3 reasons my church, New Salem Baptist Church, will seek to double our Lottie Moon Christmas offering and your church should as well.
1. The International Mission Board (IMB) needs the money. The IMB has had a shortfall of $210,000,000 the past five years. They have made up the shortfall by selling unused property and using reserves. But, the time has come for them to spend only the money they bring in. They cannot continue spending more money than they bring in. Their answer is to encourage missionaries and/or staff to retire early. The IMB currently employs over 4,700 field personnel. They expect to bring home 600-800 missionaries/staff voluntarily through early retirement incentives. But my church has something to say about that, “No.” And the way we’re saying it is by giving more in hope that no missionaries return to the United States early.
2. The IMB is still the biggest and best missions agency in the world. No other missions agency takes care of its missionaries like the IMB concerning training, salary, benefits, support, family, etc.
3. The IMB is made up of confessional Southern Baptist Christians who have sacrificed for the sake of spreading the gospel. The IMB is not some distant organization ran by person-less robots. It’s made up of persons, of human beings, of image-bearers that confess the Baptist Faith & Message 2000. Not only is the IMB made up of image-bearers, it’s made up of redeemed image-bearers that are being conformed to the image of Christ. And not only that, it’s made up of redeemed image-bearers who are taking the gospel to dead image-bearers in hope that God will raise the dead to life.
*NOTE: If you do your Christmas shopping through Amazon, you can start at smile.amazon.com and pick the International Mission Board as your charity. Then, Amazon will give .5% of what you buy to the IMB. If 1,000,000 Southern Baptists spend $100 on Christmas presents through smile.amazon.com, that means the IMB will receive $500,000 from Amazon. Of course, this shouldn’t replace giving directly to the IMB, but it’s another way we can help the IMB through money we’re already spending.