International missions challenge starts at home

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LMCO graphicThe Week of Prayer for International Missions was an opportunity for us to reflect upon the need for Christ to be preached among the nations. With billions of people remaining in the grasp of idol worship and unbelief, the call to make known the life-giving message of the gospel must be heard. “Go ye therefore!” declares the one who suffered for the sins of the world. He who wills that none be lost has charged those who have been found to pursue any who yet stand in need of His mercies.

While some of us may hear the call to permanently move to foreign fields, those of us who have not can still take advantage of opportunities to serve alongside our career missionaries through volunteer mission trips. And ALL of us can do our part to support God’s missionaries with our prayers and offerings.

Among the Southern Baptist family, Kentucky Baptists have led the way in our giving to get the gospel to the ends of the earth. Only the new Southern Baptists of Texas Convention sends a higher percentage of Cooperative Program gifts to the International Mission Board than the Kentucky Baptist Convention. The CP funds many ministries in Kentucky and North America, but 5 million CP dollars now make it to the IMB from Kentucky. In addition to CP support, Kentucky Baptists give approximately $5 million more to the IMB through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

Over the years, Kentucky Baptists have given generously to support our IMB missionaries. Yet, in spite of our generosity, the growing cost of missionary support and the lack of sufficient growth in giving finds the IMB missionary count down nearly 1,000 from where it was five years ago.

How can this problem be fixed? Here is a simple plan for Kentucky Baptists to get another 100 missionaries to the foreign fields.

First, if every KBC church giving less than 10 percent through the CP increased its giving to 10 percent, we would provide for another 40 IMB missionaries, not to mention the additional funds that would be available to help reach Kentucky and North America for Christ.

Then, if every KBC church increased its giving to Lottie Moon by $1,000, another 60 missionaries could be serving through IMB. Last year, the average KBC church gave approximately $2,000 to Lottie. Keep in mind that some of our churches are giving tens of thousands while others give nothing. Yet, if all 2,400 churches send $1,000 more, regardless of the amount of last year’s contribution, 60 more workers can be sent out to the harvest fields.

Paul said of the Macedonian believers, “They gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means” (2 Corinthians 8:3). My prayer is that Kentucky Baptists will exhibit that same kind of generosity.

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