Berea church trying Sunday morning visits for Gospel to Every Home

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By MARK MAYNARD, Kentucky Today

BEREA, Ky. (KT) – Pastor Allen Livingood is making the Gospel to Every Home a matter of worship and priority on Sunday morning.

He has directed Westside Baptist Church members to deliver gospel packets for the Kentucky Baptist Convention initiative to 1,000 homes in the Berea community. While he’s sure there will be some eyebrow-raising looks from neighbors when they answer the knocks on their door and find a church member waiting to speak with them on the other side, he said the acts of sacrifice and worship shown should be well received.

“It is still worship, it’s just a different kind of worship,” he said. “Romans 12: 1 says we are to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice. That’s what we’re trying to do. ”

While about 40 to 50 members are taking to the streets to share the gospel with neighbors, the church’s worship service will still happen. He said they will have an abbreviated Sunday School and then a service of song and prayer for those who are out in the community on what he has dubbed “Gospel to Every Home Day.” They will be praying for safety and potential gospel conversations that are likely to happen as members hit the streets in the community.

He said it may not be a typical Sunday morning worship service, but it could be a day to remember for the church with groups putting their faith in motion by going outside the church doors and into the community.

The church is excited about what may transpire from Gospel to Every Home, a nearly two-year initiative of the KBC to get the gospel to the 1.7 million homes in the state. Each church was asked to do the work in their own “Jerusalem” and that’s exactly what Livingood wants to happen in Berea.

Livingood said the church was built in 1953 to reach the community. Even though a majority of members don’t live around the church anymore, it is still the community they need to reach with the gospel. Around 85% percent of those living in Berea don’t attend any church on Sunday morning, according to KBC statistics. So the area is ripe for harvest, he said.

He remembered an associational training meeting about the Gospel to Every Home where Grayson First Baptist Pastor Josh Schmidt shared as they were visiting in his town, he ran into some neighbors who lived near the church that knew nothing about it.

Livingood said the same could probably be said for Westside. “I’m sure we have people who live here who couldn’t tell you the name of the church or anything about it.”

Livingood, who has been pastor since 2003, said they have been wanting to participate in the Gospel to Every Home for several months, but the pandemic’s second rise kept them from it. They decided to wait in the spring initially because of pandemic fears among church members and the community. However, he said it was time to act and they are doing it in a unique way.

The pastor said he was having lunch with Kevin Slimp of Berea First Baptist who told him they went out on Sunday morning. Livingood was intrigued by the idea and thought it would be a good fit for his church too. Everyone is there on Sunday morning anyway, he reasoned, so why not try to use that as an advantage. He also said more people in the community are home on Sunday morning than at nearly any other time. He asked his deacons about the plan and they excitedly approved.

“Talking with Kevin is what inspired me to take the ball and run with it,” Livingood said. “My chairman of the deacons, Jason Mays, has been instrumental in mapping everything out and getting everybody organized to go out.”

The church also gathered to pack the 1,000 bags with young and old alike participating. They finished in about 30 minutes, he said.

Livingood said he was thankful for how the KBC provides resources for projects like Gospel to Every Home. “They have it all covered,” he said. “Everything we need for this they’ve provided. We are so blessed to have them working with us. ”


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