Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lottie Moon Offering: $7 more?

Could each one of us give $7 more this year to missions? That's lunch out per person today -- if you have a coupon.

The 2008 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, 100% of which supports the SBC International Mission Board (IMB), was $9 million less than the 2007 amount.

One leader described the consequences: "We've had to take drastic measures. We're not sending the number of missionaries to the field we normally do. It means that some who are called, gifted and ready cannot go."

The purpose of the Southern Baptist Convention is the Great Commission, that is, taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone on earth. The International Mission Board has said that it needs an additional 2,800 missionaries, but because of current giving by Southern Baptist churches, the IMB has announced that they will cut 600 missionaries by 2010. The cutbacks will occur through normal attrition processes. The IMB currently has just under 5600 missionaries on the field worldwide.

A new study, The State of Church Giving through 2007 (Empty Tomb, Inc.), finds that if Southern Baptists would increase their giving to the upcoming Lottie Moon Christmas Offering by an average of $7 per member in December 2009, it would be enough to fund present activities and field the additional 2,800 missionaries.

Jerry Rankin, president of the IMB: "Are we saying that five thousand missionaries are enough ... to evangelize the rest of the world while we support over 100,000 pastors, church staff, and denominational workers in our own country?"

Source: Sylvia Ronsvalle, 217-356-9519,