Good morning and Welcome to Church! As most of you probably know, we are a participating member of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). This is a decision that the Church made when it was founded over 50 years ago, and it is a decision that we still support strongly today because we believe that Churches who participate together, with like doctrine and a passion for the gospel mission, can accomplish great things for the kingdom of God.
Over the past 15-20 years or so, there has been a push away from so-called “denominational churches” in support of what people call “community Churches”. The interesting part about that, from our Church, is that we have always been a “community Church”. The local community Church has always been at the heart of what we are about. But, the wonderful thing for us is that even though we have always been a “community Church”, we have also always participated with other like-minded Churches in reaching the world for Christ.
Having said that, it is my joy to tell you that today we are kicking off our annual “Lottie Moon Christmas Offering”. This is the offering that we take every Christmas to support all of our International Missionaries. You may also recall that at Easter we take up our Annie Armstrong Easter Offering to support all of our North American Missionaries.
This year, our national goal for giving for all participating SBC Churches is $155 million dollars. That’s a lot of money and a lot of missionary sending! Our FBC Missions Team has set our goal at $5,000. Our individual giving enables our missionaries to be sent to make disciples and multiply Churches among unreached people and places for the glory of God.
These are our missionaries. These are men and women, many of them with children, who sit in Churches across the country just like ours, and they feel called to the international mission field. These are people just like you and me, and we have the joy of knowing that everything we give during this Christmas Offering goes to help those families. Through the SBC and our International Mission Board we already have a powerful organization funded and in place to develop and send missionaries, so all of our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goes above and beyond to support them as families in the ministry that God has called them to.
This is a special offering. It is always intended to be something that is above and beyond our normal tithing and giving to our local Church. This special offering is a way that we can do something extra and give something sacrificially to specifically support our missionaries worldwide. It is personal and it is very near and dear to my heart. Gini and I left our families 17 years ago and moved here to the Northwest on mission. I love missions and I’m proud to be a Pastor of a Church that loves missions too. Please pray and give generously to help us meet and exceed this lofty goal in the month of December.
All for Jesus,