The Edna McMillan Oklahoma State Missions Offering (SMO) emphasis for 2020, which culminates in the week of prayer (Sept. 6-13), has begun in churches across Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Baptists women’s and missions ministry office is distributing SMO promotional materials to churches, which include prayer points, video resources, children’s missions activities and more.
The SMO statewide goal has been set at $1.2 million and funds multiple missions efforts, including the following three areas which are highlighted through the promotional materials:
“Oklahoma Baptists are impacting prisoners with the Gospel. Through a new ministry initiative in partnership with Oklahoma Baptist University, long-term inmates have the opportunity to earn a theological education. Your giving will provide inmates ministry training as they serve the Lord by sharing the hope of Jesus with their fellow inmates in the prison system.”
“The health and strength of a church depend on the health and strength of a pastor. As Oklahoma Baptists, we encourage one another to advance the Gospel. Shepherding the flock of God is challenging work. Every pastor needs relational support. The offering will provide resources to strengthen our pastors, so they can shepherd the flock of God in a way that advances the Gospel.”
“Oklahoma Baptists have a great heritage of sending missionaries overseas with the International Mission Board. In an effort to reach the nations, every church has the opportunity to connect with missionaries overseas through the State Missions Offering. From any town in our state, we can touch the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through praying, giving and going.”
Hance Dilbeck, executive director-treasurer for Oklahoma Baptists, encouraged individuals and churches to consider participating financially in the offering.
“The challenges we have faced in 2020 remind us that we live in a broken world,” he wrote in a letter to pastors. “This should come as no surprise. Jesus teaches us to embrace brokenness as opportunity for the Gospel.
“This year’s Offering impacts key areas of brokenness in society—hunger, foster care, imprisonment, addiction—with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. People who are distressed and downcast like shepherdless sheep are people ripe unto harvest for Jesus.”
Dilbeck added, “God is glorified when people give in unity; giving together to advance the Gospel together. God is glorified when people give out of scarcity. I know that this year finds many of our people, and many of our churches, with real financial challenges. If we merely give our surplus, we might not give much. However, we are called to sacrificial giving, and God is glorified through sacrificial giving.”
Amy Cordova, who serves as Oklahoma Baptists missions and women’s ministry partner, said, “The dollars raised through the offering furthers outreach ministries across Oklahoma, providing greater opportunities to share Jesus with others in our own community.”
A popular addition to the SMO emphasis in recent years has been the children’s missions education information. Cordova said, “In the Missions Education Activity Sheets, we added conversation starters and additional activities to help children of all ages understand the importance of giving together to support mission work in Oklahoma. The printable activity sheets provide mission education at home or at church.”
“Not only is the offering a time to give together,” Cordova added, “it’s also a time to tell what God is doing through Oklahoma Baptists. Social media is a great outlet to share about our partnership in advancing the Gospel.”
For more information, or to download resources, visit oklahomabaptists.org/state-missions-offering.