J.D. Greear Gives $170 Million Goal for Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions

“Is there something you would be willing to do if we hit $170 [million]?” Todd Unzicker (left) asked SBC President J.D. Greear during a Nov. 27 Facebook Live event.
Screen capture from Facebook
Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear thinks Southern Baptists can exceed their $160 million goal for this year’s Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) for International Missions. So he’s offering a lighthearted incentive to encourage a challenge goal of $170 million.

If the 2018-19 LMCO hits that mark, Greear will perform a stunt suggested by Southern Baptists on social media, he announced Nov. 27 during a Facebook Live event, which had been viewed more than 6,100 times by midday Nov. 30. A video clip of Greear’s challenge tweeted by the International Mission Board had been viewed more than 2,500 times in the same timeframe.

Thus far, suggested stunts include singing a duet with newly elected IMB President Paul Chitwood, arm wrestling Chitwood, performing a Broadway number, taking a pie in the face and sporting a mullet at the SBC annual meeting.

“I think all of these ideas should directly involve Dr. Chitwood, of course,” Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., told Baptist Press. “We could look at it like an initiation to his new role to see how serious he is about getting the job done.”

When “duet with Paul Chitwood” was the top vote getter in a Nov. 28 Twitter poll by the IMB, Chitwood tweeted he and Greear should sing a song by Milli Vanilli, the 1980s and ’90s R&B duo who became infamous for lip-syncing.

“Rest assured,” Chitwood told BP, “the only singing Southern Baptists want to hear Paul Chitwood do is Milli Vanilli lip-sync style.”

To date, the largest LMCO ever received was $165.8 million in 2015-16. The 2017-18 total of $158.9 million was the second largest. The Lottie Moon Offering helps fund the more than 3,600 IMB missionaries serving across the globe.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that we can reach a $170 million goal,” Chitwood said. “And I am thankful both for our president’s challenge to Southern Baptists as well as the fact that J.D. Greear and The Summit Church back up their talk by sacrificially supporting our missionaries through the LMCO and the Cooperative Program.”

The idea for Greear to perform a stunt or challenge arose during his Nov. 27 Facebook Live session on the Lottie Moon Offering with Todd Unzicker, an associate pastor at The Summit.

“The goal is $160 million,” Greear said. “I believe that’s a faith goal. That’s a stretch goal, but man, I’d love to just see us go farther” to “$170 [million] or higher.”

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SOURCE: Baptist Press, David Roach