JEFFERSON CITY – With an ambitious national goal set at $155 million, now is the time for Southern Baptists to prepare for the annual Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) and the Week of Prayer for International Missions, Dec. 4-11. A promotion DVD was recently mailed to churches from the International Missions Board (IMB), with additional resources available through their online store and thru the Missouri Woman’s Mission Union (MWMU) for free or at minimal cost.
These resources will help churches increase the success of their local campaigns, and include posters, week of prayer bulletin inserts and envelopes. Churches are urged to watch a new video sermon from IMB President David Platt, which is also available from IMB.
“Since its inception in 1888, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering has enjoyed steady growth, which has enabled missionaries to be sent to make disciples and multiply churches for the glory of God,” MWMU Executive Director Laura Wells said. “It will take many committed churches across the country to help meet this year’s national goal, but I am confident that Baptists in our Show-Me State will do their part, with the engagement from church leaders and pastors.
“Just because the offering has been in place for more than a century, let’s not assume that our congregations are familiar with its purpose,” Wells said. “We need to promote the cause each year to inform new members and new believers, and to motivate the rest of us.”
Lottie Moon reminds us of the purpose of the December offering in her quote, “Is not the festive season when families and friends exchange gifts in memory of The Gift laid on the altar of the world for the redemption of the human race, the most appropriate time to consecrate a portion from abounding riches and scant poverty to send forth the good tidings of great joy into all the earth?” – Sept. 15, 1887, Tungchow
Wells recommends that churches assign a leader or a mission’s team to their LMCO efforts. Helpful tips on how to prepare, share and participate in the effort are available in a free leader guide offered for download from store.imb.org/lottie-moon-christmas-offering.
The guide suggests that churches start by setting a goal and then scheduling a season-long experience that engages the entire church body, from children to adults. It may be helpful for congregations to think of giving in terms of real dollar examples. Consider setting the goal based on the average cost of supporting a missionary: $58,200 a year; $4,850 a month; $1,119 a week; and $159 a day.
It is with church partnership that IMB is able to send our missionaries so the gospel will resound throughout the world. The LMCO is a vital part of this work with 100% of the money collected going to sending and sustaining missionaries. Visit mobaptist.org/wmu to access resources or to contact Wells.