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REACHing Kentucky: 'Jesus is alive, and He is at Cedar Bluff'

 

Pastor Mark Faughn likes to close out most worship services at Cedar Bluff Baptist Church with the following line, "Go out this week and tell people that Jesus is alive, and He is at Cedar Bluff." Only, he leaves the last part of that statement unspoken for the congregation to fill in the blank.

God is certainly doing a work at Cedar Bluff Baptist Church which meets on Hopkinsville Road on the outskirts of Princeton.

In 2007, when Faughn was called as pastor of Cedar Bluff, they averaged 70 people in Sunday morning worship attendance and had baptized an average of five people per year in recent years. Today, the church averages more than 140 people for Sunday morning worship and has baptized an average of 11-plus people per year for a total of 135 people since 2007.

Faughn is a highly evangelistic pastor and leads the church to be intentionally evangelistic. He leads them to pray for lost friends and family by name, to be trained in personal evangelism methods, to host evangelistic revivals, and to carry out multiple events each year geared to help the church build relationships with people who do not know Jesus.

One of Faughn's current evangelism goals is to lead the church to knock on the door of every home in Princeton with the intention of sharing Jesus with the residents. He has a group of faithful members that meet up with him on Wednesday evenings before the Wednesday night service who take a section of town and go purposefully reaching out to the lost.

Faughn regularly reminds the church that, "the people they reach out to may never attend Cedar Bluff Baptist Church, but that God will nevertheless honor the church's faithfulness." He said, "God regularly sends people to visit the church that the church members never visited."

Pastor Mark Faughn and his wife, Kay, of Cedar Bluff Baptist Church in Princeton.

How can your church take steps toward reaching out into the community in a door-to-door effort?

1. Pray for a burden for lost people: One of the signs that a church is experiencing revival is when the congregation gets on their heart what is on God's heart. God, according to Luke 19:10, has lost people on His heart: "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." We must pray and ask God to help us have a daily heart burden and motivating concern for the unsaved and the unchurched.

2. Overcome personal obstacles to reaching out: Those who will lead others to be engaged in evangelism must themselves be involved in evangelism. If your personal evangelism barrier is fear, busyness, laziness, or neglect, then confess this to the Lord and ask for His grace in overcoming the obstacles that are keeping you from doing His will in evangelism.

3. Gather a group of willing warriors: There is an old leadership adage that teaches the leader not to wait for the whole group to get on board with a desired vision or goal but, instead, to "go with the goers." Find a coalition of willing witnesses (there are some in every church) and honor their willingness to reach out with the gospel. A group of five or 10 committed church members can make a huge impact in a community saturation effort.

4. Train people in front door visitation practices: Most Christians need some basic skill training in how to conduct themselves at the front door of a home. Use common sense as your guide as well as the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Equip people with tracts, church information, a gospel sharing plan, and breath mints, and send them out into the community to love your community with the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus on behalf of lost sinners.

5. Find a way to track your progress: If your goal is to knock on every door in town, or a section of town, or a section of the county, then find a way to track your progress so the outreach group can be encouraged as their work is accomplished. One of my personal goals is to knock on some of the doors in every county in Kentucky. There are 120 counties and I have completed about 40 of those so far. I am greatly encouraged every time another county is completed. Your outreach team will also be encouraged as they make progress toward the agreed upon goal.

6. Do the work as a service to Jesus and to people: To help the outreach team guard against pride and self-righteousness remind them regularly that they are serving Jesus and serving people by taking the gospel to the homes of the unsaved and the unconcerned. We don't go to homes to share Christ because people want us to, but because they need us to. They are the lost and we are the found. The found must go looking for the lost.

7. Celebrate every good work that God accomplishes: The team will have good experiences reaching into the community. They will share Jesus with lost people, pray for struggling Christians, discover ministry needs in the community, and possibly be used of God to lead a lost soul to faith in Jesus. Be sure and find a way to celebrate every good work the team experiences in outreach.

Door-to-door evangelism is certainly not the only tool for engaging a community with the gospel, but it does remain an effective tool in Kentucky. The pastors who lead the church to reach out in an ongoing, prayerful, organized door to door evangelism plan will typically see more people saved and baptized than those who do not. Kentucky Baptist Mission Board staff stands ready to assist you and your church in your efforts to reach Kentucky and the world for Christ.(WR)

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