2021 Week of Prayer and Lottie Moon resources now available
By IMB Staff
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) – Downloadable resources for this year’s Week of Prayer (Nov. 28-Dec. 5) and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering are available now on the IMB’s website. 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.
Resources are designed to unite individuals and churches in prayer and in meeting this year’s $185 million LMCO goal. 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.
“Sending more missionaries and reaching more people and places requires sacrificial giving,” IMB President Paul Chitwood said.
Chitwood said in recent years about half of Southern Baptist churches gave to missions through the Lottie Moon offering. He hopes to see that number increase as more churches feel 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.
Materials for LMCO and for the Week of Prayer are provided in English, Korean, Spanish and Chinese.
MBTS panel discussion highlights urgency of Great Commission call
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) – During the Sept. 14 chapel service at Midwestern Seminary, Joe and Christy Allen joined seminary President Jason Allen and Provost Jason Duesing for a panel discussion centered on the topic of international missions.
The discussion represents part of an ongoing Great Commission emphasis at Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College in the new 2021-22 academic year.
In his opening remarks, Allen said the need for a sustained focus on the Great Commission has been increasingly important to him. Further, such an emphasis accords with the seminary’s overall vision.
“From day one, we’ve talked a lot about for the church, and rightfully so,” said Allen. “We have also sought to say consistently that to be for the church is to be for the nations because missions is about reaching people for Christ and incorporating them into established churches and church plants overseas.
“As I look across the landscape of the broader evangelical world and even in our own Convention, it seems as though that we are in something of a low ebb as it relates to a Great Commission awareness – a Great Commission zeal. Through the FUSION program at Spurgeon College and new, forthcoming missions initiatives at the graduate level, we hope to be the place in the 2020s that is championing a Great Commission vision. We are praying Midwestern Seminary will be the place from which God begins an awakening work, reminding local churches of the great need to reach the nations for Christ.”
Allen then interviewed chapel guests Joe and Christy Allen and Jason Duesing. Joe Allen joined the Midwestern Seminary faculty this fall as assistant professor of missions. He and Christy served as missionaries with the International Mission Board in various locales throughout South Asia for more than a decade.
During the Q&A, the couple shared details about their individual calls to Gospel ministry in overseas contexts and their time spent serving together with the IMB. The task, they said, was difficult at times but worth the time and effort.
“You know, we often consider people like Amy Carmichael, Jim Elliott, and Adoniram Judson – these heroes of the faith,” Joe Allen said. “But, if you were to talk to them, they wouldn’t consider themselves heroes. They would say, ‘We are unworthy servants, just doing what we are told.’ They would probably quote Luke 17:10 or something along those lines. Like them, what kept us on the field was that we knew we were where we were supposed to be. Every time someone came to faith, it was another shot in the arm.”
Christy added she was often encouraged by the Lord’s provision amid challenging circumstances, saying, “I think what allows you to push through the hard times is knowing that God loves me, and He never lets His kids go through hard things without a purpose. He wrote on my heart the message, ‘I will never waste pain.’ God will never waste the pain that is offered to Him.
“You know His heart for you, and His plans for you are good. Whether it is going halfway around the world or going to Kansas City, his plans are good. Trusting him has been something I learned on the mission field, and it has sustained me even now.”