Kentucky Baptist churches are ‘doing the impossible’

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I was called into my first pastorate on Halloween in 1993. The vote count was 18 to 6. In preparation for my new role, I called the pastor who preceded me to ask a few questions about the church. He quickly began asking questions of me.

“Where are you pastoring now?” he inquired.

“I’m not pastoring now,” I replied.

“Where have you pastored,” he asked.

“I’ve never been a pastor,” I said.

“How old are you?” he shot back.

“I’m 23,” I said.

I’ll never forget what he said next: “Boy, they’re gonna kill you.”

I’d never officiated over a funeral or a wedding, never been to a deacons meeting, had three bad sermons and didn’t know how to preach them. But if, with God’s help, I’d learned Greek and Hebrew, I figured, with God’s help, I could learn how to be a pastor.

In no time at all, the 18 and the 6 began to come together, and then we had 24. Soon the baptismal waters were stirring, the church was growing, an outreach visitation program and a church nursery were launched, and, in the midst of it all, I was learning how to be a pastor. Together, with God’s help, we began to do the impossible.

One hundred and eighty years ago, Baptist churches in Kentucky set out to the impossible as they set out together to reach Kentucky and the world for Christ. But our Kentucky Baptist forbearers knew the Lord who called them to reach the world had stated clearly, “What is impossible with man is possible with God” (Luke 18:27). Working together, with God’s help, Kentucky Baptists began to do the impossible.

One hundred and eighty years later, the Kentucky Baptists are still doing the impossible. It’s not possible for one church to fund 50 church plants across the state. But working together, with God’s help, 2,400 churches are doing the impossible.

It’s not possible for one church to minister to 1,260 abused and neglected kids. But working together, with God’s help, 2,400 churches are doing the impossible.

It’s not possible for one church to share the gospel with nearly 14,000 kids at summer camp. But working together, with God’s help, 2,400 churches are doing the impossible.

It’s not possible for one church to provide an education for kids from elementary school through a doctorate, producing teachers and accountants, musicians and physician assistants, preachers and missionaries. But working together, with God’s help, 2,400 churches are doing the impossible.

It’s certainly not possible for one church to start 1,000 churches in North America, educate 20,000 seminary students at one time, and have 3,600 missionaries in over 100 countries of the world. But working together, with God’s help, the 45,000+ Southern Baptist churches that give through the Cooperative Program are doing the impossible.

Aren’t you thankful that “what is impossible with man is possible with God”? I am as well.

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