Archive for December, 2012

During this Christmas season it is easy to get overwhelmed with all that is going on, but if you are a Christian concerned about spreading God’s glory to the ends of the earth (and you should be) it is also a great time to think about supporting International Missions. As a pastor who has served as a missionary with the International Mission Board (IMB)and been on numerous volunteer trips around the globe with the IMB, I realize how important the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) is.  54% of the IMB’s budget is funded by the offering. It is important to note that every penny of the offering goes to the International Mission Board’s overseas budget, thus supporting their (almost 5000) missionaries and their work.

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Certainly the difficult economy has had an effect as all church giving has been down and this trend has been true in recent years for the LMCO also as national goals have not been met in recent years. This has lead to a decrease in the overall mission force of the IMB from approximately 5,500 to under 5,000 missionaries. These facts and the state of world  evangelization were key factors behind the call for a Great Commission Resurgence across our national and state Baptist(SBC) denominations. This has led me in recent years to strive and encourage my church to focus on the LMCO for a month opposed to the often emphasis of just 8 days (during the IMB’s week of prayer emphasis).

When it comes to money and giving to missions we must lead the fight against our natural tendency to keep if for our comfort and convenience.  This is not a new battle but one that is raged and even affected the pastor who Lottie Moon was converted under in the 1800s. That pastor is the famous John Broadus, who Charles Spurgeon said was the “greatest of living preachers.”  Before Broadus became one of the founders of the Southern Baptist Convention’s seminary in Greenville, South Carolina,  he was a john_broadus.250w.tnfaithful and renown pastor and preacher. Under that faithful biblical expository preaching untold numbers came to saving faith in Jesus Christ.  One of those that was deeply impacted was the young Lottie Moon. Here is a convicting and encouraging story I read years ago that you should use to help in casting a vision for giving during this LMCO season. This happened while Broadus was pastoring and his church recently had completed a new building. It comes from Broadus’ former student and son-in-law, A.T. Robertson, in his compilation of Broadus’ Life and Letters:

The church was not built without a debt, which hung like a millstone on some necks. Many wished to use it as an excuse for not giving to other things. Dr. R. J. Willingham tells the following :

I remember in one of Doctor Broadus’s last sermons before his death he told this incident : When he was a young pastor inVirginia the church had just put up a new building. On Saturday one of his deacons met him and the following conversation took place:

“ Brother Broadus, tomorrow is Foreign Mission Day, is it not?”

“ Yes.”

“ Well, you will not press the subject, will you?”

“ Why not? “

“ We have a debt on our church, and ought to pay that.”

The young pastor answered : “ Do you think that after being blessed of God in building a house for our comfort and convenience we ought to neglect the lost souls out yonder for whom Christ died ?

He went home, fell on his knees, and prayed God for wisdom to lead his people. He then prepared the best sermon he possibly could on the subject, and urged his people to give. A glorious collection followed.  The people were so rejoiced that they met Monday night at the young pastor’s house and paid every dollar of the debt which had been worrying them. God honors those who in his name reach after dying men and women.

Some of the members of the church remember to this day that sermon, and how Mr. Broadus used with tremendous and wonderful effect the charge…

excerpt from pages 104-05 of A. T. Robertson’s  LIFE AND LETTERS OF JOHN A. BROADUS printed in 1910.

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