders, the received pledges, when added together, reflect the actual monthly amount that forms the church’s missions budget. The goal is for the pledge to match the approved budget. (If the pledge exceeds the budget, we praise God for the excess funds, which will be wisely and prayerfully utilised for missions and outreach purposes.)
Third, these funds are promised and given by faith. Christians give out of what they have, not out of what they do not have (2 Corinthians 8:8–15). As we look at our income, we wisely determine what we can sacrifice for the cause of missions, and then we give that amount monthly, trusting God to supply the needs that our sacrificial giving has caused (see Philippians 4:11–19). That is why it is called a faith promise offering.
Fourth, this commitment is made over and above one’s regular tithe. All funds received via faith promise are directed to missions and outreach purposes; none of the funds support the general expenses of the church. We sacrifice, beyond our regular giving, for the cause of missions and trust God to resupply where we, by faith, have created a need in our lives. Of course, some members in particular financial need will not be able to contribute beyond their regular tithe. Such members should not feel guilty about their providential inability to support the faith promise offering. At the same time, it must be acknowledged that the Great Commission is the church’s responsibility and so, unless providentially hindered, church members should ordinarily contribute toward this fund.
Fifth, and finally, for administrative purposes, please note that, if you contribute via EFT, there are separate banking accounts for missions and general giving, noted each week on the back of the bulletin. Faith promise commitments should be paid into the missions account and clearly labelled “faith promise” or “missions.” Cash placed into the Sunday offering should be clearly marked as “faith promise” to separate it from general giving. The offering envelopes supplied by the church provide space for this. Sunday offering is allocated according to designations on the offering envelopes.
As you prepare for WOC, be in much prayer concerning what you should give, sacrificially, towards the fulfilment of the Great Commission outreach of BBC. Read and meditate on passages like Psalm 117 and consider God’s passionate purpose for hallowing his name by discipling the nations through the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). The task before us is unfinished and we have the great privilege of being a part of seeing it brought closer to completion. Let us sacrifice to that end.
If you require any further clarity regarding the faith promise offering, or any related questions, please do not hesitate to contact one of the elders.