Churches fund missionary ‘units’ through Lottie Moon Offering

When it came time to set goals for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) Peyton Hill, pastor of First Baptist Church, Prattville, wanted to answer the question, How can we go further with our giving? 

The hurdle comes when the giving is not viewed as tangible — when there is no personal connection between the money and the ministry. 

While International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries make real moves in ministry every day, not every congregation grasps the connection between the money and the ministry in their weekly giving. 

Hill wanted that to change. His goal was to connect the giving with specific, entire missionary units. A missionary unit refers to the support of an entire missionary effort, whether that be a single person, a family or a couple. 

The average cost to support one missionary unit for an entire year through the IMB is $62,000. 

Hill’s challenge to his church was to support two entire missionary units, a financial goal of $124,000. 

Making the personal connection between the finances and the ministry gave the congregation a new inspiration to give. 

The goal was to put names and faces to the giving. 

By defining so precisely where the money given would go and how it would impact the gospel being spread, Hill saw his church rise up and get excited about giving again. 

“The church just ran with it,” Hill said. 

Hill noted the offering could be viewed in a percentage form as well. 

“Individuals and families are saying ‘I’m going to give a 100th of a missionary unit,’” Hill said. “It’s not just an arbitrary number that they write a check for.” 

This fresh perspective on the LMCO is a step in the right direction of being able to send more missionaries to the field, said IMB President Paul Chitwood.

‘More people hear’

“Simply put more missionaries means that more people hear the gospel, believe the gospel and spend eternity in heaven rather than in hell,” Chitwood said. “We have a goal of sending more missionaries. Growing the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering … is how we will meet that goal of sending more missionaries and seeing more people reconciled to God through a saving relationship with Jesus.” (BP)