JEFFERSON CITY – Soon, inmates in the Jefferson City Correctional Center may pursue four-year biblical studies degrees. Hannibal-LaGrange University plans to train 20 men per year to minister to their incarcerated peers. HLGU leaders are planning to expand this ministry to other prisons, including women’s facilities, over the next decade.
The HLGU Prison Extension Campus is one of 18 missions projects and ministries made possible through the Rheubin L. South Missouri Missions offering (MMO).
The Missouri Baptist Convention is mailing packets of promotional materials to church leaders across the state to help them prepare for the 2020 state missions offering. The packets should arrive early in July, giving church leaders ample time to prepare for MMO’s fall promotion and week of prayer, slated for Sept. 13-20.
The theme of this year’s offering is drawn from 1 Chronicles 29:9. When the Israelites saw King David and other leaders give sacrificially to the construction of the temple, they rejoiced because their leaders had given willingly, “for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord.”
Reflecting on this passage, MBC Executive Director John Yeats notes, “What a privilege Missouri Baptists have to contribute to God’s work of building a place for His presence in the hearts of people across our state. When we give back to Him a portion of His abundance through MMO, we are investing in the transformation of lives and communities with the gospel all across our state.”
Last year, 785 Missouri Baptist churches supported MMO. Yeats expressed his hope that the number of participating churches tops 900 this year: “If your church hasn’t been taking up an MMO offering, please review the promotional resources arriving soon and bless your people with an opportunity to give cheerfully to the Lord’s work across our state.”
The statewide goal this year is $725,000. Last year, Missouri Baptists shattered the previous mark for giving to state missions projects through MMO, contributing a record $821,722. Further, it marked the seventh straight year of MMO giving above $700,000.
Supporting missions projects
MMO is our state’s annual missions offering, named after Rheubin L. South, the late executive director who pioneered the annual giving emphasis that today supports projects in four areas of ministry:
(1) Making disciples – sports evangelism; HLGU’s Prison Extension Campus; VBS ministry training and resource development; youth evangelism and missions; and the state fair ministry of the Missouri DOM Fellowship.
(2) Collegiate ministries – summer missions mentoring initiative; international student ministry missions conference and regional gatherings; and a new technical school initiative.
(3) Multiplying churches – next-step requests for church multipliers; partnership missions in Mexico, Italy, Minnesota/Wisconsin, and perhaps new locations; and strategic missionary development.
(4) Developing leaders – disaster relief equipment and volunteer readiness; Missouri WMU; church leader development; new pastors’ conference and revitalization pastors’ conference; Missouri Baptist Revitalization Network; Baptist Builders / volunteer mobilization; and hunger relief.
In addition, 17 percent of MMO receipts go to the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home, which provides spiritual guidance, counseling, and a safe haven from abuse and neglect at five state campuses.
And 10 percent of MMO gifts go back to the associations of contributing churches, where the funds support regional mission projects.
The promotional packets feature a getting-started guide, posters, prayer guide, allocations budget, associational report, clip art, sample giving envelope, and an order card.
Most of these resources are available as free downloads at mobaptist.org/mmo. The move toward electronic resources enables the MBC to significantly reduce postage fees and invest more in MMO mission projects.
“We encourage you to set a faith goal for your church and use the promotional resources to show how the Lord uses even the smallest gift to do great things,” said Yeats.
There are four simple ways to order MMO materials:
• Complete the order card in the promotional mailer and send it back. All materials are free of charge.
• Click on mobaptist.org/mmo to download materials or to place an order electronically.
• Call 1.800.736.6227, ext. 303, to tell us which resources to send.
• Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.