Monday, June 10, 1991

Faith Promise Plan - Stewardship Ideas

This plan stresses an individual’s personal commitment rather than loyalty to the church or its mission. Members are not asked to submit pledge cards or estimates of giving. Instead, they are asked to make unidentified faith-promises of the amount they will strive to give as God blesses their lives. Names do not appear on faith-promise cards, only amounts. Members are asked to submit a separate card with their names, indicating that they have made a faith promise. Sometimes a dollar amount is noted on this card as a minimum promise. With this information, follow-up is possible on those who did not respond, and budgeting can proceed.

• Saves time, money, planning.
• Appeals to the “best” in members.
• Can have a strong Biblical motivation.
• May help some grow toward a pledging tradition.
• Appeals to some more conservative congregations.

• Reaches highly-motivated members only (excludes many).
• Implies that it takes more faith to make an anonymous promise than it does to put one’s name on it.
• Provides for no firm commitments.
• May complicate congregation’s goal-setting and budgeting processes.
• Relies on clergy for motivation.
• Sets stage for temptation to use the Bible as proof-texting for motivation.
• Can encourage a step away from responsible pledging, budgeting.
• Can promote unhealthy secrecy.

Use this campaign when:
• Leaders understand its theological implications.
• Your congregation has no recent history of pledging and you want to move in that direction.
• You have a congregation of highly-committed givers.
• You are prepared to follow-up with those who do not respond.

Do not use this campaign when:
• Your congregation has a strong history of pledging.
• There is not a high degree of spiritual maturity (marked by thanksgiving, prayer, joy and generosity) in the congregation.
• The pastor and session are not firmly behind this approach.
• Leaders think of it as a way of letting themselves and the congregation “off the hook” when it comes to money-talk and financial commitment.

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