NASHVILLE (BP) – Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President Ronnie Floyd is encouraging Southern Baptists to help the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions (LMCO) exceed its $175 million goal for 2020.
“As we begin this new fiscal year, we need to do everything we can to position our International Mission Board financially so we can send out all missionaries being called, equipped, and ready for service,” Floyd said. “In this moment in history, we cannot retreat. We must be more determined than ever to get the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in this world.
“This is why we cooperate together and this is why we do all we can to give the largest offering to our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions.”
Floyd said the goal is compelling and attainable for the offering that has brought in $4.8 billion since its 1888 inception in support of IMB field personnel.
IMB President Paul Chitwood expressed gratitude for Floyd’s support.
“The mission impact of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering testifies to the immeasurable value placed on the Great Commission by SBC churches,” Chitwood said. “I’m incredibly grateful for Dr. Floyd’s emphasis on Southern Baptists’ opportunity and responsibility to give through the 2020 offering. Dr. Floyd leads the cheers for the cooperative mission work among Southern Baptists, and his support of the LMCO will be essential in reaching the $175M goal.”
The executive board of SBC auxiliary the Woman’s Missionary Union sets the annual LMCO goal in collaboration with the IMB.
National WMU Executive Director Sandy Wisdom-Martin pointed out the LMCO’s support of the shared core value among Southern Baptists to spread the Gospel internationally.
“The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is critical to our shared commitment to make Him known among the nations. We’ve been gifted a rich legacy of cooperative missions passed down through generations over the span of 175 years,” Wisdom-Martin said. “It’s our turn to practice incredible generosity so the lost may hear of God’s redeeming love and transforming power through Christ.”
The largest one-year LMCO to date was $165.8 million in 2016, the IMB has reported. The $175 million goal honors IMB’s 175 years of leadership and service, and also supports the goal of increasing the number of IMB field workers by 500 by 2025.
“Reaching that goal will require faithfulness to the task as exhibited by our earnest prayers and sacrificial financial gifts,” Wisdom-Martin said.
Chitwood said the offering helps Southern Baptists support the vision of the multiethnic church in Revelation 7:9.
“I am filled with immense gratitude as I consider how God has used Southern Baptists to have a part in making this vision a reality, as so many of you have displayed a willingness to pray, give, go and send for the sake of the kingdom of God,” Chitwood said. “My prayer is that we will live up to this offering’s legacy through the way we respond to this opportunity to give. As you consider your gift, please join me in praying that our missional reach might expand, as we await a multitude too great to number; a great multitude plus you.”
Floyd promoted the 2020 LMCO goal Sept. 22 in remarks at the SBC Executive Committee meeting. “What a blessing our churches are and continually are going to be in giving to international missions as well as our missions here in North America,” he told EC members.
The LMCO is unique in that 100 percent of receipts support Southern Baptist international missions, with no portion covering administrative or promotional costs. Since 2019 alone, according to IMB numbers, the LMCO has enabled IMB to engage 827 people groups, spread the Gospel to 535,325 people, baptize 47,929, help plant 12,368 churches, help 33,068 people receive advanced theological training, and help 214 people achieve self-sustaining ownership in missionary work.
The 2020 offering kicks off with the Week of Prayer for International Missions Nov. 29-Dec. 6.
The LMCO is a trademark of WMU and named in honor of late missionary Charlotte Digges “Lottie” Moon, who gave her life to missions in China. WMU partners with IMB in developing and distributing annual LMCO promotional resources, available at IMB.org/LMCO.
This article was originally published by Baptist Press at baptistpress.com