“Pulling Teeth” at Show and Tell

Perhaps you remember as I do, participating in “show and tell” as a child in elementary school. In case you’re not familiar with show and tell, it’s an informative presentation involving the demonstration of an object.  While the class may not always need the demonstration of the object to understand the information presented, together, they communicate much more effectively.

Jesus used show and tell as a means of sharing the gospel with those He encountered.  He demonstrated the Father’s love and preached the message of salvation.  He was always showing and telling, healing and preaching.   

1 John 3:18-19 says, “Little children, let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him;”

The Scriptures emphasize the importance of using actions and deeds when sharing the gospel.  It doesn’t say stop using words altogether when sharing the gospel.  But it does say stop “just” using words.  In other words, show and tell the love of God.  One of God’s frustrations with His people is that we sometimes honor Him with our lips, but our hearts are often far from Him.

I witnessed a show and tell of the gospel in an effective way on a recent Saturday in Bowling Green when Rich Pond Baptist Church assisted Christ Fellowship Church in conducting a dental clinic. The Kentucky Baptist Convention partnered to provide training, dental supplies and use of the North American Mission Board’s mobile dental unit. Brent Fields, Minister of Missions and Outreach at Rich Pond shared that “this opportunity to meet physical needs served as a bridge for sharing the gospel”.

Preparation for the clinic began months in advance with training, enlistment of professionals and canvassing of the neighborhood.  On the day of the clinic, over 35 volunteers worked together to shepherd almost 100 refugees through registration and dental screening, cleaning and pulling teeth, filling cavities and ending pain.  While waiting to be treated, patients heard volunteers share stories of salvation and life transformation.  All day long it was a show and tell of the gospel.

The churches intentionally targeted a refugee population from Africa because of their desire to develop an on-going ministry to their new to Bowling Green friends.  Brent shared that he overheard one volunteer tell a patient from the Congo, “we do this because Christ loves us … and He loves you too!”  Every person coming to the clinic was part of a show and tell as they were shown love in a practical way and told about the gospel of Christ.  Brent also commented that “the dental clinic provided professionals an opportunity to use their skills to demonstrate the love of Christ”.

Churches of any size can show and tell the gospel in their own community and a dental clinic is not the only way to do it.  Other ways to show and tell include after school ministries with children, pregnancy care, small group ministry to recovering addicts or ex-offenders, food and clothing distributing, foster parenting or adoption, rent or utility assistance, parenting courses, home repair, ESL classes, tutoring, etc.  There is no limit to the many ways we can show and tell about the love of Christ.

We must open our mouths to fully express the gospel, but using only words doesn’t fully demonstrate His love. Live the gospel and share the gospel.  Words and deeds.  Lips and life.  Walk and talk. Show and tell!

2018 Kentucky Missionary of the Year


Tim Bargo, Executive Director of First Priority Tri-County, was recognized as the 2018 Kentucky Missionary of the Year on Saturday, April 7, during the Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union Celebration at the Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort.

Each year this award is presented to a missionary or missionary couple that demonstrates:

  • Commitment to and effectiveness in evangelism, church planting, or ministry.
  • Demonstration of “going the second mile.”
  • Outstanding performance in achieving assigned tasks.
  • Tenure.
  • Unusual commitment to our Lord’s service.
  • Positive representation of Kentucky Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board.
  • True reflection of being an “On Mission Christian.”

First Priority Tri-County is part of a national organization (First Priority America) whose main goal is to encourage, equip, and empower students to share their faith in Jesus on their middle and high school campuses.  First Priority Tri-County serves Knox, Laurel, Whitley, Clay, and McCreary counties and has 27 student led evangelical First Priority clubs meeting weekly.

In June of this year (2018), First Priority will be 10 years old and Tim has been at the helm since its inception.  During that time, 1981 students have prayed to receive Christ.  Since August of this school year alone, the organization has give out 1432 Bibles, witnessed 10 students praying to receive Christ, trained 210 students to be campus missionaries, brought together 25 local churches and 1109 students for a local youth rally, and organized 2411 students for the “See You at the Pole” event.

Recently Tim has taken the lead to create a “Day of Prayer Over Students” for the state of Kentucky.  Applying to have a proclamation signed for several years, it was finally approved in 2016 and 2017. Currently it has been filed as a bill and passed the House.  Join them in praying that it passes the Senate to become law.

“Tim Bargo embodies all that for which the Kentucky Missionary of the Year Award is presented,” says Director of Missions Steven Jett.  “He directs his organization of excellent evangelism and discipleship ministry in the context of an ever-growing network of schools through his personal example, with inspiring enthusiasm and integrity, encouraging participants to reach out in Christ’s name to lost students to win them to Jesus and grow them up in the faith.  There is no more relative, fruit-bearing ministry to our society than that which Tim Bargo and all the volunteers of Tri-County First Priority flesh out in a most effective way!”

Tim is a native of Harlan County, Kentucky and currently lives in Corbin with his wife and best friend Tammy.  He has three children – Brittany, Justin and Dylan.

Tim was commissioned as a North American Mission Board MSC-funded Missionary on June 23, 2009 in his role with First Priority and, in addition, has served as a North American Mission Board Chaplain with the University of the Cumberlands Football Program for 10 years.

Tim is an active member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Corbin, where he has led several mission trips, led small groups, and served on a number of committees.

Thank you, Tim, for your love for the Lord and your faithfulness in serving Him.  CONGRATULATIONS on being chosen as the 2018 Kentucky Missionary of the Year.  You are most deserving.

How is your vision?

I have never had issues with my eyesight.  Well, until recently.  As I am now fully into my mid-40s, I am noticing that my vision is becoming a bit blurry.  Distances are not quite as clear as they once were.  I have yet to do anything about this new middle-age challenge.  Perhaps I should go to the eye doctor.  If I do, the doctor might prescribe me glasses, which would affirm my lack of clear vision.

Seeing clearly is important.  As Jesus traveled through cities and villages he saw people, and he felt compassion for them because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36).  How sad it would be for us to see and yet not see the needs of people all around us. Because Jesus saw the people (Matt 9:36a), he felt compassion for them.

In other words, Jesus seeing people first led him to have compassion.  Compassion has been defined as sympathetic pity for the distress of others with the desire to alleviate it (Merriam-Webster).  Believers cannot look on the hopelessness of others and not be moved—moved not only with compassion, but with the desire to bring hope.

The Missions Mobilization Team of the Kentucky Baptist Convention exists to mobilize KBC churches for gospel impact.  We might say, to mobilize KBC churches to bring hope.  One of the ways we desire to help KBC churches see clearly is providing vision trips to various North American and international partnerships.  These vision trips are designed to expose KBC churches to the hopeless peoples and places throughout the world.

By seeing it, touching it, tasting it, hearing it and overall experiencing it, our prayer is that KBC churches will see the people, feel compassion for them, and do something gospel-centered to bring hope.  Making the most of a church’s time on a vision trip is crucial.

Be prayerful—With Paul, pray always.  Be in prayer as you travel from point A to point B. Pray as you walk and talk.  Pray as you hear from planters or missionaries. Pray as you return to your room.  The point…pray!  Ask the Lord to lead you in how He would have you partner in this place.

Be flexible—the time is short and filled with much to see and hear and experience.  Be prepared to spend long days with potentially shifting schedules.

Be attentive—take careful notes both on paper and in your head of planters/missionaries, stories, and situations that stand out to you.  What might speak to you now might be forgotten if you do not write it down and make note of why it impacted you.  Be observant of the area you are in (what is the community like, the people, the needs, etc.).  Take whatever notes necessary, so that you can make a prayerfully discerning decision about partnerships later with your leadership team.

Be interactive—this vision is meant to be an experience, not simply an informational dump load.  When able, talk with the planters/missionaries about the city, the needs, ways to be involved.  The point is to be engaged in the vision trip.

Be willing—to partner as the Lord leads you.  As David Platt suggests, bring a blank check (of your life) to the table and ask the Lord to fill in the amount.

So, do you have a clear vision for missions?  Learn more about KBC vision trips and partnerships at www.kybaptist.org/vision.