Aligning Our Structure With Our Values

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The Kentucky Baptist Convention is embracing the values expressed in our new vision statement: Created by churches, for churches, to help churches reach Kentucky and the world for Christ. In doing so, some organizational changes for our staffing structure are in order. I want to highlight two of those changes.

Evangelism and Church Planting: Reaching Kentucky and the World for Christ

First, evangelism and church planting will now be paired together. The wedding of these two pieces will better represent the New Testament model of evangelism. While church planting will not be the only evangelism method we help churches undertake, it will hold a prominent place in the overall strategy.

Two other ministry assignments will also be included on this team: ethnic work and collegiate evangelism. Since the primary thrust of our ethnic ministry in Kentucky has been church planting, it fits well on this team. Some consider university and college campuses the epicenters of lostness in the Commonwealth. A strategic evangelistic focus for our collegiate ministry can continue to be effectively facilitated on this team.

Church Consulting and Revitalization: For the Churches

Second, we are creating a “Church Consulting and Revitalization Team.” The primary assignment of this team is to provide free ministry consulting to KBC churches with a goal toward church revitalization. Various studies have suggested that 70%-80% of churches are plateaued or in decline. Helping these churches turn around is vital Kingdom work.

This team will have a group of pastoral ministry consultants whose primary focus will be working with our pastors and associational missionaries across the state. They will be specialists in resourcing the local church, networking leaders, and introducing strategies for church revitalization. They will also seek to be encouragers to the pastors and associational missionaries. Recent studies have indicated that eight out of ten seminary graduates who enter the ministry leave within five years and only one in ten will finish in the ministry. Many factors contribute to these startling realities but I know of no one suggesting that our pastors and missionaries need fewer people encouraging them. They need more.

This team will also have a group of church ministry specialists who will provide consultation on the various ministries of the local church, including but not limited to: preschool and children’s ministries, youth ministries, women’s ministries, senior adult ministries, worship ministries, discipleship and Sunday School ministries, church finance and benefits, conflict resolution, etc. These consultants will be equipped to assist churches of any size but their primary target will be churches with an average attendance of 300 or less. The overwhelming majority of KBC churches fit into that size range. They are the churches that could benefit most from a ministry investment from the KBC.

The KBC: created by churches, for churches, to help churches reach Kentucky and the world for Christ.

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One Comment

  1. Assistant Pastor KY
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Dr Chitwood,

    These are encouraging efforts by the KBC. I’ve been in Louisville 10 years and know a number of churches in decline. My personal fear, if I can be honest, if that I’ll end up being one of the 8 graduates who aren’t pastoring within 5 years or one of the 9 who never finishes in ministry. Having been a bi-vocational assistant for over 5 years, and having looked for a pastorate for a year now and been consistently rejected, I’m afraid that I’m simply not wanted in the KBC, especially being a Southern grad. The news on the street for Southern grads isn’t very good, as the churches consistently tell us in interviews that the theology of Southern isn’t welcomed in their churches. I simply don’t want to plant a church because I can’t find one to serve in full time. Is that the answer for those of us who want to serve in the Bluegrass state? I believe that the Lord will bless the efforts of your leadership, though I wonder whether or not I’ll be part of what He’ll do because I came to Kentucky in the first place.

    Blessings,
    A pastor with a heart for Kentucky