The holiday season is over, 2018 is now past and we are into the year 2019. Many churches are beginning to plan for spring and summer and looking ahead to opportunities to serve. Have you planned your 2019 mission experience? Kentucky is full of opportunities.
Why do missions in Kentucky?
Many times, when we think of missions, we think of somewhere “across the seas,” but the Great Commission tells us to go to our “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” With an 18.5% poverty rate, and an average of only 12.1% of the Kentucky population in church on a given Sunday, Kentucky is a state with lots of physical and spiritual needs and is certainly a mission field.
The number of single parent homes, grandparents raising grandchildren, few jobs in some areas or loss of jobs, low literacy and education rates, job skills, and the drugs are just some of the issues that cause poverty to be so high in Kentucky. Many children do not have the food, clothing, health care, and essentials they need as a result. Many of them are not taught the stories of the Bible, have not heard that Christ loves them, and are not encouraged to attend church where they would learn these things.
Mission teams and self-funded missionaries serve in Kentucky to help alleviate these physical and spiritual needs. Thousands come each year to assist local churches and missionaries in reaching out to the physical needs, opening doors to share about the spiritual. They may serve on a short-term mission trip, partner with a church or ministry and make multiple trips, or commit to long-term service in an area. In-state mission opportunities are numerous.
Looking for ways to put your faith into action? Missions is year-round in Kentucky and there are lots of ways to get involved. The KBC Missions Mobilization Team can help connect you with dozens of one day to one- or two-week opportunities to demonstrate the love of Jesus through acts of service. Mission opportunities are available across the state and include pretty much anything for which an individual or team might be gifted. Check out the many short-term listings at www.kybaptist.org/go. You can search by type of project, location and length of assignment.
Opportunities are also available to serve from a few weeks to 6 or 9 months. With many of the 2,400 Kentucky churches being small in number, some can use help with a music program, children’s ministry, food & clothing ministry, or all types of outreach.
Ministry centers across the state can use summer interns to serve alongside them. These mid-term opportunities too, can be found at www.kybaptist.org/go. Click on the “6 months or more” tab to view.
Perhaps God is calling you to serve long-term as a self-funded Kentucky Mission Service Corps Missionary. A Kentucky Mission Service Corps missionary (KY-MSC) is an adult (18 years of age or older), called by God and connected to a Kentucky Baptist Convention church, who commits to serve from nine months to two years (renewable). The positions engage in or directly support missions, church planting, collegiate ministry or evangelism, in cooperative partnership with a Kentucky Baptist Convention church, association or organization.
John & Shaughanessy Morris, from Hazard, sensed God’s call on their lives as missionaries. They felt certain they would serve “over-seas” in another country, but God called them to their own people of eastern Kentucky. John & Shaughanessy now direct God’s Appalachian Partnership in McDowell (Floyd County), Kentucky, a ministry that meets the spiritual and physical needs of people in Appalachia.
The KBC can assist with the application process and placement in a ministry. Go to www.kybaptist.org/msc/ for more information.