Jesus replied, “We must go to the nearby towns, so that I can tell the good news to those people. This is why I have come.” Then Jesus went to their synagogues everywhere in Galilee, where he preached and forced out demons. – Mark 1:38 (CEV)
In the opening chapter of Mark’s gospel, we see the passionate desire of Jesus to share good news. His disciples were urging him to stay in one place, but Jesus had a heart for the nearby towns and villages. This illustrates the importance of our call as Louisiana Baptists to reach Louisiana. The gospel is not just a hometown thing, and the mission is as close as a neighboring town.
The Georgia Barnette Louisiana Missions Offering (GBO) is laser focused on our neighbors and those nearby, right here in Louisiana. We can reach them if we work together through this mission strategy.
Here are 12 things to keep in mind as you prepare your GBO campaign:
- Start with prayer. We’ve got every tool you need to pray strategically, including a week of prayer guide, but the important thing about prayer is that we actually do it. Perhaps you have said to someone in the past, “I’ll pray for you.” Then, before long, you had forgotten! Prayer is the paramount ingredient of any spiritual awakening. If we want Louisiana to be the home of a great spiritual awakening and evangelism, we must pray for it. We pray for our communities – they are diverse: all ages, backgrounds, education, employment status, and politics. They are our neighbors in the streets where we live. We pray for all of them; not only those we know by name and share conversation, but those nameless people we encounter every day.
- Create a team. Make it a diverse group of people helping you determine the goal. Remember that the more people you involve, the more buy-in you’ll get.
- Set a goal. Your goal shouldn’t be set by just one person. Develop a team that will work together and pray together. Think about Louisiana and all the opportunities we have to bring life into our state through church planting, disaster relief, compassion ministries, ESL classes, media outreach, and more!
- Make it unique. If your efforts reflect your church culture, you’ll have a greater outcome. Your offering emphasis can be customized to fit your church and culture.
- Give the Why. When ordinary people give, they are more likely to give towards a cause than to just an organization. As you communicate what the Georgia Barnette Louisiana Missions Offering is, share the needs in Louisiana.
- Make it visual. Seeing is believing. Place the information in bulletins, on walls and even in the worship center. It’s hard for people to focus on another missions offering if they only see or hear about it once. We’ve designed our videos to be as inspiring as they are informative. We believe they will add a spirit of worship in your services. Give them a look, select one you believe will speak to your church members. You won’t be disappointed! Please note: To assure success in using the media on this site, preview the videos on your TV or screens before the service to make sure they are working properly.
- Invite a guest speaker. Please contact us and we will do our best to find a speaker for a five-minute testimony or to fill your pulpit for a Sunday. Our speakers will come at no expense to dynamically share the truth of the gospel. These aren’t fundraisers, they are men and women God is using to win Louisiana for Jesus.
- Share updates. Make sure that your church is aware of the goal and the progress you’ve made throughout the campaign. Celebrate every milestone along the journey.
- Offerstories! This is a coined term for Louisiana Baptists to describe a brief one-minute story about the result of generosity right before the offering is received. If your church has a time of offering, this would be a great opportunity to show a video, tell a story, or use the music video on this website when the offering is received.
- Make GBO a part of your church’s electronic giving. Usually, electronic giving offers a number of options for giving including tithing or budget offering, special offerings, and funds. Talk to your church treasurer about adding GBO to the current list of funds.
- Don’t just give. Go! As you peruse the website and the prayer guide you might find that some of the ministries and stories are a short drive away from your church! This would be a great opportunity for your high school students to visit these points of impact. Be sure and contact the church or ministry of interest to see how you can serve. This is just another way to invest your members in ministry as they give.
- Celebrate! Your offering is eternal. That’s something to celebrate! This could be done in several ways, but a powerful way to do this is through social media. Posts about your churches giving will encourage other churches to participate as well.
“It has been a wonderful experience to compete in the Olympic Games and to bring home a gold medal. But since I have been a young lad, I have had my eyes on a different prize. You see, each one of us is in a greater race than any I have run in Paris, and this race ends when God gives out the medals.” ― Eric Liddell
The following can be performed as a blended monologue or as a single reading. Use as an introduction to one of the Georgia Barnett Offering videos.
Girl: He asked me to give. I don’t have very much money, but Jesus gave everything for me.
Man #1: He asked me to give, and it wasn’t easy. The pandemic shuttered my business for 10 months, but I will trust Him even more.
Woman #1: He asked me to give. And I’ll gladly do so. My life was a total wreck before I felt the love and compassion of the church. I’ll give with joy because Jesus is the one who brought me joy. He pulled me out of a pit of despair.
Young Person #1: My first part-time job! And believe me! I had plans for that money. But as I thought about my parents, about the sacrifice that they’ve made for years and years, I knew that it was right to give. He asked me to give.
Man #2: After the hurricane I had no hope that things would be OK. But then I saw that team of men and women in yellow hats. They gave me so much hope. They served. And then they shared the best thing anyone could ever share. They told me about Jesus. The One who knows me, cares for me, and died for me. Now it’s my turn to give.
Young Person #2: I wanted to go to this camp with my friends, and my parents could really care less. But someone gave through the Georgia Barnette Offering, and so I was able to go. For the first time in my life I understood what Jesus did for me. I accepted Christ. I have everlasting life. Now I want to give so others can go.
Woman #2: I was at the end of my rope. Pregnant and alone, I didn’t know where to turn. I thought about giving up, having an abortion, but a woman invited me to visit a place of compassion. A women’s clinic in Kenner. There was hope! I found Jesus through their sweet, compassionate eyes. My child is alive because someone gave.
Man #1: I gain strength through giving even in difficult and uncertain times.
Man #2: When everything was gone. People gave, and I finally had hope.
Young person #1: I don’t have much but it’s a start. Louisiana is a mission field. I want to be a part of what God is doing.
Young Person #2: because someone gave I had a chance to meet new friends, understand life, and most of all, meet Jesus my Savior.
Woman #2: Because someone gave, I have a baby that means so much more to me than I could’ve ever imagined. I don’t even want to think about the decisions I would have made if those people weren’t there for me during the worst time of my life.
Man #1: He asked us to give. Will you?
Reader 1: This earth ultimately all belongs to God
Reader 2: The world
Reader 1: That includes Louisiana.
Reader 2: Our state needs hope.
Reader 1: Louisiana needs truth.
Both: Louisiana needs life!
Reader 2: And when we think of our part, our finances, our mission, we remember: He owns it all,
Reader 1: and everyone in it.
Reader 2: The silver is His;
Reader 1: The gold is His.
Reader 2: Every animal is the Lord’s.
Reader 1: The cattle on the hills,
Reader 2: the seas,
Reader 1: the rushing wind,
Reader 2: the rivers,
Reader 1: the rocks,
Reader 2: meadows,
Reader 1: and birds
Reader 2: And yes, even the gumbo!
Both: He owns it all.
Reader 2: Our offerings are God’s, as well.
Reader 1: It is the Lord’s.
Reader 2: God honors our offerings as holy before Him.
Reader 1: When we make the first check out to God, He honors us.
Reader 2: So, we bring offerings to Him so that the mission of worship and evangelism
Reader 1: And God says, “I want you to prove this to be true.”
Reader 2: He will provide
Reader 1: not just enough—
Reader 2: not only enough to squeak by,
Reader 1: not just enough to keep your family out of debt—
Both: more than enough.
Reader 2: He will pour down His blessings to us.
Reader 1: Listen to the words of our Savior.
Reader 2: If you plant a little,
Reader 1: you get a little.
Reader 2: If you plant generously,
Reader 1: you will most certainly get a generous return.
Reader 2: God has a plan for us to work together
Reader 1: Louisiana is a mission field!
Reader 2: From the streets of New Orleans to the homes of Shreveport and every town and parish.
Reader 1: We can win Louisiana when we all give.
Reader 2: When we all go.
Reader 2: Make your giving have a holy purpose.
Reader 1: Don’t give with a have-to attitude.
Reader 2: You’ll be amazed at the grace of God’s blessings.
Both: Jesus Christ is more than enough.