How Will You Be A Voice For Life?

Near the conclusion of the creation account found in Genesis 1, God’s Word makes a profound statement that highlights the significance and value of all human life.  Genesis 1:27 states, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

While there are many rich truths that could be gleaned from this single verse of Scripture, the fact that we are created by God in His image is what gives all men and women a deep sense of worth and value. Mankind is the crowning jewel or the zenith of God’s creation, and the Bible underscores this truth throughout the pages of Scripture. For example, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Throughout this month, many followers of Christ will set aside a time to remember and reflect upon the sanctity of human life and holiness of God.  Churches will celebrate the fact that life is a gift from God, and they will also grieve the numerous lives that have been lost prematurely due to abortion, abandonment, abuse, violence, persecution, or some other means. As believers, we are called to be a voice for the powerless and to serve and support those in need by sharing the grace, love, compassion, and good news of Christ with others. There are several ways that individuals and Kentucky Baptist Churches can be a voice for life. Consider how God may be calling you to be involved.

We can pray for those whose lives are the most vulnerable, particularly the unborn, the disabled and the elderly. We can stand ready to come alongside and minister to those who find themselves in the midst of a crisis pregnancy or the loneliness that often comes in the late stages of one’s life. Maybe God is calling you to adopt a child, serve as a foster family, or minister to refugees.  Perhaps God is asking you to play a part in the restoration and healing process with someone who experienced the emotional and physical pain of an abortion months or even years ago, but they still long for forgiveness and spiritual healing. Will you help that individual to know that God loves them and offers a new start in life?

In whatever way God leads you to be an outspoken voice for life, remember the truth that we are all made in the image of God. An individual’s worth and dignity is not based upon their culture, class, country of origin, or the color of their skin. Every single person has value to God because they are made in His image, and each individual is precious to Him. Remember, whoever is precious and valuable to God should be precious and valuable to us.

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” — Genesis 1:27

The Missions Mobilization Team exist to serve you and your church as you seek to fulfill the Great Commission. Email or text John Barnett, KBC missions strategist, to discover new opportunities and tools for you and your church to share the love of Christ by being a voice for life! Email: [email protected] Text/Call: 502-654-3385.

Working Together

The Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention is one of the greatest things that unites us as churches across our convention. As each individual gives of their tithes and offerings through their local church, their church sends a portion of money to the Cooperative Program. This money is used to support our missionaries, ministries, church plants, compassion ministries, and the list goes on. Cooperatively, we can do far more together than we could ever do on our own.

The dollars and cents are easy to calculate and report as those funds are distributed. But what is even more visible, is when Southern Baptists unite together in service and assist those in need. We have witnessed firsthand during the December storms that affected Kentucky across our state the Cooperative Program in action. There were the tornadoes in western and south-central Kentucky, with flooding in eastern Pike County.

This is where we could see the Cooperative Program not just funded, but lived out. During this time of disaster response, Kentucky has been blessed not only by so many of our own church members stepping up to help, but so many from countless states who have come to help. And it makes a difference. Disaster relief teams from several of our neighboring states assisted us during this response.

Our disaster relief volunteers have responded in some very cold, dirty, and unpleasant places. They have taken their time, vacations, and even their own money to help others who are hurting. But this is what they train for. This is what they prepare for. And lives are changed.

For example, there were two elderly ladies whose home had flooded. With no one to help them and no where to go, they continued to live in their wet and dirty home, sleeping on a wet bed for nearly a week. A Kentucky and West Virginia Baptist disaster relief team arrived and discovered this need. Within hours, two beds, frames, sheets, pillows, and blankets were brought to their home, and they once again had a dry bed to sleep in. They assisted them with cleaning up their home and made a difference. This is the Cooperative Program lived out.

Our cooperative giving makes a difference. Our cooperative praying makes a difference. Our cooperative sharing makes a difference. And our cooperative serving makes a difference.

Don’t wait for another disaster or crisis to get involved. There are two spring disaster relief trainings coming up in March and April. Check out the web site at for more information and details. Be prepared to work together. Be prepared to make a difference.

Lessons from COVID for Short-term Missions


Two years ago, no one imagined that we would still be dealing with COVID-19 in 2022. We will wade through this virus and by the summer the world will be back to normal, so we thought.  Well, that didn’t go exactly as we had hoped.  Two years later, we are still dealing with the virus, as we are learning ways to navigate in a world with it.  While we may not yet have a new normal, we certainly are not shutdown like we were in early 2020.  As we think about churches continuing to support the work of missionaries through short-term missions, there are some lessons we can glean from the last two years. 

  • The mission of God is not thwarted by a virus nor by anything or anyone else.  Nothing will stop the advancement of the gospel, even when the world apparently shuts down.  Jesus said, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell will not overpower it” (Matt 16:18).
  • Encouragement of missionaries on the field has perhaps never been more necessary (at least in my lifetime).  We all find ourselves in need of encouragement as the demands and challenges of life in a fallen world press on us.  Paul’s church planting pattern involved circling back to churches he planted to “strengthen the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith…” (Acts 14:22).  While Covid is still front-and-center, many other issues compound the challenges of ministry, especially cross-culturally.  The pressure cooker of today’s realities requires churches to provide intentional encouragement to help sustain field personnel across the globe.   
  • Hitting a moving target is never easy.  Let’s face it, data and policies seem to change weekly related to Covid.  Expecting these unexpected changes will aid the short-term mission team in staying focused on the mission rather than the obstacles.  For Paul, Roman imprisonment did not derail his plans for gospel advancement (Acts 28:30-31).
  • Since we are dealing with a moving target, stay up on current Covid information.  Short-term mission teams will need to research Covid requirements for their travel locations.  Even connecting flights, particularly in other countries, may require something different than the team’s destination city or country.  CDC provides information related to the virus (  To find up-to-date info about travel in particular countries, search “US embassy and consulates in ________ (name of country).”  Then simply select the information about Covid-19.
  • Flexibility is still the 11th commandment in short-term missions.  “Thou shalt be flexible,” says the short-term mission team leader to his team.  Covid does not lessen the discomforts of crossing communities, countries, and cultures; it enlarges them.  God does not become frustrated over challenging circumstances, whether Covid or the like. He is sovereign over them.  While describing the glorious salvation of God’s people, Paul reiterates that God works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph 1:11).  God’s sovereignty is not meant to be a topic of theological debate.  It’s meant to be a comfort for our lack of sovereign control.  This truth is not just for our salvation, but for all of life, even short-term missions. Thus, be flexible as God is moving the pieces of the puzzle as He sees fit for your short-term mission team. 

While COVID-19 remains active, the gospel of Jesus marches on.  Short-term missions can still be part of God’s plan to engage communities, cities, and countries around the world with the good news of Jesus.  Don’t allow Covid to derail your church’s mission involvement.  Rather, trust God as He is working, and then adjust and plan accordingly.                     

Be an Encourager

The holidays are over.  2021 is history, and we are now a few days into 2022.  The New Year finds us reflecting over the year just ended and looking ahead with new resolutions, goals, and plans.  We vow to be a better person, to do better.  We commit before the Lord to be a better Christian, to be more consistent in Bible study, prayer, witnessing, missions, and/or other areas of our lives in the year ahead.

Several Scriptures over the past few days have really encouraged me as I begin this new year.  The Lord, speaking through Isaiah (43:18-19) says, “Do not remember the former things.  Nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.”

What “former things” from 2021 do I need to put behind me?  What “new thing” is God wanting to do in my life?

My New Year had begun in the Gospel of Mark from “The Living Insight Study Bible.”  Jesus is beginning His ministry.  He calls and teaches His disciples.  He is preaching and healing, casting out demons, and ministering to the people.  Chuck Swindoll comments, “Throughout the Gospel, Mark describes Jesus as a servant.  If Jesus is our model, then servanthood is our method.  If servanthood is our method, then people are our ministry.  We don’t serve things – we serve people.  If people are our ministry, then involvement is our means: Touching lives. Listening. Taking time. Looking. Caring. Helping. Seeing the one person in the crowd who needs us, and taking the time to touch, hear, and help. That is servanthood.”

 What does servanthood look like for you in 2022?  How might He be calling you to serve?  Who might He be calling you to reach out to? 

This past Sunday a visiting preacher at our church shared about Barnabas.  We immediately think of Barnabas as being an encourager.  Encouragement is a big way that all of us can serve others.  If there was ever a time that people (including all of us) need encouragement, it is now.  We are going into our third year dealing with a pandemic, and it is just a bleak time. 

Kentucky ended 2021, and began 2022, with devastating tornados and flooding across the state.  Thanks to Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief for being on site to help during these times of crisis.  Thanks to churches and individuals that helped with cleanup, encouragement, donations, and for just “being there” to support and encourage families that have been impacted.

Being a servant would certainly include being an encourager.  November and December were extremely busy times for me as I worked with the Christmas Backpack program.  Approximately 15,000 backpacks were filled for boys and girls in Kentucky.  In-state churches provided 8,000 of these, with the remainder coming from partnering state conventions.  Even though I get much joy and satisfaction from the Christmas backpacks, I was tired.  Trying to make sure each location received the backpacks that were needed, and concern that we might not have enough backpacks to go around, I was grew a bit weary.  But what an encouragement it was for me when, two days before Christmas I received a large envelope from a teacher of a group of Hispanic children in Lexington.  These children were not on the list to get backpacks.  However, I received a call asking if we possibly had enough backpacks for them to get one.  There were no extra backpacks at the time but , after contacting other ministries, I was able to locate enough backpacks for these children.  They were so appreciative.  Each of them had written the sweetest “thank you” notes that I have ever received.  Words that said:

  • “Thank you for helping us to get the backpacks.”
  • “I appreciate your kindness.”
  • “I hope you have a great Christmas because you deserve one.”
  • “You are so helpful.”
  • “We appreciate the time of doing this for us, thank you.”
  • “Have a great Christmas.”
  • “We love you for that.”
  • “I really like that you care about us.”
  • “Some of it can go to a donation because some of it we already have so be aware it will go to a good home.”
  • “It was a huge help.”

Needless to say, I was so blessed and encouraged by these students that took time just to say, “thank you.” 

How can we say “thank you?”  How can we be an encouragement to others in 2022?  How can be a servant? 

As Swindoll said, “See the one person in the crowd who needs us, and take the time to touch, hear, and help.”  It could make or break someone’s day.

Happy New Year!!  And thank you for serving.