WMU highlights missions education

INDIANAPOLIS (BP)--Wanda S. Lee, executive director-treasurer of Woman's Missionary Union, and President Kaye Miller highlighted the value of missions education with the new tagline "Change a Life. Change the World" during their report to messengers at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention June 10 in Indianapolis.

"Together, we are called to be the church, to go outside the walls and minister to those in our community and beyond, sharing the love of Christ. Missions gives us the avenue to do just that," Lee said.

Miller, from Little Rock, Ark., said church members from preschool to adults can be involved in missions through Woman's Missionary Union and other hands-on missions groups.

"In doing so, two lives are actually changed -- the life of the person engaged in missions and the life of the recipient of that ministry," Miller said.

WMU seeks to change lives through missions, Lee said, by providing a framework in which all ages can pray daily for North American and international missionaries, learn about missions, engage in missions action and witnessing, support missions, develop a missions lifestyle, and be involved in the work of the church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Lee thanked messengers for their sacrificial giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions. Since WMU began the two offerings in 1888 and 1895, WMU leaders and members have strongly contributed to the promotion of missions resulting in Southern Baptists contributing more than $4.1 billion to support missionaries and their work. All of the funds received in the two offerings go directly to the SBC mission boards, Lee noted.

Miller underscored a correlation between the presence of WMU organizations in a church and levels of giving to the Cooperative Program and the two missions offerings. Based on the 2006 Annual Church Profile compiled by LifeWay Christian Resources, a study conducted by WMU shows that churches with WMU age-level missions organizations report higher levels of giving to the Cooperative Program, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering as compared to churches without WMU.

"This is our third annual study on this, and the relationship still holds true in churches of all sizes," Miller said.

To commemorate the centennial celebration of Royal Ambassadors, the missions organization started by WMU in 1908 for grade school boys, Lee and Miller presented a framed resolution of affirmation and appreciation to Rob Carr, national RA director for the North American Mission Board.

They also presented SBC President Frank Page with an official author's copy of his recently released book, "The Nehemiah Factor: 16 Characteristics of a Missional Leader." The book is a release from New Hope Publishers, the publishing arm of WMU.


Julie Walters is a communications specialist with Woman's Missionary Union.

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