Published December 22, 2005
At First Baptist Eastman, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering giving has increased by $57,000 in the past four years.
The steady growth – from $25,000 in 2001 to $82,000 in 2005 – has been the result of basic education and involvement in missions, said Joe Daniel, minister of education and missions at the church.
“We’ve had four overseas mission trips in the last four years. We’ve done some of that in the past, but this time we promoted Lottie Moon on the trips,” he said.
Buck and Leslie Burch were members of Eastman church before they became missionaries in Russia. When they left for the mission field, the church agreed to partner with the family. Burch was a strategy coordinator in St. Petersburg and recently was named cluster coordinator for European Russia.
“We divided into teams for the trips, including medical and evangelism teams. We’ve also led youth ministry training seminars for youth ministers in St. Petersburg and also a women’s ministry conference as well,” Daniel said. Members pay their own expenses on the trips. The church has no fundraisers for the trips that cost several thousand dollars each.
Daniel also has begun a December emphasis that raises mission awareness.
“Every Sunday we call a missionary somewhere in the world. We have the missionary family’s photo on our screen and I interview them,” he said.
The interview always ends with the same question, “Why is the Lottie Moon offering important?” This year Daniel will interview missionaries in Russia, Thailand and Africa.
The phone calls are important, he said. It makes it personal.
And that’s what makes the difference.
First Church, Eastman
• 950 total membership
• 485 average Sunday school attendance
• $1 million general budget
• $25,000 Lottie Moon Offering, 2001
• $82,0000 Lottie Moon Offering, 2004
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