At the end of the year, after wrapping up the Lottie Moon Christmas mission offering, the question is always asked, how did we do? What did we give? This year, let’s take a look at it in a different perspective.
What comes to mind when asked about numbers? First thought is that we need them to count. Good start. What else?
Okay, we know it is the title of the fourth book of the Bible—the one that can be rather difficult to read through. It has all those numbers throughout the book.
But, did you know that numbers can tell a story? Additionally, pun intended, according to Webster there are 38 ways to use the word “number” in the English language. One use is for the purpose of sharing information. We typically look at a number as a way to determine how we are progressing ahead or behind a given goal or objective.
This year as we completed the 2019 Lottie Moon Christmas mission offering, honestly, I was disappointed. Our goal was $25,000, and we gave $15,196.00, almost 40% under our target. I’m not sure why that was, so I went back to look at our history of missions giving. Just as Moses frequently told the children of Israel, “you shall remember…,” we too need to go back and remember why we gave, and what we have given, or we will forget.
Since the early days of our church, we have supported the International Mission Board Lottie Moon Christmas mission offering (LM) and the North American Mission Board Annie Armstrong Easter offering (AA). Today the LM offering supports 3,656 missionaries worldwide, engaging 847 people groups. That equates to 4 missionaries per people group. Some people groups have millions of people and others have only hundreds. And, they all need to know Jesus. That is why we give—to give His Light to the world.
Back in 2002, shortly after we started keeping records, with a goal of $3,000 for the LM offering, we gave $8,378.00, 250% over our goal! In 2008 we crushed a goal of $7,500, with over $20,000.00 for the AA offering. Looking back, we have been quite generous. Since 2001, we have given over $495,000 to those combined missions offerings. That is no small figure!
So, as I went back and remembered, I took another look at that 2019 figure. Our combined goal for the AA and LM offerings was $43,000. We gave just over $38,000! We met 88% of our total goal.
The numbers tell the story. Good job FBCW