How Many ATTEND or How Many We SEND?

Many churches count how many attend as if that is something that determines it’s success. How many we’re seating on any given Sunday was never intended to be a tool used to determine effectiveness.  But, how many the church sends out each week is an indicator of a church’s health and Biblical obedience.

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And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” – Romans 10:15  

Our God is a sending God.  Nearly every time He speaks to someone in scripture, He is sending them on a mission.  From Abraham to Moses to Paul, to us, God’s people are always being sent into the world on mission.  He sent His best and only son into the world to save us.  Jesus is referred to as “sent” forty seven times in the New Testament.   Clearly, God is a sender by nature.  In the Old Testament, He sent prophets, angels and the very special Angel of the Lord.  In the New Testament, He sent not only angels, but John the Baptist, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, among others.  Jesus sent the apostles, and He has sent us.  After His resurrection, Jesus passed on his identity to His disciples:  “As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you” (John 20:21).

The English word “mission” comes from the Latin word “missio”, which means sending out, or being sent out.  The word pertains to the sender as well as to the one being sent.  Considering how many times in the Bible God sent people, we can assume the word mission applies to Him as well.  God’s nature is one of action; He is a sender.  He calls people to participate in His work by sending them out to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19).  Send may be a small word, but it evokes big action.

The Biblical foundation for living as a sent people on mission is loud and clear (Matt. 28:19-20,  Acts 1:8, Mark 16:15, John 20:21-22) and churches are expected to send their members out (Romans 10:15).  A “sending church” equips members to demonstrate the gospel every day in their workplaces, neighborhoods, and schools and be prepared to give an answer to those in our community who ask them to “give the reason for the hope that they have”  (1 Peter 3:15).

SENDING is the act of enlisting, equipping and mobilizing believers to engage the world with the gospel through:

  • local community ministry
  • short term missions
  • church planting efforts
  • disaster relief work
  • vocational ministry
  • long-term missionary service

Will you accept the SEND challenge?   Will your church SEND at least one more on mission this year than you did last?  It is our desire to help you discover what it looks like to SEND One More.  We welcome the opportunity to help you and your church take the next steps toward obediently joining God in His mission.  To accept the SEND Challenge or request assistance for your church (training, strategy development, resources, placement, etc), visit

Meet Our New 2016 Kentucky Missionaries

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Spring officially arrived this past week, the dogwoods and redbuds are in full bloom, and everything is pointing to new life.  What an exciting time of year.  We are in the middle of Holy Week and, as we reflect on what Christ did for us on the cross, we look forward to Resurrection Sunday and the thoughts of serving a Risen Savior and the new life we have in Christ.

Each year at this time we are preparing for the annual missionary orientation and commissioning of the new missionaries that are serving in Kentucky.  The orientation is a time for the missionaries to learn about the Kentucky Baptist Convention, the Cooperative Program, and resources available to them.  This time of networking with each other is most valuable.

Eight men and women have sensed God’s call to serve in ministries across our state and will be commissioned at the Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union Annual Meeting on Saturday morning, April 9th, at Madisonville First Baptist Church.

The new missionaries are:

  • Jeff Burke (from Henderson), serving as Director of the Kathy J. Strange Answer Center, an outreach ministry of the Green Valley Baptist Association in Henderson.
  • Nelle Thomas (from Elizabethtown), serving as Director of Mission Hope for Kids, an outreach to students in Elizabethtown.
  • Kimberly Robinson (from Louisville), directing the Hands of Hope for Women Ministry through the Bashford Manor Baptist Church in Louisville.
  • Amy Wells (originally from upstate New York), ministering to vulnerable children and families of Appalachia through New Heights Church in Pineville.
  • Josh & Tasha McWherter (from Murray), serving with God’s Appalachian Partnership in McDowell to reach children and families in the Floyd County area of eastern Kentucky.
  • Allison Norris (from Somerset), serving in a ministry to young women in the Richmond, KY area.
  • Holly Decker (from Barbourville), serving with Cedaridge Ministries in Williamsburg to reach families of need in Southeast Kentucky.

We want to extend a special invitation for you to join us in this special commissioning service and to pledge your support to these new missionaries.

The 2016 Kentucky Missionary of the Year will also be recognized at this service.

For more information on the Kentucky WMU Missions Celebration go to

Hope to see you there.

March Madness and Missions

basketballI am a football fan who occasionally dabbles in watching basketball. However, I must admit that there is something exciting about March Madness! Maybe it’s the story of the Cinderella team that no one gives a shot to win, but somehow finds the right combination at the right time. Maybe it’s because of the frenzy of games and the do-or-die situation that every team faces. Whatever the reason, I enjoy the excitement. Regardless of whoever you are pulling for this much is true—no team makes it to March Madness without intentional preparation.

This same kind of intentionality is true also for the church. Jesus calls His disciples to make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:16-20; Acts 1:8). Jesus’ call is for every church regardless of size or location. Obedience to Jesus’ disciple-making command is not for the faint of heart. Disciple-making is hard work. Faithfulness and effectiveness in the Great Commission must be intentional. If we aim at nothing, we will always hit nothing. In order to be a Great Commission church intentionality is essential.

If we do not make the Great Commission priority it will never be priority. There will always be committee meetings, staffing issues, member care concerns, as well as a whole host of other (important) matters that compete for our attention. It’s not that these issues do not need our attention as leaders in our churches, but not to the neglect of the Great Commission. To prioritize internal church issues over the external and clear command to make disciples of all nations is to minimize or even ignore Jesus’ final words to the disciples.

Because church ministry is filled with multiple layers of responsibilities, an intentional plan for Great Commission faithfulness is a must. No team aiming to arrive at March Madness does so without intentional preparation. So why would the church of our Lord be any different when it comes to following Jesus’ final earthly words?

There are multiple levels of Great Commission preparedness. Churches need to know why they exist, who they are in Christ, what they are called to do, and how they will do it. If every church is called to makes disciples of all nations (and they are!), then every church must figure out what that looks like for their congregation. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the Great Commission, but there are basic principles that apply to all. The Missions Mobilization Team at the KBC is happy to help you march through disciple-making principles for your church without all the madness!


Iraq -7They often flee in the middle of the night, taking only what they can carry.  They flee because their ethnicity, religion, or politics make it unsafe to remain in the place that has been home.  They are refugees.  People without a home, without a country.

The decision to leave their homeland is not a easy decision, nor something that most of them sought voluntarily.  Most of these displaced have left behind almost everything of value:  family, friends, homes, possessions, occupations, livelihoods, and the security of what they have always known.  It is no easy thing to be torn from your roots.

The flight usually brings more trauma.  Many do not survive the journey.  If they survive, they often are not welcomed in the place where they seek refuge.  Life in a refugee camp can be difficult, unstable, and a daily battle to survive.  The vulnerability of depending on total strangers for basic necessities such as food, water, and shelter can be humiliating and defeating.

These are people with names, dreams, and hopes.  These are people like you and me.  These are people loved by God.

“Let brotherly love continue.  Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it.  Remember the prisoners, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily.” (Hebrews 13:1-3)

What can we do as followers of Jesus Christ for the displaced?

  • We can see their plight.  Biblical compassion is to be moved deep in our gut by what we see.
  • We can reach a hand.  Sponsor a refugee family as a church.  Help a displaced person in your community with furniture or transportation to a job interview.  Volunteer to teach them English as a second language.  Be a good neighbor.  Reach a hand of friendship.  Opportunities exist right now in the Louisville metro area to assist Cuban refugees.
  • We can give.  The Southern Baptist Global Hunger Fund provides needed supplies to those displaced and homeless.  Learn more about how your gifts can make a difference at Baptist Global Response.
  • We can pray for those driven from their homes.  Pray for God to intervene on their behalf.  Pray for peace.  Pray that evil and darkness will be pushed back.  Pray that God will use the chaos of displacement to open doors for the Gospel.
  • We can share the hope that is within us.  Rather than being fearful of refugees, the church should seek to share the hope of Christ with these battered and broken by life.

  “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him,
for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 22:21)

May we never forget that we, too, were once lost,
but through the grace of Christ have been found!

Community Ministry Involves 75% of Congregation

I may not have believed this if I didn’t experience it myself. September of 2015 marked the first year that Kentucky Baptist Convention churches were invited, encouraged and equipped to conduct a statewide Operation Inasmuch (OIAM) effort. We discovered that somewhere between 55-75% of a church’s Sunday morning attendance participated in their OIAM ministry. I don’t know of any other mission experience or ministry project that involved such a large percentage of church members. Not everyone will take a week or two and do a missions trip. Nor will a church normally see half of its Sunday morning attendance involved in local missions. But if proper planning and prayerful preparation is made, a church will see nearly 75% of its Sunday morning attendance involved in a one day OIAM.

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Here are reports from a few of the churches that participated last year:
• Calvary Baptist Church, London – averages 350 in worship and had 230 people involved. “We did everything just as it was presented at the training; used the materials provided and had church members participating who had never done this sort of thing before. It really set our church on fire.”
• Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Manchester – is a small rural church with 20 elderly members. They said “we can do something”, and had 20 volunteers involved.
• First Baptist Church, Richmond – averages 750 in worship and had more than 400 people turn out to blitz the community through compassion ministry projects. “It was a great day for our congregation.”
• Riceville Baptist Church, Fulton – averages 40 in worship and had 27 people (including 3 non-members) participate.
• Crosspoint Baptist Church, Owensboro – averages 220 in worship and had 144 volunteers participate

OIAM is a great “first step” for those that have never participated in missions before. It will serve as catalyst for deeper involvement in missions and ministry by church members.  OIAM will not only help people at their point of need and give opportunity for believers to share Christ, it will strengthen fellowship and build family within the local church. AND, it will involve a majority of the congregation in hands on mission service.

Kentucky Baptist churches are encouraged to conduct OIAM during September in partnership with KY WMU’s 2016 State Missions emphasis.  However, OIAM can be conducted at any time so churches should determine when is best for them and their community.  Regardless of when a church decides to conduct an OIAM, preparation and planning should begin several months in advance.

Jesus said regarding the coming judgment in Matthew 25:40, “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” (NKJV)

Let me encourage you and your church to participate in OIAM in 2016.  Training is being provided during March and April. For more information or to register for one of the trainings, visit the website –