The Day I Became a Promisor!
by Marcos Bomfim
I decided to be a "Promisor" at age 11, and I will tell you how. It was a Sabbath morning in a church in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the sermon topic was Stewardship, specifically tithe and offerings. Even though it's true that the concept of Promisor has a very broad meaning, at the time the focus was on the financial part of it, specifically on tithes and offerings. It was definitely not the kind of sermon I would appreciate the most, so I was looking forward to the end of the service.
"But that sermon was not aimed at me, I thought. I was only 11. I had no income and was totally dependent on my parents. Tithe and offerings would only concern grownups."
Pastor Josino Campos, however, began by explaining the fairness of the percentage system, and how in this divinely instructed way of giving, the poor and rich could be equally generous and faithful. “God does not pay attention to the amount you give, but to the proportion—the percentage of your income that you are giving,” he said. He then compared tithes and offerings by saying that God expects us to calculate both in a percentage way, and to bring them every time there is any blessing, increase or income.
“Tithe and offerings are married for life,” he said. “The only difference is that when it comes to tithe, God specifies the percentage (which is 10 percent), while with offerings, He extends us the opportunity to decide on a proportion, according to our level of gratitude,” he added. Campos also explained how our offerings should be given in a way that would meet all the church’s needs, locally, regionally and around the world (Acts 1:8).
"But that sermon was not aimed at me, I thought. I was only 11."
Surprisingly, he got my attention. I was never that good in math, but he explained the percentage concept so well that I, as if it were a miracle, could somehow grasp the idea! But that sermon was not aimed at me, I thought. I was only 11. I had no income and was totally dependent on my parents. Tithe and offerings would only concern grownups.
But I was mistaken. Pastor Josino, looking at us, the children, asked how many in the congregation had no income! “I guess none of you probably have any income,” he said, “but I will assure you this is the best season in life to make a Promise, to become a Promisor!” I was wondering how anyone like me could become a Promisor - having no income!
“When you are a Promisor but have no income, how much then would you return as Tithe?” he asked. "How much will 10 percent of nothing be?" he continued. While I was trying hard to use my advanced math skills to find the answer, all the church members answered in chorus, “Nothing!”
"I was wondering how anyone like me could become a Promisor - having no income!"
“And when it comes to offerings,” he questioned, “suppose you have promised to return 5 percent of your income to the Lord, but you have no income, how much will your offering be?” “Nothing!” was again the answer. “You see,” he said, “if you have decided to faithfully return to the Lord exactly 10 percent as tithe and a certain percentage as offerings but you have not received any financial blessing or income, in this plan you will return nothing to the Lord! Remember you can only give after He gives first! He always gives first. That’s why this is the best season of your life to be a Promisor. You give nothing and are still totally faithful!”
That very morning, I became a Promisor for the rest of my life. Would you like to know what my offering percentage was at that time? You’ll have to wait; I’ll tell you in the next issue of the Dynamic Steward! In the meantime, I’d like to offer you the opportunity to also become a Promisor and “taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him” (Ps. 34:8).