LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) — Kentucky Baptists celebrated the successes of their various ministries at Tuesday’s mission board meeting while reviewing new initiatives that are planned to help spread the gospel.
Evangelism Team Efforts
Kris Billiter, pastor of Eastpoint Community Church in Louisville, updated members on the efforts of the Kentucky Baptist Convention evangelism team. He spoke about a new tool, the Evangelism Ministry Assessment Profile, which will soon be put in the hands of pastors and churches to help them further develop a culture of evangelism.
Billiter also spoke about a new structure and strategy related to church planting, listing four components:
— This will avoid a one-size-fits-all approach, with church plants unique to each situation and context.
— It will be a show of hands, with church planters and partners “asking the Father what work He is doing and how we can participate in it.”
— It will be flexible as churches pray about church planting and explore how they can be involved in church planting.
— It will be managed by local churches and associations. Billiter said these churches and associations know best how to meet the needs of their communities.
Billiter also mentioned three specific areas of focus for the strategy. (1) In the Owensboro area, there are 12,000 people in an area where there is no Bible preaching church. (2) In Louisville, there is “a desperate need for a Mexican church plant. There are about 40,000 Mexicans in Louisville, but there is no growing Mexican church. (3) In Lexington there are approximately 3.8 million Southeast Asians, but no churches have been built and designed to meet this need.
Other upcoming events sponsored by the evangelism team include:
— State Baptist campus ministries have begun new work in Transylvania and Asbury, with campus ministry leaders passing through Porter Memorial Baptist Church in Lexington. “Sharing the gospel is now integrated into our BCMs,” Billiter noted.
— It is planned to mobilize REACH catalysts to promote this conference at various events. “These promoters will help get people excited about the REACH conference and how it can equip them,” Billiter said.
– A crusade is planned in conjunction with the 2023 annual meeting in Somerset, and the goal is for Kentucky Baptists from other areas to fill the choir and work on the site so that Somerset residents can invite people to the crusade without having to assume other responsibilities.
— Barry Jeffries, pastor of Crestwood Baptist Church, encouraged people to sign up to be a prayer partner for the Calling Out the Called initiative. It can be done on the KBC website.
— A first Kentucky student worship camp is scheduled for July 4-8 at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. It is aimed at students who have completed grades 7 to 12. The information is on the KBC website.
— Another event will take place at three locations this year and will see Guidestone’s Mark Dance leading sessions on “Becoming a Great Commandment Shepherd”.
— A ministry assistant workshop will be held July 15 in Bowling Green, a church revitalization event is scheduled for September 20 at Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown, and traditional training for interim pastors will take place. take place on 21 and 22 July at the KBC building.
In addition, the Church Counseling and Revitalization Team has developed a Deacon Ministry Handbook, which will be printed by LifeWay.
Ron Crow, director of Kentucky Disaster Relief, explained the specifics of “Churches Assisting Rebuild Efforts” designed to help churches and communities rebuild after tornadoes over the past six months.
“We have received thousands of dollars and we want to help our churches and communities rebuild,” Crow said, listing four aspects of this effort.
— Support churches. “We had 17 churches damaged or destroyed; 16 homes of pastors or staff damaged or destroyed, and one association building damaged,” Crow noted. A grant process will result in financial grants. Crow said that after the assurance is received, grant funds will be available. He noted that a semi-trailer load of maple and birch plywood is expected to be delivered to western Kentucky.
— Assistance will be available for pastors and staff whose homes have been damaged or destroyed.
— Community reconstruction will follow. “As churches help rebuild, they can apply for financial grants to help rebuild homes in local communities. The local church will make the connection – these can open doors of opportunity to share the gospel,” Crow said.
— The cost of accommodation for the teams is included. “It’s expensive to host teams,” Crow noted, saying teams across the country are coming to rebuild and churches will be hosting teams. This effort will help cover some of these costs for churches.
Every Church in Mission
Eric Allen, who leads the missions mobilization team, spoke about the Every Church on Mission initiative that will be unveiled at the annual meeting in November. Which is designed to help:
— Each church identifies its unique role in the Great Commission.
— Each church equips its members to live out their unique role in the Great Commission.
— Each church sends its members to fulfill the Great Commission, both locally and globally.
— Each church cares for its members as they are sent, both locally and globally.
“My desire is for every church to take a step, moving in the same direction, but closer to fulfilling the Great Commission,” Allen said.
Women’s Missionary Union and Oneida Baptist Institute
Benita Decker updated members on UGM activities, noting that Mission Adventure Camp for Kids will take place June 27-30. She said returning from camp is “a great opportunity for them to do missions and have fun at the same time.”
Decker also applauded the work of the Oneida Baptist Institute. “Great things are happening and there are students receiving Christ as Saviour,” she said.
Decker said some people perceive Oneida as a reform school, but it’s not. “They’re like every other school except it’s a boarding school and Oneida has kids from all walks of life,” she said. “They read the Bible there, which you don’t get in public school.”
Sunrise Child Services
Decker also noted that Sunrise Children’s Service is “not where it was a year ago,” thanks to Kentucky Baptists who stepped up over the agency’s contract dispute with the state last spring. “Last year Kentucky Baptists came together and got involved. contract for next year and it was signed – without much fanfare,” Decker said.
Over the next few months, Sunrise will be opening an alcohol and drug addiction treatment center for teens. Decker said there are currently no teen-only residential treatment centers for alcohol and drug addiction treatment in Kentucky.
“There were no guidelines for a teen-only facility, so the state worked with Sunrise to develop those guidelines,” she said. “Instead of the state avoiding us, it actually embraced us. What a great day for Sunrise.
Decker also pointed out that Baptist agencies in Kentucky have vacancies. “The job opportunities are out there,” she noted.
The KBC has eliminated the position of Church Planting Strategist, replacing it with the new Multilingual Evangelism Associate. James Carroll, who is the pastor of Parkway Baptist Church in Bardstown, said there are nearly 100 multilingual works going on in Kentucky. Carlos De la Barra has been appointed to fill the new position.
Five career KBC employees were rewarded. They are:
— Don Spencer, 45 years of service. He started in 1977 as assistant director of the church music department. In 1985, he became director of what is now the Church’s Financial Benefits Department, focusing primarily on consulting with pastors, church treasurers, and other church leaders on compensation planning. , retirement planning, taxes, and other financial matters unique to ministers and churches.
— Angela Leshon, 35 years old. Originally hired as a receptionist, she has served as a cash accountant since 1998.
— Carlos De la Barra, 15 years old. He started out as a church planting associate. He has served as director of church planting and director of campus ministry, where he oversees the work of three church planting associates and eight regional campus ministers.
–Cheryl Frerman, 15. She is the team ministry assistant for the Church Counseling and Revitalization team.
–Steve Rice, 11 years old. He is the team leader of the Church Counseling and Revitalization Team.