Saturday, December 18

Do you know how much the average Baptist gives to global missions per year?

Every year Southern Baptist Churches in the United States collect a special offering in December for international missions. 100% of this offering goes for overseas work. The goal this year for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is $175 million.

Since we see first-hand and experience the impact of this offering, I would like to say THANK YOU for giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

Do you know how much the average Southern Baptist gives to international missions per year? $8.35!!!

Here are a few suggestions that you might consider this Christmas Season as you determine what amount to give. Most of what follows are things we have tried over the years or personally practice as a family.

1) Decide what amount of money you will spend on your family this Christmas and give MORE than this amount to the LMCO. After all, it is Christ's birthday we are celebrating. Should we be getting more than He if it is his birthday?

2) Something we have done as a family for many years now is set aside an amount out of our monthly paycheck and have that amount automatically credited to the LMCO. This took a couple of email and phone calls to set up, but we haven't had to fool with it since, and are able to give to LMCO throughout the year.

3) A variation on the idea above would be to have a LMCO gift box that you deposit a set amount every week/month throughout the year. Then give this amount to your church when the offering is collected in December.

4) Sell tickets to a mother-daughter or father-son breakfast or brunch. Invite a missionary as a guest speaker. Proceeds go to Lottie Moon.

5) Auction students to church members for a day of service, from cleaning house to raking leaves. Money members give for the work youth do goes to Lottie Moon.

6) One idea we have had fun with is hold an auction where a volunteer team brings in "goodies" from the States and auctions them off to the highest bidder.  A six-pack of Dr. Pepper went for $120 one year! My son paid $60 for a box of Double-Bubble gum. I myself have paid $35 for a jar of Jiff peanut butter! All proceeds go to the missions offerings. Might your church or group do something similar?

7) Challenge folks to save money for the offering by giving up something small. Examples include a fast-food meal a week or a movie a month. Host a special ceremony for everyone to give their offering and share what God taught them through their sacrifice.

8) Double (or triple!) whatever you gave last year. Give sacrificially, not what is convenient.

9) As a church body, decide to channel funds to a lost world instead of to building improvements or beautification projects.

10) Try out some of the ideas and resources made available at the IMB website.

Whatever you decide to give, please do so beforehand in prayer. The idea of just reaching in your pocket and giving whatever comes out doesn't seem worthy of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Give thoughtfully, prayerfully. There are few offerings that make as much of an eternal impact on the world as the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Is $8.35 really all we can come up with in a year so that the world may know Him?

How much will you give this year to see souls around the globe come to the Savior?

You can give online here or checks can be mailed (gifts are tax-deductable) to:

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering
International Mission Board, SBC
P.O. Box 6767
Richmond, VA 23230

3 comments:

Alan Knox said...

Guy,

I appreciate what you are doing here. But, the title of your post and your conclusion is incorrect. Southern Baptists on average give $8.35 to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. The average for "global missions" or "international missions" is probably higher.

However, your point is well taken. Southern Baptists (and most other American Christians) give much more money taking care of themselves (primarily through buildings, maintenance, and salaries) than they give to help others, either locally, nationally, or internationally.

-Alan

GuyMuse said...

Alan,

Can't pull a fast one on you, can I? :)

Yes, you are correct in that probably--though I need to double check myself--that the $8.35 average is for the LMCO. What I am not so sure about is your assertion that the average for global missions is that much higher. Ever since we arrived on the field 24 years ago, our "portion" of operating (ministry) funds is less each year. If the average giving is more than $8.35 per person/year, it would surprise me, simply because we see so little headed our way. I guess the average would be greater if one threw in annual travel costs of teams going overseas. But monies that reach the field for ministry have long been on the decrease and are down to almost nothing at the present. Of course, the positive flip side to all this is that one learns to rely upon God and not the money!

Alan Knox said...

Guy,

Even if Southern Baptist give only to LMCO and to the Cooperative Program, then they are giving more to international missions that the $8.35 average (just to LMCO).

But, like I said, I think that most Christians (including SB) in America care very little about the lost, hurting, and needy whether in their neighborhoods or around the world. (I'm sure many will disagree - they care - but their priorities don't show it.)

-Alan