This week I was able to attend the Kentucky Baptist Convention in Lexington. There are lots of positive things to celebrate in our Kentucky Baptist churches and ministries. Sunrise Children Services just celebrated their 500th child whom they were able to move from foster care to adoption (since 2006). We are collecting for Sunrise Children Services throughout November realizing that there are nearly 10,000 Kentucky children who have been removed from their homes in order to keep them safe and protected. Sunrise daily cares for more than 1,000 of those children throughout Kentucky. (There are over 125,000 children in foster care in the United States that are waiting to be adopted and about 2,950 of those are in Kentucky.)
Financial giving amongst Kentucky Baptist and Southern Baptist has been very positive for the fourth year in a row. Kentucky Baptist churches gave nearly $22 million last year to fund mission work through the Cooperative Program. Burlington Baptist gave over $118,000 last year to the Cooperative Program (ranked 24th amongst Kentucky Baptist churches). I’ve very thankful that Burlington Baptist gives over 11% of their undesignated receipts to support cooperative program efforts (missions, evangelism, church planting, church revitalization, discipleship, etc.). I believe that the Cooperative Program is one of the best ways that we can partner with over 45,000 Southern Baptist churches to get the gospel to our communities, cities and around the world.
Last year, Kentucky Baptist churches baptized 10,954. We can certainly celebrate each and every changed life and we can celebrate with the churches that reached more people last year than in previous years. However, Kentucky Baptist churches use to regularly baptize over 20,000 a year in the 1980’s. Burlington Baptist reported 25 baptisms last year (tied for 69th in Kentucky Baptist churches). Our baptism goal for 2020 is going to be 52. We must pray and be very intentional about evangelism if we hope to be able to celebrate that goal. (Wouldn’t it be honoring to God if we were in the top 20 in both baptisms and giving next year?)
I came home excited about some things. I am excited about Todd Gray’s leadership of Kentucky Baptist and especially his emphasis upon evangelism and reaching people for Christ. I was excited to hear that Kentucky’s Disaster Relief efforts saw at least 91 decisions for Christ last year as they responded to hurricane and flood relief. (There is some Disaster Relief training on February 8, 2020 in Nicholasville if anybody is interested.)
I’m excited about some things here at BBC. It is so encouraging to see visitors every week. It is exciting to see the Lord adding new members to our church family. I am excited about leading “Who’s Your One?” next year and seeing the church praying for and evangelizing people we know and love. 52 baptisms next year is really a God-sized goal (only 15 Kentucky Baptist churches baptized more than 52 last year). I have already started praying for God to do even more than we ask or imagine.
Pray for Todd Gray as he leads Kentucky Baptist. Pray for my good friend Chad Fugitt as he serves as the President of the KBC next year. Pray for Jim Woolums as he leads our Northern Kentucky Baptist Association. Pray for me and your staff at BBC as we seek the Lord for 2020. Pray for the lost in our community and let’s start asking the Lord to bring in a bountiful harvest as we end 2019 and start making plans for 2020. Yes, the fields are ripe unto harvest and our God is mighty to save. Blessings, Bro. Harold