One Sacred Effort: Find your place in God’s story
    November 17 2014 by International Mission Board, Baptist Press

    We can accomplish more together than you or I can by ourselves. That is the guiding principle of Southern Baptist missions.
     
    This principle is reflected as churches pool their financial and personnel resources to do missions collaboratively throughout the world through the Cooperative Program (CP) and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) for International Missions.
     
    Otherwise, individual efforts would be bound by individual resources. But collectively, Southern Baptists share resources with each other, which results in training, strategy and best practices, coordinated logistical support and provisions for missionary health care and child education.
     
    Carlos and Lily Llambes, whose story is featured during this Nov. 30-Dec. 7 Week of Prayer, have experienced the difference this makes firsthand.
     
    Before becoming International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries, the couple from Florida went to the Dominican Republic on their own as self-supported missionaries. They struggled to provide for their family of five, sometimes only having a few plantains from their backyard tree to eat for the day. Now funded through CP and LMCO, the Llambes are able to devote their efforts fulltime to evangelism and church starting.
     
    Missionaries like the Llambes, sent out by and funded through Southern Baptist churches, are partnering with fellow believers from the U.S. to reach people groups around the world with the gospel.
     
    The Llambes have worked with several Florida Baptist churches, connecting them with believers in the Dominican Republic to help them start churches. Also, an Arkansas church team has traveled to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to work alongside missionaries reach out to people groups in the African city.
     
    A Texas congregation, who partners with missionaries to reach Afro-Ecuadorians and also the Antandroy of Madagascar, is encouraging other African-American Southern Baptist congregations to join them.
     
    Out of the world’s population of 7 billion, more than half live among people groups still unreached with the gospel, some in which there is no ongoing sharing of the gospel among them. Through a combined effort, Southern Baptists are sharing the love of Christ with the nations.
     
    In the words of the first Southern Baptist Convention president William Bullein Johnson, the Foreign Mission Board (now IMB) was created with the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1845 “… for the purpose of organizing an efficient and practical plan, on which the energies of the whole Baptist denomination, throughout America, may be elicited, combined and directed in one sacred effort for sending the word of life to idolatrous lands. …”
     
    How is Southern Baptist missions funded? 
     
    The Cooperative Program helps fund ministries and missions by churches giving through cooperating state conventions. A portion of those funds is then forwarded by the state conventions to the national office of the Southern Baptist Convention.
     
    Slightly more than 50 percent of all Cooperative Program contributions received on a national level are directed to help the work that is taking place through IMB.
     
    LMCO funds more than 50 percent of the work accomplished through IMB. Named for a courageous Southern Baptist missionary who served in China at the turn of the 20th century, this offering is used exclusively to help provide the day-to-day support for missionaries sent around the globe by Southern Baptist churches through IMB.
     
    Approximately 4,800 full-time missionaries (and their 4,000 children) are supported in this way. These missionaries proclaim the gospel, start new indigenous churches through which new believers are baptized, disciple new and established believers in their faith and provide Bible-centered teaching to current and future church leaders, so that churches are reproducing and making disciples in their own Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth.
     
    At imb.org/offering there are resources for churches to raise awareness for and to contribute to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions.
     
    The focus scripture for this year is Matthew 28:19-20 and the offering goal is $175 million. See related videos at imb.org/lmcovideo.

    11/17/2014 2:28:40 PM by International Mission Board, Baptist Press | with 0 comments
    Filed under: IMB, Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, missionaries




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