JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) has set a statewide goal of $4 million for the 2010 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. That works out to about $8 per Missouri Baptist.
The Southern Baptist Convention’s nationwide goal is $175 million, the same as last year’s and $5 million more than in 2008. Every penny of the offering goes to the International Mission Board’s overseas budget, thus supporting our missionaries and their work. Lottie Moon funds represent 53 percent of the International Mission Board’s (IMB) budget, the rest coming from the Cooperative Program and other gifts.
As of press time, roughly 40 Missouri churches had set individual goals totaling just under $265,000 (according to information obtained via the IMB’s website, imb.org). Last year, MBC churches gave $3,853,299.
The 2010 theme is “Are We There Yet?” According to IMB, it is conceivable for the first time that all people groups can be reached in the coming years with a Gospel presence.
According to IMB’s 2009 statistical data there were 506,019 baptisms and 204,192 churches outside North America. Church membership overseas was at 10.7 million, and there were 24,650 new churches. However, 4,743 people groups are not engaged with the Gospel at all and there are 6,426 unreached people groups (those with less than 2 percent of people who profess to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.) More than 1.7 billion people still have little or no access to the Gospel.
The national “Week of Prayer” leading into the Lottie Moon “season” is Nov. 28-Dec. 5.
Churches can order or download promotional materials at www.imbresources.org.
BRIAN KOONCE/staff writer