Saturday, December 1

It's Lottie Moon Season!

While the amount varies from year to year, the best I have been able to ascertain is the annual capita giving swings somewhere in the neighborhood of $7.00 on the low end, and $8.35 on the high end.

In other words, if you contribute a mere $10 a year to global missions, you are giving more than the average S. Baptist.  As Lottie Moon herself asked over 100 years ago, "Why this strange indifferences to missions? Why these scant contributions? Why does money fail to be forthcoming when approved men and women are asking to be sent to proclaim the "unsearchable riches of Christ" to the heathen?"   I don't know, either, Lottie.

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

Since we see first-hand and feel the direct impact of this offering, I would like to say to everyone who gave last year or is planning to give this year, THANK YOU.  Maybe $10/year is all you really can give, and if so, God knows this and will multiply that $10 like he did the five loaves and two fish to feed the 5000.  But there are others who really could give more, but aren't.

Would you be willing to ask the Lord what he would have you give to make His Name known amongst the nations?

Click here for some great ideas and resources to assist you in becoming a better informed giver to what God is doing in the nations. What follows is a list of things we have personally tried over the years or practice regularly 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. Shouldn't He be getting more than us if it is his birthday?

2) Something we have done as a family for many years is set aside a monthly amount from our 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 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 missions.

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 missionaries have done in the past is hold an auction where a volunteer team brings in "goodies" from the States and auction them off to the missionaries. 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 do something similar with imported foods purchased from your local grocery store?

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) See how every dollar makes a difference by clicking on any of these related stories.

Whatever you decide to give, please do so prayerfully. The idea of just reaching in your pocket and giving whatever comes out doesn't seem worthy of the King of Kings. Give thoughtfully, prayerfully. There are few offerings that make as much of an eternal impact on the world as the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Do you feel a yearly offering of $8.35 is worthy of the One who left his throne in glory to die on a cross for our sins? How much will you give this year to see souls around the globe come to the Savior?

Checks can be mailed to (gifts are tax-deductable)
Lottie Moon Christmas Offering
International Mission Board, SBC
P.O. Box 6767
Richmond, VA 23230


Arthur Sido said...

Of course this is a per capita number so some people give much more but there are also a ton of people who are in a pew every single Sunday that give nothing. Tell them about a special fund to repave the parking lot or add on a multi-purpose building though, or even better to support a political candidate, and the check books come out!

J. Guy Muse said...


Yes, it seems the 80/20 principle applies to missions giving as well: 20% give 80%, while 80% give 20% to missions causes.

Another great quote from Lottie (whom the S. Baptist missions offering is named after) is:

"How many there are who imagine that because Jesus paid it all, they need pay nothing, forgetting that the prime object of their salvation was that they should follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ in bringing back a lost world to God."

Bob Cleveland said...

You're an optimist, Guy. The number is really more like 20% (I've lately heard 15%) give 80% (again, lately I've heard 85%, then 30% (I've heard also 35%) give the remaining 80 - 85%, and half give nothing whatsoever.

There's a long story about why that is, which I've blogged about before ... why people don't feel personal responsibility.

But, I suppose that, since we can't really tell how many Southern Baptists there are.....

J. Guy Muse said...


Do you have a link to what you blogged on this subject? I'd be interested to read the "long story".

The irony of the matter is that most of the readers of this post are probably that minority who do give generously. It's the "other guys" I was hoping to address! :)

Bob Cleveland said...


I just searched for it and couldn't find it. So I guess I'll have to put up a post about it.

Need to put up another post, anyway. I'll do that after church this evening, and put a link here. It's a really cool story.

Bob Cleveland said...

I put up the story.

J. Guy Muse said...


An excellent and thought-provoking post and gives a good answer to why most believers seem indifferent to global missions.

I commented over on your blog. Anyone reading my comment here, I highly encourage you to click on Bob's link and read for yourself

Tim A said...

A key point to consider is what believers give "to the Lord" but is really buying spiritual goodies for themselves - a hired Bible lecture, special building for crowd oriented gathering, perhaps a hired worship leader, youth leader, etc. I have a chart from Leadership Journal that shows "normal" church budgeting is 14% of giving goes out the door to missions and 86% stays in house. I became convicted of this 15 years ago and asked God if there was a way for 100% of my giving to go beyond me - to serve the poor and reach all nations. He said to me over time - give up hired experts and special buildings for church life - exactly what the chart showed my giving was going toward. So I did that.

My brother in law is a missionary in the Philippines for 25 years rejects this idea. God showed me all the scripture that teaches that leaders should refuse their right to be paid for the sake of strategic advantage for the gospel. Every American church has a sacred cow, their hired preacher.

J. Guy Muse said...


Your 14/86 percentages are a lot higher than I have seen elsewhere. Usually 90-95% stays at home, with 5% going outside, and even of this 5% a huge chunk stays within the USA.

Of course, as I write this, I must remember to ask myself what percentages of what I give to Kingdom end up overseas as well. We M's are no different than any other believers.