December is the month when most Oklahoma Baptists are thinking about missions. The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) is not just a tradition of Southern Baptists; it is a vital lifeline for our overseas missionaries, as we pray for them and support them though our LMCO offerings. If your church has not promoted the LMCO, it’s not too late. Find resources here.
But missionary awareness is needed year round! So I wanted to take some time to point out a new resource that is hot off the press that can help you be an advocate for missions in your church, your small group and online. I am talking about the Oklahoma Baptists 2021 Cooperative Program Missionary Prayer Guide
You can download the prayer guide here. All Oklahoma Baptist churches will be getting hard copies of the guide as well. Those copies are being mailed out this week. Check your church’s mailbox! If you need additional copies, contact 405/942-3800.
This guide is a useful resource for you to keep praying all year long for Oklahoma missionaries who are serving around the globe. There is the digital e-book version of the prayer guide, but also you will find images, PowerPoint and Keynote slides your church can use as well. Here is the link for these resources.
All of these resources help tell the story of the Gospel’s advance, which is made possible through the Cooperative Program. Show them in your church’s gatherings and use them with new member orientation classes. You can also use the guide for your personal devotions, remembering to pray daily for the ministries of your church.
Here are a few other ways you can use the guide in your church to help spread the word about how we are doing more together.
- Work with your church’s leadership and plan to incorporate the prayer guide in the ongoing life of your church. Work closely with your pastor. He may want to use the guide in a midweek prayer service, your church’s small group times or use in the prayer ministry. Be a resource to your church’s leadership however they choose to use the guide.
- Make a plan to celebrate missions in your church. April 25, 2021 is CP Sunday, and October is CP Month in the Southern Baptist Convention. Consider having a special day to talk about missions and the CP, inviting a missionary speaker and/or hosting a CP Missions fair. You can find more resources to use for the celebration here and here.
- Remember to promote missions stewardship in your church. Here’s a brief refresher on how missions is funded by Oklahoma Baptists.
The Cooperative Program is the financial foundation of our Southern Baptist missions and ministries around the world. Each church gives a percentage of its budget through the Cooperative Program as we partner together to touch the world for Christ. Additional information is available from the Leadership Office of Oklahoma Baptists. More Info: 405/942-3800 ext. 4525 or oklahomabaptists.org/cp.
The Edna McMillan Oklahoma State Missions Offering is promoted during September of each year and supports mission and evangelism projects in Oklahoma. This offering is named after Edna McMillan, an Oklahoman who had a vision of reaching the state of Oklahoma with the Gospel. It provides additional funding beyond your church’s Cooperative Program gifts. Additional information is available from the Missions and Women’s Ministries Office of Oklahoma Baptists. More Info: 405-942-3000 ext. 4318 or oklahomabaptists.org/smo.
The Annie Armstrong Easter Offering is the annual offering promoted during March of each year. This offering provides additional funding beyond the church’s Cooperative Program gifts for the work of the North American Mission Board in the United States and Canada. Additional information may be obtained from the North American Mission Board. More Info: 800/634-2462, namb.net and oklahomabaptists.org/smo.
The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is the annual offering promoted each December to benefit missions around the world. This offering provides additional funding beyond the church’s Cooperative Program gifts for the work of the International Mission Board and over 3,600 missionaries around the world. Additional information may be obtained from the International Mission Board. More Info: 800/999-3113 or imb.org/lottiemoon.
Keep missions on the front burner in your church in 2021. There are so many resources that are useful for your church, it’s easy to do. You can also share missionary advocacy media on your personal social media page. As you do, remember that mission advocacy for some will also open up evangelistic conversations with unbelieving friends. Remember what the Word says:
“but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet. 3:15).