As Kentucky Baptists come to the end of our 180th year of cooperative mission work, we are humbled and grateful to steward a Kingdom effort that has spanned the better part of two centuries. Only God could number those who will gather to sing praises unto the Lamb of Glory because of the testimony and generosity of Kentucky Baptists. Might His name be forever praised!
Looking toward another exciting year of ministry, one of the highlights of 2018 will be taking the KBC annual meeting to Pikeville. Our KBC staff team will be working with directors of missions and associations of churches on Crossover evangelistic events and an outreach visitation campaign. Plans are being laid for an evangelistic crusade at the convention center on Sunday evening, Nov. 11.
We’ll invite 200 pastors from across the state to serve as decision counselors and incorporate local churches in the effort. This will be a big deal. We will also be encouraging local church revivals in the region. Our prayer is that this time next year our Baptist churches in the mountains will have been encouraged and blessed by the efforts and that many will have come to know Christ.
As we begin the process of budgeting for next year, I recall a Sunday School lesson I once heard taught on tithing. The teacher humbly and honestly admitted he wasn’t there yet but was working his way up to tithing. He was a successful businessman from a wealthy family. A few years later, while visiting a homebound saint in a small, dilapidated house, and leaving with a tithing envelope in my hand, I was taught a better lesson. That full tithe was given from a meager social security check and even more meager pension still paid by her dead husband’s employer. Her gift to the Lord directly impacted what groceries could be found in the kitchen pantry. And that envelope helped me understand the careful stewardship required by those who manage the resources of the Lord’s churches.
From the resources churches give through the Cooperative Program, we continue to see Kentucky Baptists reach new heights in their mission work. With ministries like Sunrise and University of the Cumberlands literally tripling the number of people they serve, with 50 church plants currently being funded, KBC Disaster Relief volunteers helping in Jesus name from Kentucky to Cape Town, and the calendar filled with church revitalization and evangelistic training events, God’s blessing upon the work is unquestionable. The convention has also significantly increased its commitment to fund missions and ministry outside of Kentucky, forwarding more money than ever before to support our International Mission Board missionaries, the church planting work of the North American Mission Board, and approximately 20,000 seminary students honing their skills to serve the Church.
These are just a few of the highlights of all the ways God is using KBC churches in our cooperative missions giving and going. It continues to be a good day to be a Kentucky Baptist!