Who is Lottie Moon? Many Southern Baptists don’t know who she is or why their church is constantly raising money for her at Christmas.
Is Lottie Moon a creditor, like Sallie Mae or Freddie Mac?
Not at all. Lottie Moon was a missionary to China from 1873 to 1912 whose letters pleading for mission support still resonate today. Because of Lottie’s determination, WMU collected a Christmas offering to give to the Foreign Mission Board (now the International Mission Board, or IMB).
In 1918, at WMU corresponding secretary Annie Armstrong’s suggestion, WMU named the offering for Lottie. Today, we still give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) in honor of her work and sacrifice to keep missionaries on the field.
The LMCO provides critical funding for Southern Baptists’ international missions efforts with 100 percent of the offering going to missionaries. An annual goal is set by the WMU Executive Board in consultation with the IMB’s executive staff, allowing Southern Baptists to send and equip missionaries around the world.
Ideas for Encouraging Giving
Consider initiating a LMCO emphasis in your group or family by adopting/adapting some of these ideas:
- Match it. Challenge group or family members to give to the offering the same amount they spend on their most expensive Christmas gift.
- Make the group Christmas party a Lottie party. Request members give what they would have spent on party supplies and refreshments to the offering. Instead of focusing on food and games, gather for mission stories, prayer, and songs.
- Plan ahead for next year’s offering. Ask group or family members to pledge a specific amount to international missions each month above their tithe. Consider asking others to help reach your goal.
Find out more about Lottie Moon, Lottie Moon resources, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, the Week of Prayer for International Missions, and Lottie’s Tea Cake Recipe at wmu.com/lottie.
Jean M. Mclean is a freelance journalist in Birmingham, Alabama.
A version of this article originally appeared in the December 2021 issue of Missions Mosaic.