The International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention represents what is best about our work together. Thousands of missionaries are sharing the gospel around the world. We can’t be everywhere at the same time, but our witness can through the faithfulness of those who are called to minister outside the United States. While we are sitting down to a turkey dinner, they are far from family and friends. They are in a different culture; perhaps they are in a dangerous place. What can we do to support them?
So many possibilities are available for our involvement with SBC missionaries. The first and most impacting is to pray for them. Pray for a missionary family or two on a daily basis. Interceding for them in the spiritual warfare they face is the most significant contribution you can make.
What about actually being with the missionary family where they are? Next year plan a mission trip to be with them in the field. An incredible gift would be to invest your time to be where they are serving. This might be a personal trip or a church trip, but it would be an incomparable encouragement.
Call, Skype or use some other contact to actually converse with a missionary at this time of the year. One year I called my missionary friend on Christmas. He was so thankful for the contact, he wept. A note of appreciation would be a welcomed gesture. Let them know you are praying for them.
There is also another tangible way to express your care for SBC missionaries. The Cooperative Program is the lifeline for placing and keeping missionaries on the field. The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention sends 55 percent of all CP funds to the SBC. Over 50 percent of that money goes to the International Mission Board. Encourage your church to give 1 percent more in 2016 through the Cooperative Program. It may seem like a small amount, but if everyone would participate, we would see more missionaries. This is the most consistent and proven method of financially undergirding Southern Baptists’ work together.
At this time of the year the International Mission Board receives a special offering—the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. Lottie Moon was a SBC missionary to China a little over 100 years ago. She gave her life in service to our Lord Jesus as she reached many with the gospel. All of the Lottie Moon Offering goes to the missionaries. My wife and I have consistently given to the Lottie Moon Offering. This year we will be putting an extra zero behind our usual dollar amount on the check. This will be the largest gift we have ever given to LMCO. I encourage you to prayerfully consider giving more than you ever have before so the nations may hear the gospel. If you have never given to LMCO, this is the year to start.
I pray God’s blessings upon you and yours during this time of the year. While we are enjoying our Christmas season, let’s rally around the cross to lift it high to the nations. We do that by tangibly supporting our missionaries.