Why it’s called a Faith Promise

“I believe God is asking our church to make a GCF Faith Promise of $25,000 for 2022.”

This is what I shared, with hesitancy, to my leadership team before we presented an amount goal to our congregation. Some of you reading this may see $25k as a very easy amount for a church to cover. But, let me provide some context about our church and why this amount was hard to present, even though I believed it was the amount Jesus was asking us to present.

We are a congregation that averages fifty in attendance on Sunday mornings. We had just recently completed a small building project of $17,000 as a congregation. Our body is made up of many retired people who have fixed monthly incomes. We give away 12% of our general giving as a tithe and offering.

The faces of those on our leadership team told me that they had doubts about us being able to pull this off. One of the leaders said they were thinking between $12,000 or $15,000. Thankfully, the Lord seemed to confirm the amount of $25k. Our new associate pastor had written down that exact amount on his laptop when I asked the team to pray about how much we should go after.

Our mission’s conference was scheduled to take place the week after this initial meeting. We ended our service on Missions Sunday by revealing to the congregation what our giving goal to the GCF would be. As I stood up to tell everyone, I had this internal struggle, and the enemy was placing doubts in my mind.

Did we really hear the Lord right? Is this amount doable? Maybe I should just say we’re going after $15,000 (that would still be a good amount for the size of our church, right?) Does this make sense with the $17k we just raised? How foolish of a leader will I look if we end up NOT hitting the amount?

I fought those questions of doubt and decided to trust that the Lord would do what He wanted, and I announced that we were aiming to give $25k as a church body. Then I told them to go home and pray because the following week is when we’d all turn in our pledge cards.

The next week came and again I had doubts. And again, I trusted God. We had a time of worship, and everyone brought their cards forward. A few elders took the cards to the office and counted the amount. One elder wrote down the amount and brought the small piece of paper to me.

I went up after we sang together All the Poor and Powerless and announced this to the congregation; “Wow! I’ve been touched today in worship, and I have the amount that was counted. Remember, the amount was $25,000. In one day, and I know some are missing today, $27,786 has been committed.” After realizing some promise cards were left out of the original count, we re-counted and currently have $32,086 committed to the GCF for the year 2022.

We also had a healing & restoration service planned for the evening of the faith promise Sunday. In that service, the Lord so clearly showed up and His love was experienced by those who were there. One leader was so moved that He said to me, through tears, “What a day for our church. Oh, the Lord is so good.” 

God clearly showed up that day amongst our people. He did something that was far beyond what many of us believed could be done. He touched us to give sacrificially, and He healed parts of our souls. He worked when we were faithful in obeying. Where might He be asking you to take a step into something scary? My prayer is you will be willing to go with Him into the places that are unknown!

Brent Nussbaum

Pastor of The Journey Church in Tiffin, OH