"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. In fact, it has taken two articles! Here’s part two.
Every cooperative missions dollar represents the investment a large church makes in small churches, or a small church taking advantage of the opportunity to partner with larger churches. This investment means that a team of trained and experienced consultants is available to assist any KBC church in strengthening every aspect of local church ministry, at no cost.
For example, we help churches with evangelism training, worship ministry, legal questions, salary and benefits issues, senior adult ministry, Sunday school and discipleship ministry, etc. KBC staff members conducted consultations and presentations to more than 10,000 Kentucky Baptists this past year alone. KBC helps churches in conflict, trains pastor search committees, provides a resume service for ministers and churches, and helps strengthen marriages of ministry couples through the annual Shepherding event.
These are but a few examples, among many, of how churches in Kentucky are investing in other churches through cooperative missions giving.
Cooperative Missions gives Kentucky Baptists a voice in state government. The work of the Public Affairs Committee and the ministry of a Kentucky Baptist chaplain in the State Capitol are supported by every church that gives.
Churches also benefit from lobbying work on issues like pro-life legislation, religious liberty, and other matters of importance to Kentucky Baptists. In just the past few weeks, we have seen new pro-life laws enacted that have already saved the lives of unborn children. What a great investment! The Western Recorder and Kentucky Today help keep Kentucky Baptists informed, not only on public affairs and Baptist news, but on all of the news.
When we include the work of KBC entities, all supported by the Cooperative Program, we see that every cooperating church is involved in orphan care through Sunrise Children’s Services, where Kentucky Baptists touch the lives of more than 1,100 hurting kids. Thousands of students from Kentucky and literally the world over benefit from a Christian education through Oneida Baptist Institute, Clear Creek Baptist Bible College and University of the Cumberlands. And thousands more students hear the gospel every summer at camp through Crossings Ministries. Missions education through the WMU and estate planning and investment services through the Kentucky Baptist Foundation are also of great support to KBC churches.
Believe it or not, I’ve left off a long list of ministries and mission work every church is supporting as it gives to cooperative missions in Kentucky. What is the result of this generous and sacrificial giving? Together, Kentucky Baptists are reaching Kentucky and the world for Christ.
Paul Chitwood is the Executive Director-Treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.