I love Lottie.
One of the greatest privileges of being a part of a Southern Baptist church is the joy in asking people to celebrate Christmas by giving sacrificially and generously to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. Where can you get more bang for your missions buck – when you give to Lottie, people hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. I do not believe that is hyperbole.
I simply don’t understand churches that don’t go all-in for Lottie. Did I just violate some kind of Baptist law by using a poker reference concerning the Lottie Moon offering? I don’t care. Push your chips in the middle and lay it on the line for Lottie. You aren’t crazy about everything that is going on in the SBC? Fine. We’ll argue that later. But how can anyone NOT be thrilled with the work our missionaries are doing around the world? Lottie is the lifeline for that work. Dissatisfied with bureaucracy and institutionalism? Fine. Lottie goes directly to support the work of our mission force around the world.
I just can’t see any reason why any church wouldn’t want to get excited about and invested in the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
Okay, I’ll quit preaching now and assume you, like me, are a Lottie lover! I live in an area where people have very little idea about who Southern Baptists are and they certainly have no idea who Lottie Moon is. Years ago, in another church, a new church family was enraged that we were taking an offering to support the “Moonies.” Many of the people in our churches didn’t grow up in RAs and GAs or hearing the story of Lottie’s ministry and sacrifice. (There have been some questions recently about the details of that story, but what is unquestioned is that Lottie was a woman of God who served the gospel and the people of China well.)
So, how do we promote that offering? Every year, I receive a packet of promotional information from the IMB with DVDs and other materials, promoting the Lottie Moon offering. These are always good. This year, I believe they are outstanding.
“His Heart, His Hands, His Voice” Promotional Materials
You can used the promotional materials on the DVDs or you can download them directly from the IMB website.
The DVD gives you “Dated videos” – those tied to the Lottie Moon Offering emphasis, “Undated videos – essentially the same videos not linked to Lottie, and “Downloadable resources” – a variety of other things which you can access – logos, graphics, videos and other things.
In the “Dated Videos” section there is a preview video which you can watch. But the usable resources are found in three main sections.
First, there is the Feature video, “His Heart, His Hands, His Voice” (3:37): Watch it here.
It begins with calls from J.D. Greear and David Platt to be a part of the mission of God in this world – a call to sacrifice, to be the Body of Christ, “His heart, His hands, His Voice.” The video continues with brief vignettes of missionaries, pastors and others talking about the mission and how we can be involved. The stories are passionate and powerful – well worth three minutes and 37 seconds of your Sunday worship time.
The second video is a music video which has some of the same message as the Feature Video, but done as a song. The video is by “No Other Name” and is called “Let It Start with Me.” (3:48) View it here.
Its a good song (soft contemporary – acceptable in all but the most traditional of churches). The video shows facts, quotes and personal vignettes of people in need. It is moving and powerful. It would work well as an offertory song.
The next section is entitled “Stories” and has four videos that tell missionary stories from around the world. Each is around 3 minutes long.
1) “Rio Portrait” (3:06) is the story of the work of Eric and Ramona Reese in Rio De Janeiro. (See it here) Eric’s passion for missions, especially for his work with poor, needy and often neglected people, is contagious. Two comments he made stayed with me.
“Everyone has the same value at the foot of the Cross.”
“I’m willing to risk it all seeing that He gave it all.”
I give this video two enthusiastic thumbs up.
2) “Tricked, Transported and Trapped” (3:11) is a vivid and moving picture of the needs of those trapped in the sex trades in South Africa. It begins with a warning that it may not be suitable for young children. Watch it and see. This is a real world problem and it will not be comfortable to watch. I think our people need to see this, but maybe some place other than Sunday Morning worship is where that needs to take place. That’s a decision you have to make. Watch the video here. Seriously. Watch it.
3) “Legacy of Love” (3:09) recounts the story of Sam James ministry in war-era Vietnam, and his return in 1989 to see how the church had progressed during the years of oppression. It is a rousing tribute to SBC missionaries of the past and the work that they have done. Watch the video here.
4) “The Road to Promise” (3:05) is the story of an anonymous missionary’s work in a European city with refugees, primarily Muslims. Much of the work of SBC missionaries today is being done by those who cannot reveal their names because they work in Muslim areas or other places in which missionaries are not welcome. Watch the video here.
The last section is “Testimonies” which consists of five missionary testimonies ranging from 1 minute to 2 minutes long. I will not detail each of them, but each is a good story of the work of God through SBC missionaries. The five on the DVD and several others can be viewed at the IMB website. Here is the link.
I don’t rely completely on the videos to promote Lottie Moon, but they are a valuable resource.
The needs are great and the opportunity is there. Use these powerful videos as a tool, if you will. But I encourage all of us to support the work of our missionaries and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions.