At my church, we work pretty hard to promote the Lottie Moon offering. Being in a new work state, I have about 2-3% of my members who have a Southern Baptist background. Until they joined SHBC, they had no idea who Lottie Moon was. We promote the offering pretty hard and our people are pretty generous – for folks who have no SBC denominational heritage.
The Lottie Moon videos that the IMB sends out have been a great help in this. We used to show them at the beginning of the service, but our folks are notoriously late arrivers, so now we use them instead at the offering time during the month of December. If you haven’t seen them, you should consider watching them and using them. I’m going to give a brief synopsis of the videos on the media kit “Pastor’s guide.” There is also one for youth pastors and for Missions leaders. If you don’t have the media kit (or lost it?), the videos are available online at the IMB website.
Are We There Yet?
The first video is the introductory Lottie Moon video. It is a little over 3 minutes long and is called “Are We There Yet?” It emphasizes that we are on a journey to obey the Great Commission and that we have the knowledge and opportunity to make “the biggest difference we have ever made.” It then emphasizes the need for sacrifice and commitment to complete the job. I love the focus on sacrifice. I believe this is the root of the SBC financial problems today. We are too inwardly focused and have ignored the call to “deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Christ.” We do not emphasize that we are to lay down our bodies as living sacrifices. Too often, American Christianity is about self-fulfillment instead of “dying with Christ.” I thought this video laid that out pretty well. I intend to use it Sunday.
Are We There Yet? Music Video
For more contemporary tastes, the message of the first video is put into a music video which runs 4:16 and is done by Rick Heil of SonicFlood. Even an old fogey like me enjoyed it – it is contemporary but its isn’t heavy metal or anything. Really effective and emotive. The video asks some pointed and thoughtful questions. The song is called “Are We There Yet?” (surprise!)
Dated Videos – More Stories
Under this menu, there are five mission stories and each is worth watching.
1) Basotho – the Forgotten People (3:13)
This video tells the story of Alan and Babs Dial, missionaries to the Lesotho people. It emphasizes CP and Lottie Moon. It also shows the impact of mission partnerships (First Baptist, Perryton, TX is featured and a group of Georgia college students are also highlighted). Great for explaining the missions partnership/mission trip idea. A strong call to every SBC church to be involved and active in the missions process. Includes an emotional appeal from a young college student about sacrifice and commitment.
2) “I’m Not Afraid – Reaching the Kabyles” (3:13)
Johnny Hunt hosts this one and talks of the task of reaching people in Muslim-dominated countries, where persecution abounds. Thinking of a congregation that continues to serve in spite of overt persecution by the local government and religious entities will be convicting to comfort-driven Christians. Makes the point that the gospel can go forward in Muslim nations, even though the work is hard.
3) “The Power of Silence – Reaching the Deaf” (3:03)
The story of a 90-year-old woman who went to the Czech Republic to minister to deaf people and a deaf woman who was saved through that ministry and now serves as a leader among the deaf in the Czech Republic. Very moving story.
4) “Your Gifts for Haiti – Reaching Those in Crisis” (2:30)
Deals with the ministry in Haiti which was recently torn apart by disaster. It emphasizes how our missionaries serve as equippers to national Christians. An SBC missionary discipled the son of a Voodoo priest who is actively sharing his faith.
5) “With God, Nothing Is Impossible (5:33)
The longest video, it is hosted by two teenage girls from Perryton, TX and shows how they got involved in an effective missions-related ministry. Hearing of two teenage girls who spearheaded a mission trip like this (to Lesotho) was inspirational. I took a group of mostly younger folks (2 high schoolers and several college students) to Taiwan last summer. It was life-changing for them. I wish every American Christian teen could take at least one mission trip abroad before they are out of high school (or perhaps college). It opens eyes and inflames hearts for the Great Commission work we are called to do. The video also emphasizes the effect that personal involvement in international missions can have on churches here in the USA.
There are also shorter snippets – testimonies from missionaries about the work they do and the importance of Lottie Moon and CP giving to accomplish that work. Alan Dial from Lesotho (1:18), Ramona Reese from Brazil (2:01), Lydia Stephenson of Poland (1:50), “Timothy Hostetler” (name changed) from a Muslim North African country (1:48) and Trent Tomlinson from Chile (1:18) all give testimonies and each is worth hearing.
There are also undated versions (that do not emphasize LMCO) and can be used at any time. I’m a Lottie-lover, so we will use the dated versions.
There are also on the DVD a lot of downloadable resources – pictures, graphs, info, art, etc that can be used in the promotion of the LMCO.
The IMB puts a lot of time, effort and money into these videos and they are worth showing at church to promote the Lottie Moon Offering.
The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions is worth your efforts. Challenge your people to give generously and sacrificially. These videos can help in that process. I don’t know how anyone else feels, but this is a great resource for us.