Woman’s Missionary Union Challenges Christian Believers to Understand and be Radically Involved in the Mission of God.
In 1888, a handful of women dedicated to the cause of missions founded Woman’s Missionary Union. Since that time, WMU has become the largest Protestant organization for women in the world, with a membership of approximately 1 million. WMU also was the first and remains the largest body of organized laity in the Southern Baptist Convention.
From the beginning, WMU’s main purpose has been to educate and involve women, girls, and preschoolers in the cause of Christian missions. It accomplishes these purposes primarily through age-level organizations.
Financial support of missionaries has always been a priority for women involved in WMU. When the women founded the national organization in 1888, one of their first items of business was to accept the request to raise money for the two mission boards. Within the first year, the women contributed over $30,700 to the two entities.
The women’s efforts to raise money for the two mission boards are known today as the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions. The Christmas offering originated in 1888 and was named for Lottie Moon in 1918. The Easter offering originated in 1895 and was named for Annie Armstrong in 1934. The two offerings remained women’s offerings until 1956, when WMU agreed to promote the offerings churchwide. By the end of 1998, WMU had helped lead Southern Baptists to contribute nearly $2.5 billion to the two offerings.
Objectives of WMU
The objectives of WMU reflect a biblical understanding of missions and provide a holistic approach to missions awareness and participation. Content in WMU materials supports these objectives, providing a comprehensive and balanced approach to missions in the church.
Pray for Missions
To pray for missions means to communicate with God on behalf of missions work, people involved in missions work, and people that need to know and accept God’s redeeming love.
Engage in Mission Action and Witnessing
The teaching and actions of Jesus recorded in the New Testament show us that the Christian faith is not stagnant but active and participatory. We are to share the gospel in word and deed verbally and through our actions.
Learn About Missions
Learning about missions helps believers better understand what God says about making His name known throughout the earth.
Christians have a part in upholding the cause of missions, maintaining missions work, and encouraging missions personnel.
Develop Spiritually Toward a Missions Lifestyle
For the believer, spiritual development involves growing in our relationship with Jesus Christ. It involves day-to-day living that applies and carries out the missions imperatives of God’s Word.
Participate in the Work of the Church and Denomination
As a missions ministry within a congregation, WMU encourages and provides opportunities for all church members and other participants to be aware of and involved in missions and cooperates with other missions ministries within the congregation to help the congregation fulfill its missions potential.