My job keeps me on social media pretty much 24/7, so I get a front-row seat to some pretty disturbing and discouraging content. But I can always count on the Christmas season to be a marvelous pick-me-up, and it’s not because of the ugly holiday sweater contests—though they do help. It’s because of Lottie.
Southern Baptists do some amazing things to support the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® (LMCO). Whether it’s baking, crafting, running, painting, or a good old-fashioned penny drive, I know I can always count on our partners to add another incredible chapter to the LMCO story.
This year, we decided to run a little experiment. We wanted to compile some of the amazing ways Baptists continue to work together to spread the gospel, so we asked people to post, tweet, or ‘gram the stories of how they and their churches creatively support LMCO and add the #ourLMCO hashtag. And some of the responses have been great.
Others have asked for a bit of a primer on creative ways churches are engaging. So, we thought a quick list of some of the responses we’ve received thus far might be in order. One notable thing we’ve seen throughout all the examples is that people are simply using their skills and gifts to do what makes sense. There’s no magical recipe, but maybe there are some good prompts in this list. So, without further ado, here are a few of our favorites thus far.
Some churches brave the winter weather for a Lottie Moon Fun Run or 5K. What better way to work off our delicious Baptist casseroles, really?
This year, First Baptist Church of Louisville, Mississippi, raised their LMCO support with a missional coffee bar, the aptly-punned “Lattes for Lottie.”
In 2016, Jennifer Nichols from Village Church in North Chesterfield, Virginia, hosted a cut-a-thon in her hair salon. For the entire month of December, she cut her fellow church members’ hair and donated the proceeds to Lottie Moon. In her own words,
“I have never done a cut-a-thon on my own like this. God put in my heart the desire to help, and when God speaks you listen, right? My family is simple and doesn’t have much to offer so I thought that offering the skill God gave me to help with the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering was the best thing to do.”
Lottie Moon isn’t just for grown-ups. This young lady crafted some lovely mini-paintings and donated her commissions to world missions.
Christmas swag is a must for the holiday season, so this local entrepreneur is making sure her friends and family put their wardrobe budget to missional use.
Many churches hold a banquet or auction for Lottie Moon. It’s a great way to involve the entire church family and allow everyone to use their own gifts and skills to support missions. Here we have a sure winner for any Baptist home: a crockpot with all the fixins’!
Let’s not underestimate the power of the holiday sweater. Cedar Fork Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Tennessee, held a Festive Christmas Sweater Contest for Lottie Moon this year.
Sometimes a little healthy competition is just the thing. First Baptist Church of Sylvester, Georgia, decided to channel the battle of the sexes in a constructive direction with a change drive. The girls started strong, but who knows? The boys could still win this thing!
#OurLMCO isn’t just about giving; it’s also about learning. New Prospect Baptist Church in Brookhaven, Mississippi, gave kids in their children’s ministry a hands-on missions experience by baking some treats from the cookbook of Lottie herself.
What about you? What has been your part in #ourLMCO? Drop an image and description on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, add the #ourLMCO hashtag, tag IMB, and let us know. Add your voice into #ourLMCO story!
Jaclyn S. Parrish worked as a writer for IMB in South Asia. She currently serves in the US as a writer, editor, and social media associate for IMB. You can follow her on Twitter at @JaclynSParrish.