There is a reason we collect our Global Missions Offering in December. Because that’s the way we have always done it. Back in the old days (pre-1980) Southern Baptist churches collected the Lottie Moon Offering for Foreign Missions (I guess they still do, but that doesn’t apply to us). Once we formed the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship we couldn’t keep using the name of a Southern Baptist missionary in the name of the offering, but we still understood that it was important to place an emphasis on the financial support of our missionaries around the world.

I don’t much care when we collect this offering, as long as we as a congregation do everything we can, both financially and with our prayers, to support those who — on our behalf — seek to be the representatives of Christ in far-flung places where we are not likely to go ourselves. This is one of the most important tasks that we as a family of faith have.

Through the years our church has been very generous in giving to this offering and to other mission causes outside of our congregation. Leaders of CBF and other churches are always pleased and a bit surprised to see the level of support that our small congregation gives to missions, both at home and internationally. I commend your generosity.

As you know, we also have a commitment to hands-on overseas involvement in missions through the House of Hope in Cochabamba, Bolivia. This year a portion of the funds will go to undergird that work, specifically through our mission trip in June.

And we are also involved in missions on a very personal level through our support of one of our own, Kristy Engel, a nurse practitioner who serves through the International Ministries of the American Baptist Convention. Part of your gift will support Kristy’s work as she helps to improve the lives and health of people all around the world, and as she shares the Gospel in word and deed.

Our goal this year is $25,000. It is a lot to ask of a congregation that already gives generously to support the ministries of our church, but it is a critical investment in the work of the kingdom. Please give all you can, and then a little more, to carry the message of Christ around the world.

By the way, if you would like to be better informed about Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel and their work, pick up a copy of “Prayers of the People,” available on the missions table. It features a story for each week of the year on a CBF ministry and helps you to remember to pray for their work.