Both mission boards of the Southern Baptist Convention are reporting all-time highs in offering giving.
The International Mission Board is rejoicing at God’s work through the generosity of Southern Baptists, who gave $203.7 million to the 2021-2022 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering — the largest offering in the 177-year history of the IMB.
Meanwhile, the North American Mission Board is celebrating that Southern Baptists gave a record $68.9 million to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering in 2022, breaking the giving record for a second year in a row.
International missionaries serving on the field are aware of the significance of the IMB’s record-breaking total and the impact every dollar has on reaching the lost.
“We want to thank you for giving to the Lottie Moon offering,” said Travis and Beth Burkhalter, serving in Medellín, Colombia. “Without that, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. We’re able to focus on our ministry. We don’t have to worry about raising support, and we’re able to dedicate all of our time to sharing the Good News to people who’ve never heard.”
Phil and Becca Bartuska, serving in Vienna, Austria, shared their thankfulness. “Because of your generous giving, we are able to share the light of Christ to the nearly 2 million people who don’t know the Good News. So, thank you for giving to the Cooperative Program and to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering so that our family can live here, gather locals to study God’s Word and plant new churches.”
Gifts to the IMB offering sailed past the original goal by nearly $20 million.
“I came to the IMB four years ago, praying that God would grant a new season of growth,” IMB president Paul Chitwood said. “Growth in sending hinged upon growth in funding, and growth in funding hinged upon growing relationships.
“As we’ve invested in new and renewed relationships with pastors, churches and givers, we are seeing God grant a new season of growth. The increase in giving is astounding and wonderful.”
The $185 million goal for 2021-2022 was set in partnership with Woman’s Missionary Union. One hundred percent of gifts given to the offering and directly to the IMB are spent each year in direct support of overseas operations.
“Each and every day, we enjoy God’s abundant grace toward us,” said Sandy Wisdom-Martin, executive director-treasurer of the national WMU. “The historic record receipts of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering mean that more will have the opportunity to hear and respond to this message of grace.
“How grateful I am to Southern Baptists for their incredible generosity. The Great Commission is indeed imprinted on our hearts. Now we pray diligently for a rich harvest for the sake of the gospel.”
In speaking of the record Annie Armstrong giving, North American Mission Board president Kevin Ezell said, “This is incredible news for our missionaries, and it is an incredible testimony to God’s faithfulness and to the generosity of Southern Baptists.”
“We have an amazing group of missionaries who are all about taking the gospel to hard-to-reach places in North America,” Ezell said. “I’m grateful for each one of them and the sacrifices they and their families have made to follow God’s calling. These gifts are already making a difference.”
The AAEO accounts for half of NAMB’s budget, and every dollar of it goes directly to the mission field in the year the money is given. The offering’s total is tallied based on giving during the fiscal year, October 2021 through September 2022.
Southern Baptist giving to the AAEO set records for three consecutive years in 2017, 2018 and 2019 before pandemic shutdowns occurred in 2020 during the season when churches typically collect the AAEO, which supports NAMB missionaries who plant gospel-proclaiming churches and provide gospel-focused compassion ministry across North America. The year 2021 saw an enthusiastic comeback with the offering hitting $66.5 million, exceeding the previous top offering by nearly $5 million.
“We celebrate this historic milestone knowing it will mean lives are transformed by the gospel to the glory of God,” said Wisdom-Martin. WMU staff and volunteers at the national, state and local church levels also play a key role in promoting Southern Baptist giving to the Annie Armstrong offering.
“For 134 years, WMU has been passionate about praying for and supporting our North American missionaries. The wonder of God’s plan is that it continues to unfold throughout eternity, and He invites us to join Him. As Christian believers, our mission is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our responsibility lies in choosing how we will become involved in His mission.”
— Compiled from reporting by Tessa Sanchez of the International Mission Board and Mike Ebert of the North American Mission Board.