Sunday, October 26

Money and S. Baptist Global Missions Efforts

Lottie Moon Fast Facts from the IMB on the state of world evangelization and the costs involved in the Southern Baptist global missions enterprise:

International Mission Board vital stats
• 5,359 missionaries (as of 5/12/08)
• 25,497 new churches*
• 609,968 baptisms*
• 567,413 new believers in discipleship*
*As reported in the 2007 Annual Statistical Report


Status of World Evangelization
• 11,573 people groups worldwide; 6.6 billion people
• 6,508 unreached* people groups; 3.8 billion people
• 5,903 Last Frontier** people groups; 1.6 billion people
• Less than 2 percent evangelical
**Less than 2 percent evangelical, no active church planting

Lottie Moon past and present
• 2008 goal: $170 million
• 2007 receipts: $150,409,653.86
• $3 billion given since offering’s inception
• $3,315 collected in 1888 for first offering, enough to send three women to China

IMB budgeted income:
Lottie Moon Christmas Offering - about 50 percent
Cooperative Program - 33 percent
World Hunger and General Relief - 6 percent
Field-generated funds, investment returns and other income - 11 percent

Total IMB expenditures 2007 - $300.4 million
• Overseas missions - $256.0 million
• Missionary support - $214.1 million
• Field work - $41.9 million
• Stateside - $44.4 million

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Evaluating results solely in financial terms, $300.4 million was spent in 2007. That comes to $11,781 expended for each of the 25,497 new churches planted last year, and $492 for each of the 609,968 baptisms. If this sounds like a high cost per church/baptism, try comparing your own church's costs per baptism and church plant (assuming there were baptisms and church plants since 10,449 S. Bapt churches did not baptize a single person, and according to the Barrett and Johnson's, World Christian Trends, the cost of each baptism in USA institutional churches is a staggering $1,551,466!!! not to mention new church plants.)

If one divides the number of IMB missionaries (5359) by the baptisms and new church plants, the numbers average out to 4.75 church starts per missionary (9.5 per couple), and 113 baptisms each in 2007. Of course these figures include the work of all of our national overseas partners, and not solely work done by the missionaries, but it does give an idea of the kind of global response and the overall costs involved.

In these times of global financial crisis and insecurity, can you think of a safer place to invest with such a high return than in the Kingdom? Giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for new disciples and church plants is a direct way of investing in Christ's Kingdom.

How much will you sacrificially give this year for global missions?

2 comments:

Harold M. said...

Guy,
I would like to say that the IMB support staff did a wonderful job of putting together promotional materials for this year's offering. I watched most of the promotional videos Saturday night and wept as some of the missionaries gave their testimony. I would like to encourage all of our churches to watch for the material when it comes in the mail and USE it. It is powerful stuff.

GuyMuse said...

Harold,

The IMB LMCO videos and promotional material for South America is indeed exceptional and moving. I personally know nearly all of the people featured in the videos from S. America and can vouch they are the real thing. Hopefully a great number of churches will take advantage of these materials for their LMCO and Week of Prayer promotion.