So many factors in 2020 have worked to pull and to keep people apart. But the theme for this year's annual meeting, the Gospel to Every Home, represents an opportunity for Kentucky Baptists to truly be Better Together. How can Kentucky Baptists get the gospel to the 1,728,681 homes in Kentucky by our annual meeting in 2021?
Returning to gospel obedience
Such a task is clearly beyond our best collaboration. Even if we physically get the gospel to every home, only God can spiritually call souls out of darkness into light (John 6:44). But while drawing our neighbors to salvation is exclusively God's work, sharing the gospel is the joyful responsibility of every believer.
We are ambassadors for Christ, and faithfully sharing the message en- trusted to us is the greatest experience of cooperation imaginable.
2 Corinthians 5:20 describes it "as though God were pleading through us." God draws people to salvation through your simple obedience to share what has been entrusted to you. Now that is #BetterTogether!
Are we sharing with those in our own homes and daily lives? Are we being ambassadors for Christ in the communities where He has placed us?
Refocusing on the harvest fields
In John 4:35 Jesus urges, "Lift up your eyes and look at the fields." Many churches become so busy doing ministry that they lose sight of their communities. The homes closest to our churches can become nothing more than blurs in our periphery vision as we zoom in and out of our church buildings.
On any given Sunday (pre-COVID), more than 3.6 million Kentuckians would not have been found in any kind of church anywhere. Yet Jesus exposes our tendency to put off evangelism. "Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest?'"
Contemporary examples might be, "When we get to the other side of …" or "Once we have …" or "Once we can …" then we can do evangelism." Jesus clarifies that the fields "are already white for harvest!"
Timing is everything.
Jesus' admonition comes literally in the middle of His encounter with the woman at the well — a person most would have ignored or avoided because of the brokenness of her life. She lived in the part of town the religiously devout took great pains to avoid. Yet Jesus "needed to go through Samaria" (John 4:5). Consequently, the most unlikely of witnesses helped many come to faith in Jesus (John 4:39-41)!
Where must we go to see our communities radically changed by the gospel?
Why not start with the homes closest to your church? Why not resolve that no one can live within a mile or five miles of your church without receiving a personal invitation from a member of your church?
Reaching new levels of cooperation
Kentucky Baptists, this is our chance to once again be Better Together.
Your Cooperative Program giving is already providing resources to help 69 associations mobilize 2,360 churches. An exciting new resource will become available at the annual meeting in Owensboro. The Gospel to Every Home Church Planning Kit will provide everything a local church needs to develop a comprehensive evangelism strategy. For more information, go to www.kybaptist.org/gospel or download the Gospel to Every Home mobile app today.
Imagine what God might do as Kentucky Baptists reach new levels of local and statewide cooperation to get the Gospel to Every Home!
Rob Patterson is evangelism team leader for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.