Kentucky Baptist leaders launched phase one of an initiative aimed at delivering the gospel to each of the state’s 1.7 million households over the next 18 months.
“The Lord Jesus did not tell them to come to us, but for us to go to them,” said Todd Gray, a native of Lamasco in Lyon County and executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. He said cooperation will be key to successfully organizing more than 2,300 KBC-affiliated churches to take the “Gospel to Every Home.”
“We are at our best when we are working together,” Gray said. “Our first goal is to have all the homes adopted.”
A 90-minute overview of Gospel to Every Home took place Thursday for leaders of the state’s 69 Baptist associations, including Caldwell-Lyon Baptist Association. The associational mission strategists, or AMSs for short, received information about how to mobilize churches, including resources they can use to help churches claim zip codes and even specific neighborhoods and streets in their mission fields.
Gray said a fair amount of progress has been made with about 500,000 homes already claimed in the state.
KBC Evangelism Team Leader Rob Patterson called the initiative “one of the greatest opportunities of our lives” as associations and churches partner together to impact Kentucky with God’s message of hope, redemption, and salvation.
“There has never been any greater urgency to get the gospel to every home than there is right now. As we see the death toll rising daily with COVID-19, it breaks my heart, and I know it breaks your heart to know that the vast majority of those Kentuckians, our friends, our neighbors have entered into a Christ-less eternity,” Patterson said.
Patterson, along with KBC Evangelism Associate Kenny Rager, will be the main points of contact for associational leaders. Kentucky Baptist churches are encouraged to connect with their associational leaders to find out how to be a part of Gospel to Every Home.
Associational Mission Strategist Todd Robertson, of Louisville Regional Baptist Association, said while the convention provides the vision-casting and needed resources, his job, like other AMSs, will be to help churches “strategically lock arms together for the whole of the community.” He said some associations will likely be ready to move forward faster than others depending on population density and other unique circumstances.
“It’s always the right time to share Jesus. It’s always the right time to deliver the gospel. Is it ideal in terms of doing mass coordination in the midst of a pandemic and racial conflict? No,” Robertson said.
The means by which Robertson and his evangelism team help churches deliver the gospel throughout Jefferson County and north Bullitt County may look different than in more rural settings. He is exploring use of social media and other electronic delivery tools.
“We know people need Jesus right now,” Robertson said, still “there’s a lot to figure out about how to implement wisely and, in a way, that’s really going to have an impact.”
Patterson said he understands each Kentucky Baptist association must figure out what works best for their churches and that’s why the convention is starting now. “We have a larger timeline of the Gospel to Every Home by the Kentucky Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in November 2021, but local timelines are really going to be driven by local teams at the association level.”
“There is a sense that this is important, but it’s not the right time because we’re dealing with COVID-19 and we’re dealing with race relation issues and injustices,” Gray said. “People’s minds are just not on these matters.
“I would argue that those realities, as important as they are, they haven’t changed the mission and they certainly haven’t changed the urgency—if anything they have highlighted the urgency—that the world needs the Lord and we have the message the world needs. The gospel is the answer to race relations. It is the answer to justice for marginalized, mistreated, and oppressed people. But for that gospel to make an impact it must be delivered. It must be brought to those individuals in a way they can hear it, understand it and hopefully respond to it.”
For more information about Gospel to Every Home, visit kybapist.org/gteh.