For those of you who are strangers to Southern Baptist life we have at least one tradition that is a real keeper. Every year at Christmas we take up an offering for international missions call The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering For Foreign Missions. It is named after a Southern Baptist Missionaty to China who literally gave all for the cause of Christ to reach the people of China. God used her in a tremendous way to reach people and she is revered today for the life she sacrificed for Christ and His Kingdom.
I had some convicting and random thoughts...
Our church set a goal of $3000.00 for the offering this year. We have three Sunday until Christmas and so far we are only 10% of the way. Most people will spend about ten times what they give to the offering on Christmas presents to people which they do not need.
Missionaries are people who will go around the world to share Christ. Many Christians have a hard time going down the street to church services on Sunday.
Unless I upgrade my giving this Christmas I will have spent more food on horse feed and dog food than what I have planned to give to the offering. I think I will upgrade what I plan to give.
If every active family in our little church gave $100.00 we would blow past this offering amount. If I take my family out to eat twice in one month I will likely spend more than $100.00.
Southern Baptist Mission leaders will receive a budget for their areas this year. Their decision boils down to one question: "Which people group will I decide will not have a Christian witness for another year?" Next year they will be asking the same question, perhaps about the same people group.
Southern Baptists have one of the largest missionary prescences in the world, 5,388. If you divide that number by the low number of 42,000 Southern Baptist Churches that is .13 missionaries per church. Is it unrealistic of me to think there is no reason we could not have one person per church called and sent as a missionary?
The greatest missionary ever was not Lottie Moon or the Apostle Paul. The greatest Missionary is Jesus.
Before you buy someone a tie or shirt they will likely not wear think about how those funds could be used by a missionary seeking to do what you and I have not been willing to do.
Just some random thinking.