FBC El Dorado reached its goal for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. As a matter of fact, we surpassed it by over $34,000!!!!! I am so grateful and proud of the congregation that makes up First Baptist Church.
I challenged the members to match what they spent on their Christmas gifts and let’s see if we could give $100,000 to the offering for IMB missionaries around the world. By the end of December, we had collected $134, 138.67.Praise be to our great God! I am beyond thrilled at the sacrifices made, the obedience offered, and the stories of God’s faithfulness I have seen and heard through this. Thank you, FBC, for allowing me to see and know and love God more because of you!!!
I learned a few things about our church (perhaps many SBC churches?) through these months and process:
1. Congregations want to be a part of something big and eternal.
This became so obvious to me last month. I think church people are tired of the ‘aim-low’ and ‘expect the norm’ mentality that is so prevalent. If the God of the Bible we read REALLY is who He says He is, then our people really want to see and know HIM. Low, small, easy-to-reach goals don’t require much. In fact, if it could be done by us and us alone – why do it anyway, right? Don’t you want to be a part of something that is certain to fail unless God is in it?!?!?!? Of course you do.
2. Congregations give when they know.
To many today, just saying ‘Give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering’ means nothing. However, when you say: “give to this offering because it ensures missionaries who are overseas will have their needs provided for so that they can give all of their time, energy, and attention to reaching the lost,” they get affected. Something happens in a Christian’s heart when it hits them that they could spend money on devices and toys that will be in the attic by Spring, or they could make an eternal difference in the life of someone who has never heard of Jesus.
3. The pastor’s role in this is critical.
The game “Follow the Leader” is not just a game. It’s real. It’s true for churches. Churches will follow what they see and hear from their pastor. If the pastor could care less about the Lottie Moon offering – the church won’t either. If the pastor puts before them – time and time and time again – a cause that is biblical, eternal, and urgent – they will follow. At least FBC did. Praise the Lord, and God help me to be on your agenda as I lead the church entrusted to my care.
First Baptist, thank you for giving and obeying the Lord’s prompting in your heart. I pray we will continue to operate so as to look back and say God did “more than we could ever ask, imagine, or think.”