For Southern Baptists, Christmas season and missions are inextricably linked by the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. In short, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is the major funding source for our overseas missions effort as Southern Baptists.
Lottie Moon, the missionary to China of the 1880s summed up best our reason for giving to missions at Christmas:
“Is not the festive season when families and friends exchange gifts in memory of The Gift laid on the altar of the world for the redemption of the human race, the most appropriate time to consecrate a portion from abounding riches and scant poverty to send forth the good tidings of great joy into all the earth?”
As we enter the month of December, we will join with other Southern Baptists in a season of giving specific for international missions. A few years ago, I heard a missionary say:
“I do not expect you to go with me, but God expects me to go and I will be disobedient if I do not go.”
But, if God expects him to go and not us, should not we assume that God expects us to help him go? Please join me in giving to this year’s offering.
As you think about giving, let me suggest to you some specific ideas about giving this year.
- $25-If you are a new Christian or a new Southern Baptist who has never heard of Lottie Moon, this may be a place to start. I always say “start where you are.” Start with this initial gift representing Christmas as the 25thday of December.
- $365-Some may consider this gift representing $1 a day for the entire year.
- Empty out that change jar and give it to the Lottie Moon offering.
- Give an amount equal to the average amount that you will spend on a Christmas gift.
- Give an amount that is greater than any amount you have previously given to the Lottie Moon Offering.
On behalf of missionaries I know and am privileged to get to represent at some level, I say thank you for your generosity.