Lottie Moon: One Sacred Effortby Milton A. Hollifield Jr.
Since our Convention’s founding, Southern Baptists have worked together in “one sacred effort for the propagation of the Gospel.”
Those words come from the preamble to the original constitution of the Southern Baptist Convention, adopted in 1845. Fittingly, “One Sacred Effort” is also the theme for this year’s Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions.
Last year, Southern Baptists gave an unprecedented $154 million to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering (LMCO). I’m happy to report that once again, North Carolina Baptist churches were the leaders of this special offering. In 2013, when compared with all SBC state conventions, North Carolina Baptist churches led the way by contributing $12.5 million to the International Missions Board (IMB) for the LMCO.
As you pray and give in support of the LMCO, you join this one sacred effort of helping fulfill the Great Commission. Our Lord’s final words to His followers were to “go and make disciples of all nations.” That effort is one that God still calls all believers to join today.
Lottie Moon spent almost 40 years of her life making the name of Jesus known and sharing His love among the people of China. Until her death on Christmas Eve in 1912, she urged Southern Baptists to make a greater commitment to reaching the world for Christ. Now, the offering that bears her name helps support more than 4,800 missionaries in countries around the world who are serving through the (IMB).
Although we have made great progress in advancing the gospel, there is still much work to be done — 6.3 billion people on earth are not Christian. Approximately 1.7 billion people still have no access to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and people are dying every day without having had the opportunity to hear and respond to the good news of Jesus Christ.
The goal for this year’s LMCO is $175 million. Meeting this goal would enable us to send even more missionaries to the field, and every penny that is given to this special offering goes to support our international mission work. The goal is lofty, but so is our task.
Lottie Moon lived in complete surrender, sacrifice and service to the Lord. As we approach this year’s LMCO, I ask that we all prayerfully consider how God would have us respond and participate in this special offering to support global missions.
Your prayers and financial gifts allow you to become directly involved in what God is doing to build His Kingdom all over the world. And as you pray and give, you become part of this one sacred effort that has been the foundation of SBC life since our beginning.
Our collective efforts to reach the world for Christ serve as a reminder of the principle that has guided Southern Baptist missionary endeavors from the start: We can accomplish more together than we can by ourselves.