Union Baptist Association
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

 
 
 
2014 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering &
Week of Prayer for International Missions
November 30-December 7, 2014
 
Why should we give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering?

Southern Baptists send missionaries from their churches, through IMB, to go into the world making disciples in the name of Jesus. In that partnership, Southern Baptists provide the funding to send and support these missionaries and their ministries. The more resources they provide, the more missionaries can be sent.

“As the body of Christ, we’re like an orchestra … each member is so vital, is so important for making beautiful music. So just like your giving is so important in us coming to Sweden, we can work together … through sharing his love with others,” church planter/musician Anissa Haney says.

Your giving has a place in God’s story!

Read more:
What happens because you give?

What are the global needs?

 

Cooperative Program
Southern Baptist churches partner with their associations, state conventions and the SBC to do more through the Cooperative Program than they could ever do alone. It provides 30 percent of IMB’s total income.

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering
The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering provides the largest portion of IMB’s income — 59 percent — and gives Southern Baptists a chance to support their missionaries through 100 percent of their gifts.

Other income
Hunger and relief funds, field-generated funds, investment returns and other income constitute the remaining 11 percent of IMB’s income.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering?

What is the goal for this year’s offering?

What is the 2014 theme?

What planning materials are available to help church leaders prepare for the offering?

Can I find dollar examples of how the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is used to support missionaries?

What materials can I order for my congregation?

Week of Prayer questions

International Mission Study questions

 
Week of Prayer
 
November 30 – December 7, 2014

Scripture: Matthew 28:19-20
From a song stage in Sweden to pregnancy health classes in Southeast Asia, IMB missionaries find creative and effective ways to meet people where they are. And they are grateful for Southern Baptists’ prayers and gifts that make it possible to share Jesus with those who don’t know Him.

This year’s eight Week of Prayer stories illustrate how we are united as we join God in His work. When you pray and give, you support those who extend your outreach from your church to those without Christ. You become part of God’s story around the world!

In these Week of Prayer stories, you will learn how your support enables your missionaries to:
 
  • help churches like yours partner on the field
  • share Jesus through human needs ministries
  • disciple church planters to take the Gospel to their own people
  • reach people creatively through songwriting and broadcasts
  • take the Scripture to a remote people in their heart language
  • minister even in war grounds
The best story, of course, is written by the Author of all history. In His perfect plan to redeem all peoples, He continues to call His people to advance His Gospel among all nations, together, in one sacred effort.

What will be your part?

If you do not receive your Week of Prayer posters, brochures or offering envelopes please contact your state WMU office.
 
Day 1: Missions just got personal
Day 2: Churches share the taskDay 2: Churches share the task
Day 3: Pregnant women become catalysts  Day 3: Pregnant women become catalysts
Day 4: A risk worth takingDay 4: A risk worth taking
Day 5: A new wave of church plantersDay 5: A new wave of church planters
Day 6: Music makes relationshipsDay 6: Music makes relationships
Day 7: Scripture planting is keyDay 7: Scripture planting is key
Day 8: Planting seeds for planting churchesDay 8: Planting seeds for planting churches
 
RICHMOND, Va.—Southern Baptists gave an unprecedented $154 million to the 2013 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, breaking the record for the largest total in the offering’s 125-year history.
 
The 2013 offering, finalized June 5, reached $154,057,852.36. The total represents an increase of nearly $4.8 million over 2012, or 3.2 percent. It tops the previous record, $150.4 million in 2007, by more than $3.6 million, and marks the fourth increase since 2008.
 
“This gives us an opportunity to reflect on the incredible generosity of Southern Baptists over many years,” said IMB President Tom Elliff on behalf of the missionaries. “The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering represents well over half of our budget each year, so those who give sacrificially and out of concern for the lost can be assured that an enormous portion of all that happens overseas can be directly tied to their support.
 
“It’s estimated that close to 1 billion people living now are very likely to go through life without ever hearing the Gospel in such a fashion that they can understand it and respond to it in faith,” Elliff said. “Our missionaries are ‘chasers after darkness.’ We’re looking for those dark corners of the world where the light of the Gospel has yet to be shed so we can get the message of Christ into the hearts of people who need so desperately to hear about it.”
 
Wanda Lee, executive director/treasurer of Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU), which promotes the offering in partnership with IMB, also expressed gratitude:
 
“How exciting that Southern Baptists would give the largest amount ever to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offeringon the 125th anniversary of both the first offering for international missions and WMU!” Lee said. “In 1888, when WMU was founded, it was for the purpose of ‘stimulating the missionary spirit’ and ‘collecting funds’ to support the work of missionaries around the globe. We are grateful for the response of our churches as they embrace both personal missions involvement and sacrificial giving so the story of Jesus may be shared with all who have yet to hear.”
 
While the total fell short of the goal of $175 million, the new record is good news for more than 4,800 Southern Baptist missionaries worldwide who depend on the offering to fund their efforts to spread the Gospel. Named for Southern Baptists’ most famous missionary, the Lottie Moon offering — and Southern Baptists’ regular giving through the Cooperative Program (CP) — funds missionary salaries, housing, medical care, children’s education, field transportation and other expenses. Supporting one missionary overseas costs an average of $140 per day. Every penny of the Lottie Moon offering goes to the IMB overseas budget, which directly supports missionaries and their work.
The offering does far more than pay for basic needs, however. It provides the “resources that enable us to chase the darkness,” Elliff stressed.
 
That means helping missionaries and their national partners go into areas untouched by the Gospel, engage people groups with no believers or Scriptures, start churches and make disciples. Missionaries and their ministry partners communicated the Gospel to more than 1.6 million people, led more than 235,000 people to faith in Christ, baptized more than 114,000 new believers and started thousands of churches and believer groups that will become churches, according to IMB’s 2013 annual statistical report (reflecting 2012 year-end statistics). Beyond that, trained disciples among 235 people groups engaged their own people inside their countries. Disciples among 56 people groups engaged different groups or cities within their countries — and workers representing 20 peoples went out from their own countries to reach different groups. In other words, they became cross-cultural missionaries.
 
Jon Gerwig,* an IMB worker in East Asia, serves among the Iron Pea* people, who number more than 3 million and long had no known churches. For years, progress was agonizingly slow without Gospel resources in their “heart language.” But Lottie Moon support helped Gerwig and his co-workers develop “Scripture planting” to reach minority peoples like the Iron Pea people with the Good News of Jesus. Scripture planting integrates Bible translation with real-time church planting, evangelism and discipleship. It provides quicker access to Scripture so Christian workers can develop resources like worship songs, recorded testimonies and oral Bible stories.
In 2006, Gerwig saw his first believer follow Christ. By 2007, there were nine more in the same village. A few months later, 80 from his village and 60 from another had put their faith in Jesus. Gerwig and his team trained these new believers in a basic discipleship plan, and in late 2007 the first church among the Iron Pea people was started. Since then, the Gospel has spread throughout Iron Pea communities. Today, there are 28 churches and approximately 3,000 believers (see the story at http://vimeo.com/95998183).
 
“There’s still hundreds of thousands of Iron Pea people who have never heard the Gospel,” Gerwig said. “But I want to thank all of you back home. Everything that you contribute gives us traction, which gives us more time to meet with these local brothers and sisters as they’re going out to share, that every Iron Pea person will have a chance to hear and respond to the Gospel.”
In postmodern, post-Christian Sweden, meanwhile, leading people to Christ can be harder than in places where the Gospel faces heavy restrictions or persecution. But Lottie Moon support enabled IMB worker Anissa Haney to be there when a young Swedish woman, Linda Hamfors, was ready to hear the truth. Hamfors, who was struggling with addiction and spiritual questions, approached Haney after a musical performance and asked if they could talk more. Today, she is a follower of Jesus (see their story at http://vimeo.com/95759661).
 
“It’s a very dark place spiritually, very lost, very godless,” Haney said of Sweden. “It’s just so vital to have people here being light amid the darkness.”
 
The task ahead for Southern Baptists and other mission-hearted Christians is huge. Of the world’s 11,000-plus distinct people groups, more than 6,500 are considered unreached (fewer than 2 percent of the population identifying as evangelical Christian). They include more than half the world’s population. More than 3,000 of those unreached people groups are also unengaged, having no church-planting strategy among them at all.
“Southern Baptists are a generous people and are concerned about the world,” said David Steverson, IMB vice president for finance. “The Lord is in control. He knows what we need and when we need it. We just need to be on mission with Him in all we do.
 
“Southern Baptists determine how many missionaries they will send. Your IMB is fully committed to being a good steward of every penny that Southern Baptists entrust to us for the support of their missionaries.”
 
In addition to the sacrificial gifts given through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and Cooperative Program, Elliff emphasized that “we must continue to explore new avenues that God is placing before Southern Baptists to send more and more missionaries to the field.”
 
And he remains convinced even greater Lottie Moon giving is on the horizon, too — especially in light of this year’s increase.
“It is my feeling that as long as there are Southern Baptists, every person in this world should have a legitimate reason to believe that if they can just hang on a little longer, we will get there with the Gospel,” Elliff said. “To that end, it is important for each Southern Baptist to know just how grateful we are for their giving.”
 
Erich Bridges is IMB global correspondent.
*Names changed
Photos:
 
FOLLOWING JESUS—In Sweden, IMB worker Anissa Haney (left) meets with Linda Hamfors for Bible study. Struggling with addiction and spiritual questions, Linda approached Anissa after a musical performance and asked if they could talk more. Today, the young Swedish woman is a follower of Jesus. The 2013 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and gifts through the Cooperative Program enabled Anissa to be there when Linda, searching for truth in a highly secularized society, was ready to hear it.
 
(IMB) PHOTO
 
ONE AT A TIME—IMB missionary Kevin Baggett (center) takes advantage of time spent on the Buenos Aires subway to build relationships with Argentines around him. He also networks with Argentine Baptists to reach whole population segments in the city of 13 million with the Gospel, but he doesn’t overlook opportunities to share with one at a time. He’s there because of the support Southern Baptists gave through the 2013 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and the Cooperative Program. “Your gifts allow us to be here spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ and enlarging the kingdom of God,” Kevin says. “Everything we do depends on those offerings — the roof over our head, the food on our table, the vehicles we drive. It all depends on your sacrificial giving.”
 
(IMB) PHOTO
 
 
GOD STORIES—IMB missionary Heather McAfee (left) tells a Creation-to-Christ story to a Muslim shopkeeper in the West African nation of Ivory Coast. In a city with a mosque on almost every street corner, starting storying groups and churches is a big task for Heather, her husband, Mike, and their local Christian partners. They’re doing it with the support of Southern Baptists through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and the Cooperative Program. “It’s because of the sacrificial giving of Southern Baptists that we have money to be able to do what God has called us to do, and we’re very appreciative of that,” Heather says. (IMB) PHOTO
 
Terry W. Sharp
Director/Lead Strategist
State and Association Relations & Urban Mobilization Strategies
IMB
(804) 219-1939
Twitter: twitter.com/terrysharpimb