Today, as we look around the corner of Southern Baptist Missions, it is more important than ever to increase our giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and Annie Armstrong Easter Offerings. (Don’t forget State Missions and World Hunger.) There are several reasons I think this.
1. Jerry Rankin says we have more people that want to go than we have money.
Recently, Jerry Rankin, sat down with some of the editors of Christian newspapers and answered some very frank questions about what is happening at the IMB. I was encouraged by many things he said and wanted to pull out a few points for our prayers and focus today. He also discussed the IMB controversy.
RANKIN — … You know we’ve had visionary goals — a few years ago we were projecting 8,000, 10,000, you know, missionaries. Certainly, we have the potential of that in our candidate pool. We could open up the short-term flow and send a thousand a year of just ISC, journeymen, masters. I mean the interest and commitment is just phenomenal and I think we just have to accept the reality it’s unlikely that the financial support is going to multiply at a rate to enable us to do that. I think just with growth comes challenges that these kinds of distractions and so forth. And you know, for three years now we’ve kinda plateaued. We haven’t kept the momentum of growth.
2. We need a grassroots prayer effort of prayer for SBC missions efforts – local, state, national, and worldwide.
Not a program. Not a gimmick. Passionate people prostrated in prayer.
We need to pray about this! We have the workers for the harvest but not the money! Call my faith childlike, but we must pray for the financial support to send everyone willing and fit to serve!
To me this confirms what Jesus says about the end times:
11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
3. Our love for Christ is reflected in our giving.
Some are close to the Lord and willing to go serve Him. Many are having their love grow cold — where does this first show? Church attendance and how we spend our money!
My church hasn’t made the Lottie Moon goal yet — there are many of us torn up about it. We spent three times the goal on fixing our roof last year. We’ve bought a sound system and lighting system. These things are important.
However, we should do these things AND do the Lottie Moon Christmas offering. I am so greatly grieved. I’ve challenged the other members of the WMU to give financially to these offerings year round. My husband and I give our 10% to the general fund of the church but any offerings we are giving to the NAMB and IMB through the missions offerings.
The mission of the church is missions!
4. We must not make excuses.
Those who are making as an excuse not to give because of the controversy are not giving for the right reasons. Throughout church history there has always been the controversy of the moment. Persecution either comes from without or within! China is persecuted — they are just trying to survive. We are permitted to worship so we are embroiled in controversy from within. Expect it. Pray about it. Get over it, get off the pocketbook, and give!
Kin Hubbard says,
“When a fellow says, ‘It isn’t the money but the principle of the thing” – it’s the money.”
After reading the article on cellphone recycling to make money for missions, I’m going to propose that for our church. Get creative! No excuses! Go forward!
Lord, we are praying fervently for more workers for the harvest and money to send them. You own the cattle on a thousand hills but have set forth stewardship as a measure of the state of our heart. Our hearts are lacking faith. We are spending more on earthly pleasure than we are spending on your kingdom. Forgive us for being stingy with what is already yours. Help us seek Your will in this. May we be found faithful. In Jesus name. Amen.