In the midst of a season when Kentuckians have been told they can love their neighbor by staying home or wearing a mask to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, two Kentucky Baptist leaders say there’s even more we can do to love our neighbors.
“Love for people requires that I warn people about death, judgment and hell,” said Todd Gray, KBC executive director-treasurer.
Rob Patterson, KBC evangelism team leader, agrees with Gray. “How can we be good neighbors without telling them about the hope of Jesus? Do we really want to look back and realize that we lived years next door or just down the street from someone without ever attempting to start a gospel conversation?”
Both say a willingness to share the gospel must be rooted, not only in a love for others, but in a love for God. “My love for God requires that I tell my neighbors about His great love for them and the unimaginable sacrifice He has made for their eternal security,” Gray said.
“People often say, ‘Love God and love others.’ The truth is we are not capable of loving others until our hearts have been changed and filled by His love,” added Patterson.
The pair are working with leaders across the 69 Kentucky Baptist associations to get the gospel to every neighbor through the Gospel to Every Home initiative. It’s an effort for churches to work together to reach all of Kentucky’s 1.7 million homes with the gospel message by November 2021. The official launch of the campaign will take place at the 2020 KBC Annual Meeting in Owensboro.
Though the coronavirus pandemic has caused the group to exercise extra caution as they have planned the campaign, they agree that people are in desperate need of the hope of the gospel. “People are overwhelmed during this pandemic. They need to know that they are not alone. God loves them and can bring lasting hope to their hearts and homes,” Patterson said.
“When people receive Christ, they enter into a relationship with God who becomes Father to them. Having God as one’s Heavenly Father does not eliminate present pain and suffer- ing, but it does make sense of our pain and suffering. The gospel brings hope because it brings us into a relationship with God who works all things together for good to those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose,” said Gray.
Patterson says to reach nearly two million homes will require a team effort. “Not only is the task bigger than what any one church can accomplish alone, but the amazing diversity of churches is part of God’s plan to meet the diversity of people in our communities.”
“It is only when we are working together that we can get the job done,” adds Gray. For more information on the initiative visit kybaptist.org/gospel.
Brandon Porter is communications director for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.