LOUISVILLE — Going Deeper, Going Deeper is the theme of the Kentucky Baptist Convention REACH Evangelism and Missions Conference next week at Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown.
At REACH, pastors and other leaders will learn how their churches can share the gospel more confidently and effectively in their neighborhoods, communities, and around the world.
“What we pray is that even though you haven’t seen much fruit in the past two years, we pray that God will lead you to go further than you have ever been, to cast your nets further far away than you ever have, in communities, in parts of the world you have never reached, praying for God to save people who are very far from him,” said Kenny Rager, evangelism strategist for KBC churches. .
Rager said the world is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic uncertain about the future and often confused about the truth itself. When sharing the gospel, he said, it means getting to the heart of the matter. Christians must be able to explain what they believe — and why.
“People don’t have a basic biblical worldview, so when we start sharing with them about Jesus, there may not be a basic level that they can relate to,” Rager said. “So we have to make sure that we explain the gospel – that Christ is God, that he died on a cross, was buried and rose again – in a way that they can understand it without compromising the message. .”
Dr. Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans and former president of the SBC, is one of the plenary speakers at the two-day REACH conference that opens Monday. Luter said he plans to focus on the importance of sharing the gospel.
“The world is in trouble, our society is in trouble, and the only answer – I believe – is a relationship with Jesus Christ. So we just have to do it,” Luter said.
He said it is essential that the church not be distracted from its primary mission – to make disciples.
“We have to make it a priority,” Luter said. “That’s why these evangelistic conferences are so important to help people realize that, yes, it’s important to do other things, but we as believers are always commanded…to do other things. the main thing – and that is sharing our faith with others.”
Another plenary speaker, Dr. Jamaal Williams, pastor of Sojourn Church in Louisville, said he would take REACH participants back to Genesis 1 as a basis for evangelism and missions.
He said seeing everyone as created in the image of God should motivate Christians to share the good news.
“I think if we are able to see the beauty in which God created every human being, and how sacred each person is – no matter their socio-economic status, no matter where they come from, no matter their history — then that should give us a heart to draw closer to them, to be curious about their lives, and then help point them to Jesus,” Williams said.
REACH will include breakout sessions designed to address specific challenges in evangelism and missions – all designed to renew the vision of evangelism, reconnect with other leaders, and strengthen missions efforts.
“As they leave conference, I pray that they return with a renewed passion for the Great Commission,” Rager said. “But I also pray that they come back with practical ideas, something they can take back to their church and immediately, or at least begin, to work on implementing to reach their community and their world for Christ. “