Who is this man and why is he on the roof of a church building?
Buster Jordan is pastor of Barnett's Lick Baptist Church, a country church about 10 miles outside of Morgantown, in Gasper River Association. Buster challenged the church of about 60 regular attenders to a high attendance day with a goal of 200, which would possibly be a record attendance for the church. He agreed that if they hit that goal, he would preach from the roof.
They had a record morning attendance of 207 and hit their goal on the first day of revival services
Walter (Buster) Jordan, nicknamed after the Buster Brown cartoon from the shoe fame, was born and raised in Louisville, went into the Air Force after high school, and then relocated to Bowling Green after four years in the military. In Bowling Green, he worked for the fire department as an EMT and ended up retiring as a fire fighter for Bowling Green Fire Department after 29 years.
Buster was living in Bowling Green and was 29 years old when he received Jesus through the ministry of Richard Oldham and Glendale Baptist Church. The church reached out to him through their bus ministry as they went door-to-door through the community sharing Jesus and inviting people to church.
The ceacons invited him and his wife Maria, who goes by Abbie, to come to church. They went, and there received Christ. Buster grew as a believer in Christ and answered the call to ministry when he was 34.
Pastor Jordan has served at Barnett's Lick for about one-and-a-half years. When he came as their pastor in early 2017, there were about 40 people attending. Today, the country church averages about 60 worshippers on Sunday morning. They baptized only one person in his first year, but they have already baptized four so far this church year.
Why should Kentucky Baptist churches consider a high attendance day?
1. To encourage outreach: I have heard it said that a church will drift into fellowship, but it must be led into evangelism. People are busy and distracted by many things. When a church sets a goal and organizes its efforts to reach out then many of its members are more likely to get involved.
2. To establish focus: It is difficult for many of us to remain focused for a long period of time. When, however, we set a goal for a high attendance day, we can focus our attention toward a common goal.
3. To enlist prayer: The church that prays together also gets to see God do great things together. In the case of Barnett's Lick Baptist Church, they set a goal that could not be reached without God's help. A goal of this type gives cause for the church to pray together and then celebrate when the goal is met.
4. To exercise the saints: Like all muscles, our outreach muscle atrophies if it is not used. When we set a high attendance goal, and the members work together to reach that goal, then we mobilize the people of God for ministry and exercise ourselves toward a worthy cause. When a church makes a special effort to reach out for a high attendance day, they also realize they can reach for other times of the year as well.
5. To endeavor toward unity: Psalm 133:1 says, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in ministry." When we have a high attendance day, we seek to gather and organize the people of God to work together for God's glory and our own joy.
If a church wants to set a high attendance day for an upcoming evangelistic meeting how should they go at it? First, pray and set a challenging yet attainable goal. Second, involve the church by asking for the names and addresses of people to invite. Third, establish an organized time to visit the prospects. Fourth, make the day special by having the church building, the childcare, the music, the message, the greeters and more prepared to receive the many guests who will attend. Fifth, pray and work and see what God might do.
Buster and the church made their day special by inviting a well-known Kentucky Baptist evangelist, Don Mathis, to preach the Sunday morning message. God blessed the day with souls being saved and the people being encouraged.
Certainly, a high attendance day is not the only way to reach new people with the gospel, but it is one way that can be effective. May the Lord give you and your church wisdom and favor in all your efforts to reach people who are far from God.