More ideas for worship services
Lottie Moon drama - Ask someone who enjoys drama to dress up like Lottie Moon and do dramatic readings each Sunday in December. Use portions of Lottie’s letters or a script for material. For added emphasis, leave the congregation “hanging” from week to week. Example: Lottie’s character says, “And do you know what I told them? Come back next week to find out!”
Lottie at Work - Set a Lottie Moon giving goal based on a missionary need featured in one of the stories at Lottie Moon at Work.
• Variation - Set a church goal based on a missionary’s time on the field, such as a week or a month. Or, encourage each member or family to support a missionary for a day. Here is the average cost to support a single missionary:
(Reported May 2012. Support includes housing, salary, children’s education, medical expenses, retirement and more.)
Christmas tree angels - Church members of Kentwood Heights Baptist Church, Quinton, Va., bought Christmas tree angels for $25 in honor or in memory of someone. All the money went toward the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
Walk to the manger - Heflin (Ala.) Baptist Church hosted a walk to the manger at the conclusion of the Week of Prayer. The manger was a small wooden replica of a cattle-feeding trough filled with fresh hay and a burlap blanket. Each family came forward to place their offerings in the manger.
'Unfinished Service' - Emphasize international missions as an unfinished task. Plan an "Unfinished Service." A soloist sings only part of a song; the pastor stops in the middle of his sermon; ushers pass offering plates to only part of the congregation. Explain at the end of the service that just as elements of the service were unfinished, so is the task God has given believers: to share His Gospel with all peoples of the world. Emphasize that the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering makes it possible for Southern Baptist missionaries to share the Gospel with many peoples around the world who otherwise might never hear it.
Commit five minutes - Commit five minutes per worship service to missions education for one year. Be sure to include Sunday and Wednesday evening services. Use excerpts from dated or undated videos, Commissionstories, or even resources designed for students and children. Subscribe to Living Letters fliers for each church member and refer to these often.
Time machine - Build a "time machine" to be placed in the front of the church sanctuary. Each week in December, at a given time in the worship service, feature a missionary of the past, beginning and culminating with Lottie Moon. The "missionary" will provide information about his or her work in the form of a monologue. Provide written information, too. You might want to use a refrigerator box for the time machine, complete with twinkling lights, sound and perhaps even steam (use dry ice).
Christmas tree: remembering volunteers - Decorate your church's Christmas tree with ornaments that represent where your church members have volunteered in missions. If possible, plan a year ahead and encourage members to bring an ornament or other small token from their place of missions specifically for the tree. During a special Lottie Moon Christmas Offering service, invite volunteers to share their testimonies during worship services, then add their ornaments to the tree.
Blindfold service - Announce a week in advance, from the pulpit and through other communication channels, that the following week's service will emphasize the importance of international missions. As people enter the sanctuary, hand out a blindfold to each and ask them to put it on as soon as they sit down. Encourage ushers to assist the congregation in putting on their blindfolds. Begin the service with even the choir blindfolded. Announce from the pulpit that the blindfolds represent being spiritually lost without new life in Jesus Christ. Partway into the service, ask a specific one-third of the congregation to remove their blindfolds. Continue with a "regular" worship style. Two-thirds of the way through the service, ask another one-third of the congregation to remove their blindfolds. Again, continue with the service. After the final hymn or chorus is sung, announce that the people still wearing blindfolds represent the people of the world who die without ever hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ask the remaining members of the congregation to remove their blindfolds. Emphasize the church's Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goal and challenge members to consider what gift God would have them give toward sharing His Gospel with the entire world.
Lottie Moon impersonators contest - Select a Sunday evening service to have a Lottie Moon impersonators contest. Invite contestants to learn as much as possible about Lottie Moon, including her appearance and lifestyle. Then, allow each contestant three minutes to present her impersonation. Encourage men to select one man in Lottie Moon's life (her father, a nephew, a fellow missionary, etc.) to impersonate to talk about the Lottie Moon they knew. Members vote for their favorite impersonator by listing that person's name on their offering envelopes. The winner can present his or her monologue during a Sunday-morning worship service in December, and possibly to mission organization meetings as well.
'Who Wants to be a Missionary?' trivia contest - Fashioned after the television trivia game show, prepare a set and enlist a host. During an evening worship service or Wednesday night meal, allow members of all ages to compete. Research missions resources to obtain questions. As members watch the competition, they will not only be entertained, they also will learn mission trivia. Provide a small prize and a certificate for the winners.
Lottie Moon interruption - Enlist someone to portray Lottie Moon among your congregation. Midway through a worship service sermon, plan for Lottie Moon to stand and interrupt the pastor to explain why missionaries need the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. This would be especially appropriate in a sermon about missions or about tithing/giving.
Pastor arrested - Andy Krebs, pastor of First Baptist Church, Fairland, Okla., was arrested during one year's Lottie Moon season! Church members held "secret" house church meetings, much like Christians in China. During one meeting, while church members sang softly, police raided their gathering and "arrested" their pastor. The experience made missions real for First Baptist members, and now they give and pray with passion.
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