Lottie Moon

My good friend, William Richardson, is the pastor of the Afton (IA) Assembly of God. At the beginning of 2012, he began “Lights 4 God” to highlight the stories of Christians, who have played a significant role in impacting the world for the kingdom God. Each blog’s publication date coincides with the individual’s birthday. Lottie Moon was born on December 12, 1840, and William’s blog about Lottie Moon can be accessed HERE.

For anyone in Southern Baptist life, Lottie is well known, at least for the offering that bears her name. Some of the specifics of her life and ministry have been lost to the average layman over the years. The story is told of one man asking, “Haven’t we raised enough money to bring Lottie home?”  This extraordinary woman, however, rightfully serves as a model of Christian discipleship and helped shape the modern missionary movement. The annual emphasis for the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Missions Christmas offering is named in her memory for the ministry for which she gave her life in China in the late 19th to early 20th centuries.

Lottie Moon, herself, suggested that a missions offering be collected at Christmas. She wrote from China in 1887: “Is not the festive season when families and friends exchange gifts in memory of The Gift laid on the altar of the world for the redemption of the human race, the most appropriate time to consecrate a portion from abounding riches and scant poverty to send forth the good tidings of great joy into all the earth?” May we indeed consider that challenge today! In the midst of our own Christmas giving, please consider giving a gift through your own church’s mission work to help spread the Good News to the world.

Click here to read William’s inspiring blog: LOTTIE MOON.

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The following from website of the International Mission Board of the SBC offers some additional links, giving more information about the LMCO, an online giving link and an explanation about the missionary support that comes through Southern Baptist churches’ cooperation:

Every penny you give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® supports missionaries as they share the Gospel overseas. We encourage you to give through your local church but also offer online giving for your convenience. Follow your gifts to your local church through the Cooperative Program from the offering plate to the mission field.

Out of the Pulpit

I had a dilemma this week…what to post. The purpose of this blog is to follow-up my Sunday messages at Crest Baptist Church with some additional points of application, but I was “out of the pulpit.” Since we had a missionary couple visit our service last week, I did not preach. I was there; led in worship; led in congregational prayer; and the children’s message. But, I did not preach. Or did I?

The word “preach” comes from the Greek word Kataggello which means “to proclaim, declare, preach, show, speak of, teach.” As you can see from those possible meanings, each of us can be “preachers.” Anytime we are speaking of, declaring or proclaiming the goodness and greatness of Christ, are we not preaching? Didn’t every single participant who earnestly and honestly sang praises, prayed prayers, gave offerings, and greet another in the love of Christ “preach” last Sunday?

Unfortunately, most Christians tie preaching to the pulpit. The average individual fails to see that the role of proclamation is not limited to the professional clergy – the assignment falls to them, as well. Last Sunday, we heard how a policeman and a city manager in Peru were taking that assignment seriously as they were training to become pastors under the ministry of Mike Riggs with Believers Bridge. While not all laymen are called to become pastors, all are called to bear witness of the wonderful grace of God which brings salvation through Jesus Christ, starting where we are (Acts 1:8).

Will you be one who takes preaching out of the pulpit? If you do, you won’t be alone. Christ assures you of His presence and power (Matthew 28:18-20).

EXTRA RESOURCES:

The North American Mission Board has a video series called “One-Hour Witnessing Workshop” that can be viewed online.

If you are not sure what other religions believe (and even other Christian denominations) here is a good site to compare those religions to Christianity, giving you insight on how to share your faith in Christ: http://www.4truth.net/