RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering has helped support missionaries since 1888 in taking the Gospel around the world. The 2006 goal is $150 million, with 100 percent of Southern Baptists’ gifts undergirding more than 5,100 missionaries working in almost every nation.
West Africa — home to 287 million people and 355 people groups with virtually no access to the Gospel — is the International Mission Board’s focus for the 2006 Lottie Moon offering.
Heading into the Christmas season, the International Mission Board is offering an array of resources free of charge to help churches gain a vision for reaching the people of West Africa -– and people all over the world -– by supporting the 2006 Lottie Moon offering.
Two tools strategically designed to help church leaders spread the Lottie Moon message are the Pastor’s Guide and the Missions Leader’s Guide, available in English and Spanish and featuring an interactive CD-ROM and DVD of resources and ideas for promoting the offering. This year the CD-ROM includes a new multimedia presentation that integrates rhythm with images of the people of West Africa. The disc also includes videos, a photo gallery, clip art, PowerPoint templates and more. The DVD, meanwhile, includes offering promos, videos, sermon illustrations and testimonies, as well as a music video. Many of the resources are in seasonal and non-seasonal (undated) formats.
This year the Mission Leader’s Guide comes with a new section focusing on youth and children’s resources, and the Pastor’s Guide includes three sermon outlines with messages on giving to world missions.
Also available this year is the 2006 “That All Peoples May Know Him” Christmas ornament, a limited edition collector’s item featuring faces from the peoples of West Africa as a missions reminder during the busy Christmas season.
Both the summer and fall editions of The Commission magazine offer a number of stories and photos focusing specifically on West Africa people groups and missionaries featured in the Week of Prayer focus to help churches connect with Southern Baptists serving overseas.
These and other resources can be ordered free of charge from resources.imb.org.
The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering poster is available through Woman’s Missionary Union, with a new perforated banner so that the dated information can be removed once the Christmas season has ended, leaving churches with a constant reminder of the importance of giving to missions. The removable strip also accommodates churches that collect their Lottie Moon offering year-round or at times other than Christmas.
As an exclusive feature at ime.imb.org, Southern Baptists can download alternate posters with other photographs and sizes (including placemat size) highlighting different people in West Africa.
The Week of Prayer brochure, also available through WMU and available in six different languages, highlights eight missionary couples serving in West Africa and shows how churches can pray specifically for those missionaries.
The Lottie Moon poster and Week of Prayer brochure are distributed by WMU state offices. Churches should receive their supplies by Nov. 1.
Churches that register their Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goal at ime.imb.org/goal will receive a free chronological Bible storying cloth, a tool used as a major outreach method in West Africa and around the world.
Many congregations across the United States have invited missions speakers to talk in their services, including both active missionaries and others with missions experience, to engage their members in achieving their missions goal. Although it is too late for this Christmas season, a missions speaker for next year can be requested by calling the IMB’s church services team at 1-800-999-3113.