“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
I was recently asked, “What does the Kentucky Baptist Convention do with its part of the Cooperative Program and state missions offering?” While I love to answer that question, because so much is being done in our Judea it’s not a short conversation, nor is this a short article. In fact, it will be two articles. Here’s part one.
Currently, 50 new church plants in Kentucky are supported by every church that gives to cooperative missions. While no church, working on its own, could fund and assist 50 new church plants, working together, the impossible becomes possible. Since these church plants, as well as existing KBC churches, represent the most ethnically diverse denomination in our state, cooperative missions present a unique opportunity both for reaching every tribe and tongue and for being a part of gospel-centered racial reconciliation.
Support is also provided for 10 fulltime campus missionaries who share the gospel on college and university campuses in Kentucky and help churches develop strategies to reach students on middle school, high school and university campuses. Working with the campus missionary at Kentucky State University, Millville Baptist Church began sponsoring a women’s Bible study. A female student struggling with same-sex attraction and active in a relationship attended and then met with the campus missionary. Hearing the gospel, she placed her trust in Christ.
Through the support of cooperative missions giving, KBC Disaster Relief teams are trained and ready as first responders to help the hurting in times of crisis by ministering to their physical and spiritual needs. Approximately 900 volunteers were trained this past year and deployed not only in Kentucky, but also Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Louisiana, Michigan, South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia.
More than 100 missionaries in the state receive varying levels of support for their work. These missionaries represent Kentucky Baptists as they share the gospel in jails and prisons, serve in pregnancy resource centers, homeless shelters, and meet needs in food and clothing ministries, literacy education, job skills training, and a host of other ways. Cooperative Program dollars help create a vast network of mission endeavors across the state and give churches from Kentucky and throughout the nation the opportunity to know about and get more involved in these Kingdom ministries in our state, resulting every year in tens of thousands of volunteers serving in Kentucky on short-term mission projects.
But that’s not all…
Paul Chitwood is the Executive Director-Treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.