What is Faith Promise? Faith Promise is how we support our field workers workers and projects. Every year during the Faith Promise campaign we ask our members to spend time before the Lord and ask Him how much He wants to provide through them to bless our field workers. Then we ask folks to fill out the Faith Promise Commitment Card and hand them into our office. We do not call these commitments "pledges" because that makes it sound like we are "keeping track" and ready to pounce on you if you "get behind." Your commitment is between you and the Lord. This whole thing is a faith experience for all of us—for you, for our Global office, and for our field workers.
Is there a Biblical basis for faith promise? Yes, there is and you can find it in an example Paul provides in 1 Cor. 8:1-7. Here are few excerpted verses: "…they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability…they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will…see that you also excel in this grace of giving." They sought the Lord first and then, by faith, gave beyond their ability. God actually helped them do more than they thought they were capable of. They had to decide to "live by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:17.)"
How does Belmont define "missions?" We use the term missions more narrowly than some others do. For us, "missions" means sharing the gospel with someone from another culture where not much is known about Jesus. For us, the term "ministry" could be used in one sense to describe sharing the gospel with someone from our own culture or with someone from a culture that already has information about Jesus. We love ministry the way I just described it, but our missions funds are targeted to cultures who have never known about Jesus.
Where do Belmont Church field workers come from? The vast majority have come from within the ranks of the church membership. All of these folks have spent time serving in our midst in a variety of ways. Our newest field workers have all been active leaders of community groups and other Belmont ministry activities. This is where we expect prospective new field workers to begin serving—right from the center of our ministries here in Nashville, like Isaiah 58 and our other ministries. How about our field workers from other countries? All of our Faith Promise field workers born in another country have been sovereignly connected to us by God in a variety of ways. Those folks include Yousif Matti, Martin Arroyo, Naomi Carney, David Omalla, Nihad, Avishalom Teklehaimanot and Lata Lincoln. All of these people are very special servants of God.
Can I designate my contribution to specific field workers? There is no need to designate your Faith Promise contribution to a specific field workers because it does not affect how much regular, monthly support they receive. In the same way, if you move away from Nashville and join another church, we do not deduct what your support had been from the field workers’s support. They receive an amount determined by both the whole pool of Faith Promise money we receive, as well as consideration to their specific situation. This way we can help those field workers who do not have many designations and we can also build up a storehouse for the special and emergency needs of our field workers as well.
How do you decide how much to give to each field workers? Each field workers is asked to submit a budget for all of their expenses before they even leave Nashville. Then every six months they report on how they have spent their money. We also ask them to give us updates on inflation in their country and on the exchange rate of the US dollar to the currency they use on the field. Not every field workers receives the same compensation. Those who are under our direction and supervision and working in the areas of our missions focus receive more financial support than those not under our direction or those working in another area of ministry focus. All are loved and tended to, but not everyone is paid the same.
What about giving special gifts of money to my favorite field workers? When there are special needs, our field workers are supposed to let us know immediately so that we can help. A successful Faith Promise program has meant that over the years we have funded many special things for the field workers without having to raise money in extra offerings or special gifts. Your consistent and regular giving to Faith Promise funds daily operations, and most special projects and even some of the emergency needs of the field workers. When there are special needs beyond these things, we will let our church know.
What is Belmont’s Global focus? Our primary focus areas are the Jewish world, the Islamic world, the Native American world, and certain other parts of the unreached world as well as international students and other internationals here in Nashville. We want to take the gospel and disciple people and nations in areas that have never really heard about Jesus and who have little or no internal resource to help bring the Kingdom of God into their midst. Our field workers are involved in a number of different professional and ministry activities in their respective host cultures.
How does Belmont decide which field workers to support? Sometimes we have some hard choices to make in deciding where to allocate whatever Faith Promise dollars we have. Thus far the Lord has honored our decisions to stay in our focus areas—we have had a lot of great fruit over the years, from some very tough places in the world. Let me just say this: all believers working cross-culturally for the Kingdom are to be honored. But not every good or great thing done cross-culturally is necessarily a priority for Belmont Church missions support. Let me give you an example: A dramatist wants to be a Christian street mime in Spain and evangelize those who will listen and a businessman wants to start a tent-making business in northern Iraq in order to help plant a church. Both may be hearing from the Lord and both may be incredible people seeing themselves as working cross-culturally for the Kingdom. Both are excellent at what they do and are to be honored for their faith. However, these two would not be considered equivalent candidates for any available Faith Promise support. One is inside the area the Lord had given us to tend and the other is not.
Do any Faith Promise dollars support short-term missions individuals? 100% of your Faith Promise support goes to support our long-term field workers, their projects, and pastoral ministry to them and their families. No FP dollars goes to short-term missions individuals, Glboal pastors’ salaries, Global office expenses, or other administrative expenses.
Do I have to fill out a commitment card in order to give to Faith Promise? No, you don’t, but whenever you give, please clearly designate your giving to Faith Promise (FP).
For how long will my Faith Promise commitment be? Until the next Faith Promise commitment campaign in February of next year.
How would you prefer my Faith Promise support be given? In the absence of most people not being able to give a lump sum somewhere near the start of the period, what we would prefer is a monthly amount so that we can take care of regular expenses in a responsible way. We know that this will not always be possible for everyone all the time, but we think you can see the virtue in doing it this way.
What happens if I am not able to give all that I indicated I would? We must all always be on our knees about matters like this. Only God knows what will ultimately happen, if we are unable to sustain our Faith Promise giving. Things that are out of our control are in God's hands, as we release it in prayer. For circumstances involving our own choices, we must answer to God.
Faith Promise is our way of supporting our missionaries financially.
A Faith Promise Is… a vow you make to God – not to the church and not to the field workers.
A Faith Promise Is…an exercise in faith over the stewardship of your finances for World Outreach.
A Faith Promise Is…your response to His request.