Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Some missionaries need your help

As a follow-up to my previous post, I want to ask for your help.

The Lord has blessed me by placing me in an office whose job it is to promote what God is doing in people's lives around the world. One of our recent assignments was to create promotional resources for an offering that will help send missionaries to unreached people groups all over the world. It will also help keep many missionaries on the field.

The International Mission Board (IMB) is one of the largest missionary sending agencies in the world. The only way it is able to send missionaries is through the giving of Christians like you and me.

At Christmas time every year, an offering called the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is taken up in churches across America. Last year, that offering fell $30 million short. This shortfall has resulted in the suspension of critical missionary endeavors and the reduction of full-time missionaries they can send. There are missionaries who are called by God, trained and ready to go, but the funding is not there to send them.

The "Christmas in August" offering is a grassroots movement to make up at least a portion of the $30 million. It's simply a call for people to give whatever they can during August to make it possible for more missionaries to bring the Gospel to people all over the world.

You can visit for more details. The video above is available for free on the site so anyone can download it and use it in their churches, on their web site, or to send out as an e-mail. There are also other free resources available on the site and instructions on how you can give.

We have a critical mission, and it will take all of us to make it a success. For those willing to help I would ask that you consider which of the following would be appropriate for you:

1. Contact your pastor and ask him to raise an offering at the church during August.

2. Make sure the Mission’s Committee at your local church knows about the effort.

3. Send an e-mail to all of your friends making sure they know about the offering and the available resources.

4. Download the video and post it on your church’s website, your personal website, or anywhere else you can to raise awareness.

5. Pray that God would use this to heighten awareness of our missionary endeavors bringing unity and revival.

6. Skip lunch one Sunday after church to pray and fast. Then give the money you would have spent to the Christmas in August offering.

7. Give whatever God lays on your heart to support our missionary endeavors.

Romans 10:14-15

14How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Christmas In August

There are 6.5 billion people inhabiting planet earth. Of those, 1.6 billion have never heard the name of Jesus.

At the same time, Southern Baptists gave $12 billion in 2008 to buildings, missions and budgets. Of that $12 billion, only 2.5% of that went to the IMB for international missions.

In 2008, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions fell short of its goal by nearly $30 million, resulting in the suspension of crucial missionary endeavors and a reduction in the number of full-time missionary appointments.

SBC President Johnny Hunt and others have challenged Southern Baptists to rally around the Great Commission and take up a Christmas in August offering. The Christmas in August offering is a special emphasis designed to draw awareness to last year’s missions giving shortfall and to ask churches to make a special effort to give in August as well as December this year to recover the deficit.

Southwestern Seminary has created and launched several videos and other free promotional resources to support local churches in partnering together for this unique offering.

What is the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering?
Southern Baptist churches collect the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for the sole purpose of supporting international missions. Every penny of the offering goes to the International Mission Board’s overseas budget, thus supporting our missionaries and their work.

How to Give to the IMB Lottie Moon Christmas in August Offering
Churches and individuals can give to the Christmas in August offering just like they do for the annual Lottie Moon Christmas offering.
IMB encourages Southern Baptists to give through their local churches to the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. IMB does, however, offer an online option for those who want to make a gift now.

If you would rather give by check or money order, make it payable to IMB and reference the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering in the memo section. Send to:

Development Office
International Mission Board
3806 Monument Ave
PO Box 6767
Richmond, VA 23230-0767