After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Revelation 7:9-11
This week we kick off our giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO). This offering is unique from other mission offerings in that 100% of gifts go directly to our Southern Baptist missionaries who are making Christ known all over the world. For 175 years, Southern Baptist have been taking the gospel around the world with an effort of reaching people for Christ from every language, people, tribe and nation. The International Missions Board’s (IMB) goal this year is $175 million. The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering accounts for over 50% of the IMB’s budget. Our goal as a church is a whopping $20,000. I think this is our largest goal and in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, our giving has never been more important.
The theme for this year’s LMCO is “Together.” Together we are able to do so much more than if we tried to chase this vision alone. Currently, the IMB has 3,623 missionaries on the field and they are engaging 827 people groups. Through the work of IMB missionaries last year, 535,325 people heard the gospel message, 47,929 people were baptized, 12,368 new churches were started, and 33,068 people received advanced theological training. This is evidence of God’s grace and the faithfulness of His churches in giving to the work of missions around the world. It would be a challenge to support one missionary family by ourselves but together with thousands of other Southern Baptist churches, we are able to support our 3,623 missionaries.
I am a strong supporter of the IMB because I have seen the heart of our missionaries and their willingness to leave their comfort zones to go to some of the hardest places in the world to share the good news of the gospel. I appreciate the fact that IMB missionaries (like Kyle and Molly Jones) are fully funded and can focus on the mission field without trying to raise funds to support their work. Yes, the pandemic has made it made life much more difficult for our missionaries. IMB has faced unexpected travel expenses to get some missionary families home during the pandemic. Additionally, various quarantines around the world has made ministry, evangelism, and outreach more difficult this year.
Next week we will participate in a week of prayer for our IMB missionaries. The pandemic has made life difficult for many of our missionaries. Can you image being quarantined or isolated in a foreign country? Just as it has never been more important to give to the LMCO, it has never been more important to pray for our missionaries. I hope you will pause and pray for Kyle and Molly. I hope you will get the prayer guide (or view on our Facebook page) and pray specifically for our IMB missionaries. Together, through our giving, our praying, and the going of our missionaries, people all over the world are hearing the gospel and being saved. Together we will join them in eternity giving praise to Jesus for dying for our sins.
Will you give generously to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering this year? I know we can reach our $20,000 goal, even in the midst of a pandemic, for the glory of God. Thank you in advance for giving and praying. Together we can make a difference!