Dear Pastor Madaris,
Thanks in advance for reading through this email about an issue that is heavy on my heart. For several years now, our Lottie Moon offering goal for international missions has been $175 million dollars. With the world now at its greatest hour of lostness, and with unreached people groups never more accessible, that goal seems small when compared to the $12 billion dollars placed in Southern Baptist offering plates last year. Yet for several years now, giving to the Lottie Moon offering has been static, hovering near the $150 million dollar mark.
I believe this year the Lord is giving us a crucial opportunity to prove that we are churches truly committed to fulfilling the Great Commission. This was the heartbeat of our founders, and the driving force behind both the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon offering. The Lord is asking if it is still our heartbeat today. My prayer is that we will marshal forces across the SBC to answer with a resounding "Yes!"
This is the hour of the world's greatest need for the Gospel. We currently have over 4,800 personnel who, along with their 4,000 children, are living out the Gospel on the field – most of them in some very dark places. Approximately 1,400 individuals are currently in our active application file. Right now, if we hit our goal we will be able to deploy only 576 of those new applicants in 2014 to join forces with existing personnel sharing the Good News to the very ends of the earth. That is why I am ardently praying we will far exceed our $175 million goal, which would enable us to send even more. My prayer is that we will be able to fund needed strategies to engage the very limits of lostness and thrust into the harvest field all who are being called out of churches like yours.
In my recent report to our trustees I shared with them the urgency of the need. We captured a portion of that message in a 3-minute video clip. I would ask that you take just a few moments to view it at http://imb.org/elliffchallenge. After viewing it, I urge you to share it with your church.
I pray that together we will rise to this hour, seizing the opportunities that are before us, and giving our all – TOTALLY HIS for the sake of the Gospel!
For the vision!