How does the Faith Promise Offering differ from a pledge system?

Many have come out of denominational churches which raised money for the church budget through pledges. Members were usually expected, if not required, to make a pledge and were often visited in their homes to get and/or collect their pledge.

1. A pledge is between the member and the church. It is a legal and binding agreement to pay. Churches have actually gone to court to try to collect pledges.

The Faith Promise Offering differs substantially in that—

a. It is between the believer and the Lord.

b. It is not a legal and binding agreement.

c. The believer is never asked for the offering.

d. It is dependent on the Lord’s supply.

2. A pledge is more a matter of coercion or necessity. But the Faith Promise Offering is totally voluntary and is based upon what the believer purposes in his heart to give (2 Corinthians 9:7).

3. If it is not a pledge, why do many churches use signed Faith Promise Cards? The best reason is that the Faith Promise Offering total is more reliable.

The writer helped one church receive their Faith Promise Offering where signed cards were used, and a card was turned in by a small child for $20.00 per week. Of course, it was not counted in the total. Another card came in for more than $260.00 per week and was genuine. But in another conference where unsigned cards were used, a bogus card for $250.00 per week was counted, and the totally Faith Promise Offering was off by $13,000!

Sometimes privacy is the motive for using unsigned cards, but normally only the treasurer and finance committee see the cards. They know the amount of one’s Faith Promise Offering, with or without signatures, if giving is by envelope or check.

4. Whereas the Faith Promise Offering is a vertical agreement between the believer and the Lord, a pledge is a horizontal agreement between men. For example, a pledge is the agreement one signs when purchasing an item of credit. It has legal implications, and the results of not paying can be very critical, even to the loss of the item purchased and damage to one’s credit rating

You can easily see, upon careful observation and comparison, that the Faith Promise Offering bears very little resemblance to a pledge system.

Article written by Robert A. Mundy, D.D.; Faith Promise Offering Bulletin Insert 3; Baptist Mid-Missions · PO Box 308011 · Cleveland, OH 44130-8011