This special edition of the Biblical Recorder’s weekly e-newsletter is dedicated to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) and the week of prayer for international missions, Nov. 29-Dec.6. The International Mission Board recently announced that it is forced to significantly reduce personnel expenses due to budget shortfalls, which means many missionaries around the world will be returning from the international field.
The drawdown is due in part to unmet LMCO goals. It can be different this year. Southern Baptists must show our commitment to obeying the Great Commission of our Lord now more than ever.
As you pray about the amount of your gift, consider an amount based on the average cost of supporting a missionary. Perhaps you can support a missionary for a year, a month, a week or a day:
- $51,400 a year (average)
- $4,283 a month
- $988 a week
- $141 a day
Consider how you can give to international missions this year
as you read these recently published articles at BRnow.org.
|October 6, 2015 by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor|
|Michael and JuliAn Domke are missionaries who wrestle with a painful, unexpected decision. He is the International Mission Board’s (IMB) team leader for church planting in Kiev, Ukraine. They were appointed in 2008 and moved their family from Florida to Eastern Europe, anticipating a long, fruitful ministry there. Do the math. Domke is more than 50 years of age and has served with IMB for more than seven years. |
|November 2, 2015 by Paige Turner, IMB|
Smoke from the kitchen wafted up through the red floorboards and a single window offered little reprieve from the sun’s relentless warmth. Mark Harrison could see the top of a shiny, gold pagoda across the road and hear the occasional honk of a truck driving by. But Harrison’s focus was on the family he had come to visit.
|November 19, 2015 by Seth Brown, BR Content Editor|
Colby Corsaut sat sleepless in the early morning hours of Nov. 14, reflecting on the terror that broke out across Paris, France, the night before. He and a group of friends had walked through the middle of a global terror scene, and he now felt his call to serve the people of France was as sure as ever. Corsaut moved to France in early 2015 with his wife and children to serve as IMB missionaries.
|November 20, 2015 by Harper McKay, SEBTS|
As an accountant, giving someone a blank check goes against everything Brent Kapps* knows. When it came to God’s call for his family, however, Kapps and his wife Brianna* offered their lives as a blank check before the Lord. “Our call is a call of obedience,” Kapps said. “We don’t want to miss the opportunity to be salt and light wherever God places us.”
Lottie Moon Christmas Offering Ideas
by Chuck Lawless
Even in the midst of difficult transitions, we still need to give to support God’s global work. And even if you’re not a Southern Baptist, maybe these simple ideas will help you think about gifts you might give to missions this year:
Give to God’s mission the equivalent of the dollars (plus at least one dollar more) that you plan to spend for Christmas presents. Spend on what matters.
Give 25, 50, or 75 cents, one dollar, or more per unreached people group (~ 6000 groups). Billions still need to hear.
Give 50 cents, one dollar or more per unengaged, unreached people group (~3000 groups). Help get the gospel to groups for whom there is no current witness.
Give Lottie Moon Christmas gifts in honor of someone you love. Most of us need little else, and many of our loved ones won’t be offended if they receive no gift; after all, the world needs the gospel.
Give $25, $50, $100 or more for every year you’ve been a Christian. You’ll still never match what God gave for us.
Let the Word motivate you to give (see 2 Corinthians 8-9). When we read and hear the Word, we really have no other option but to give.
Give sacrificially in honor of the one who shared Christ with you. Give because you have been one of the privileged ones to hear.
Remember your largest gift given to ANY need – then add to that amount. Give more to Lottie Moon than you’ve ever given.
Give 10 percent of your church’s Lottie Moon goal. If nine others join you, you’ve met the goal. If more than nine join you, praise the Lord!
Give one penny or more for every new believer baptized through IMB work last year (~193,000). The return will be worth it.
Train your children to give their allowance to missions this season. The dollars may be few, but the missions DNA you’re developing in the next generation will pay long-term dividends.
Give to cover the cost of keeping a missionary on the field for a certain number of days. The daily cost is approximately $139; use that figure, and multiply it times the number of days you will cover.
Give sacrificially in honor of a veteran missionary who is retiring. These folks will always be missionaries who want to get the gospel to those who’ve never heard. Honor them by supporting that work.
Fast for one meal per week between now and Christmas, and instead give the cost for those meals to the offering. Praying and fasting will likely only increase our giving – and missing one meal a week won’t hurt most of us.
Prayerfully give until your faith is genuinely stretched. Many of us give only out of our excess. Ask God to help you to give this year until you’re forced to trust Him to meet your remaining needs.
What other ideas would you add?
(EDITOR’S NOTE – This article first appeared at Chuck Lawless’s personal blog, chucklawless.com. Visit the site and subscribe to receive new articles. Used by permission.)