If you are a Southern Baptist reader, you probably know that we’re beginning the season of giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. This week, in fact, is the Week of Prayer, and you can sign up under “Week of Prayer” at the IMB site to receive daily email prayer requests from around the world. Our goal this year is to raise $160 million dollars.
So, here are 18 ways to consider giving to the offering this year. And even if you’re not a Southern Baptist, maybe these simple ideas will help you think about gifts you might give to missions this year:
- Give to God’s mission the equivalent of the dollars (plus at least one dollar more) that you plan to spend for Christmas presents. Spend some dollars on eternity.
- Give 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, 75¢, $1.00, or more per unreached people group (@ 7000 groups). That would mean $350, $700, $1750, $3500, $5250, or $7000. The sacrifice might be steep, but billions still need to hear.
- Instead of giving gifts, give Lottie Moon Christmas gifts in honor of someone you love. Many of our loved ones won’t be offended if they receive no gift; after all, the world needs the gospel.
- Give $10, $25, $50, $100, or more for every year you’ve been a Christian. I’ve been a believer for 44 years, so $100 per year would mean $4,400 for this offering. Even if I gave multiple times that amount, though, I could still never match what God gave for me.
- Let the Word motivate you to give. Read, for example, the story of the cross in the Gospels. When we read and hear the Word, we really have no other option but to give.
- Give sacrificially in honor of the one who shared Christ with you. Give because you have been one of the privileged ones to hear.
- Remember your largest gift given to ANY need — then add to that amount. Give more to Lottie Moon than you’ve ever given.
- Give 10% of your church’s Lottie Moon goal. If nine others join you, you’ve met the goal. If more than nine join you, praise the Lord!
- Train your children to give their allowance to missions this season. The dollars may be few, but the missions DNA you’re developing in the next generation will pay long-term dividends.
- Give to cover the cost of keeping a missionary on the field for a certain number of days. The daily cost is approximately $163; use that figure, and multiply it times the number of days you will cover.
- Give sacrificially in honor of a veteran, retired missionary. These folks will always be missionaries who want to get the gospel to those who’ve never heard. Honor them by supporting that work.
- Fast for one meal per week between now and Christmas, and instead give the cost for those meals to the offering. Praying and fasting will likely only increase our giving – and missing one meal a week won’t hurt most of us.
- Listen to these Week of Prayer stories, and be challenged to give. It’s hard to hear these stories and not want to sacrifice for the sake of the gospel and the world. We’re privileged to support brothers and sisters who are giving their lives for God.
- Give 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, $1.00, or more per unengaged, unreached people group (@ 3200 groups). Help get the gospel to groups for whom there is no current witness.
- Challenge your church small group to reach a combined goal for Lottie Moon. Push one another to give, and help each other follow through with the commitment.
- Match your monthly gift to your church. Of course, I’m assuming here that you give well to support your church. If so, do the same for the LMCO. If not, commit to increasing both!
- Sell some “stuff,” and give the funds to the nations. Many of us have much more “stuff” than we will ever need. We can live without it, but the world cannot live without Jesus.
- Prayerfully give until your faith is genuinely stretched. Many of us give only out of our excess. Ask God to help you to give this year until you’re forced to trust Him to meet your remaining needs.
What other ideas would you add?