As Kentucky Baptists gather this week in Florence for the annual meeting, we celebrate all God is doing in our churches and in our cooperative mission work. The Kentucky Baptist Convention has a rich heritage and gospel legacy dating back to 1837, but I am convinced we have a greater opportunity today to reach Kentucky and the world for Christ than ever before.
The growing ethnic diversity of our state has made the nations our neighbors. Ease of travel means we can literally be on mission anywhere in the world in a few days, at most. Technological advances in communications create opportunities for constant interaction with career missionaries, volunteer missions teams, and indigenous partners overseas, so that every church can have an ongoing, meaningful impact for the Kingdom. And, regardless of what we might think about the current economy, believers who prioritize stewarding our material resources for the sake of the Great Commission have more money available to give to gospel work than any generation that has gone before us.
Will our generation of Kentucky Baptists take advantage of this unique opportunity God has provided? If so, what will that look like?
First, we will commit to being a witness for Christ wherever He has us and wherever He takes us. Second, we will commit to fully participating in the life of the local church, God’s agent to reach the lost. Third, we will commit to generously contributing to the cooperative mission work of Kentucky Baptists and Southern Baptists.
No matter what size church you are a part of, the Great Commission is a task too monumental for any single congregation to accomplish. Moreover, churches working in partnership rather than on their own have proven far more effective at advancing the gospel. That’s why the Cooperative Program is such a vital tool, for it harnesses the collective resources of thousands of churches for the sake of the gospel.
In addition to the Cooperative Program, I want to challenge you to take advantage of two upcoming cooperative missions offerings. First, the Thanksgiving Offering for Sunrise Children’s Services is a unique opportunity to give directly to the James 1:27 ministry of Kentucky Baptists. Sunrise is currently touching 1,100 abused and neglected children. Lives and souls are being saved. For more information on the Sunrise offering, go to www.sunrise.org/thanks16.
Then, begin to plan your Christmas budget in a way that will allow your most extravagant gift to be given to the One who gave you the most extravagant gift by willingly laying down his life for you. A gift to Jesus, in the form of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, will ensure that those who do not yet belong to Him the world over will be able to hear His gospel and have an opportunity to be saved. For more information go to www.imb.org/lottie-moon-christmas-offering.
Paul Chitwood is the Executive Director-Treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.