News Articles

Small church gives big to Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

SURREY, British Columbia (BP)–As the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering season begins, many Southern Baptist church leaders search for unique ways to spur their church to give to overseas missions. Darla Richardson, who promoted missions at a small church in Canada, learned that sometimes all you have to do is simply ask.

Richardson admits she didn’t expect much when members of Gateway Baptist Church in Surrey, British Columbia, met to decide their Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goal. The church had 30-40 members and its share of struggles -– especially with finances.

“When it came time to decide on a goal for Lottie Moon, the pastor and I thought we would think big by saying $500,” Richardson said.

She spent weeks promoting the offering through missions materials, speakers and a 15-minute missions-awareness promotion during a Sunday worship service. She asked church members what their Lottie Moon goal should be, then stepped back to let them decide.

“For some reason, I chose to keep quiet and see what the church would come up with,” she said.

One couple, who had lived overseas, suggested the church set the goal for $2,000. They shared how they witnessed the impact of Southern Baptist missionaries overseas. Before the evening had ended, the church agreed with their proposal.

“Well, that just blew me away,” Richardson said. “We were thrilled that they would present such a goal.”

The church quickly rallied behind the goal, and the members started bringing the offerings each week. Church members lit a candle for each $100 they collected. In the end, they gave $2,010.

“It was exciting to see how the people were giving each week,” Richardson said. “This was a big boost for our church. We began to see a new excitement within the church, and I know personally I was encouraged to see what God was doing at Gateway.”

Since then, the church has increased its passion for international and local missions. Last spring, the church baptized six people, and regular tithes and offerings increased. The church also has become actively involved in reaching its community through various evangelistic outreach efforts. Church members plan to go on a short-term missions trip in the near future.

“Gateway, in the past, has been a struggling church,” Richardson said. “And now we are seeing God doing amazing things. I no longer consider Gateway a struggling church, but a church that is on mission with God.”
For more information about how your church can give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, call 1-800-999-3113 or go online at http://ime.imb.org.

    About the Author

  • Shawn Hendricks