As I have mentioned in previous articles, there are five “opportunity areas” I want to focus upon as I serve Kentucky Baptists. The final area regards our existing relationships with KBC institutions and agencies.
I have been very encouraged by the many ways Campbellsville University, University of the Cumberlands, and Clear Creek Baptist Bible College have communicated their desire to honor their historic ties to and even strengthen their current relationship with the Kentucky Baptist Convention. I sense that Kentucky Baptists share that desire. Many of us are products of these institutions. And even more hope our children will be able to benefit from a degree attained in a Christian environment, learning from professors who embrace a biblical worldview.
In today’s world, Baptist universities and colleges successful at attracting students are those unashamed of their evangelical Christian identity. As the culture grows ever more hostile towards the gospel, parents and students willing to invest in a degree from a private Baptist school do so for a reason.
My experience of serving as a trustee and adjunct professor at the University of the Cumberlands and having a good relationship with Campbellsville University and some of their board members has allowed me to see that presidents James Taylor and Michael Carter understand the rapidly changing culture, as well as the growing expectations of the students and families they will serve, and are rising to meet these expectations by distinguishing their institutions from the culture at large. For that reason, I count these institutions as important partners.
While Clear Creek embraces a different assignment than our liberal arts colleges, they have a very important role in preparing the next generation of Kentucky Baptist pastors. Kentucky Baptists have invested in Clear Creek and have received a good return on that investment.
When it comes to evangelism, apart from the combined efforts of our local churches, no KBC ministry is doing more than Crossings (Kentucky Baptist Assemblies). And no ministry of our convention rivals Sunrise Children’s Services at exhibiting the “pure and faultless religion” James wrote about. When we add to this list the unique work of ministries like Oneida Baptist Institute, Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union, Kentucky Baptist Foundation, and the Western Recorder, we can appreciate the extensive reach of Kentucky Baptists. Moreover, the assistance of partners like Baptist Healthcare System (Shepherding the Shepherd) and the Kentucky Ethics League finds us grateful for special relationships that serve to benefit our pastors and churches.
I valued these ministries and the partnership they offered to the churches where I served as pastor. And I consider them essential to the work I now oversee on your behalf. Strong partnerships like these make for a stronger state convention. Together, we are the KBC!