Paul Chitwood has made his passions known. The president of the International Mission Board (IMB) wants to send out more missionaries and reach more people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is always at the heart of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO), the annual giving promoted through Southern Baptists to support IMB’s mission work around the world. This year, though, Chitwood hopes to see more churches become connected to missionaries and understand the urgent need to reach the nations with the Gospel.
“We want to see every missionary connecting, every church participating and all of us stewarding well the Revelation 7:9 vision,” Chitwood said.
In a letter sent to Southern Baptist pastors, Chitwood emphasized IMB’s desire to “engage Southern Baptist churches more so than at any point in our history.” He then introduced IMB’s new Church Connections strategy.
“By December,” Chitwood wrote, “every church in the Southern Baptist Convention will be assigned an IMB missionary. For that to happen, every missionary unit will be assigned a portfolio of 20 churches. The missionary’s job is to find the church, make contact with the church, thank the church and build a partnership with the church to help that church grow in its commitment to our cooperative mission efforts.”
Through Church Connections, Chitwood and IMB hope this will help reach the goal of $185 million given to LMCO. The goal is an increase from the 2020 goal and is in keeping with one of IMB’s 2025 targets to increase giving to the IMB by 6 percent annually.
Supporting LMCO this year begins with a Week of Prayer, Nov. 28-Dec. 5, and downloadable resources are available now on IMB’s website—imb.org/weekofprayer. In addition to stories, full-color photos and videos, IMB is offering social media graphics, promotional materials, presentation graphics, poster, display banner and bulletin insert.
This year, IMB will also provide a children’s video and activity page for each day of the Week of Prayer. These resources are designed to invite children to actively participate in the task of praying for missionaries and to raise their awareness of God’s work around the world.
Materials for LMCO and for the Week of Prayer are provided in English, Korean, Spanish and Chinese. Posters, prayer guides and offering envelopes are also provided through Oklahoma Baptists missions and women’s office. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with requests.
“We can’t do it without you and your church,” Chitwood wrote. “Thank you in advance for your support of the work we do at the IMB over the next year. We’re grateful for your fervent prayer and generosity.”