Paducah church encouraged with taking gospel to neighbors

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PADUCAH, Ky. (KT) – Even though Justin Humphres is currently the only fulltime staff member at Twelve Oaks Baptist Church, he said the gospel message needs to go out to the community.

So Humphres, the church worship pastor, and lay leader Mike Moss took it upon themselves to organize a Gospel to Every Home campaign and make sure they did their part. In one Saturday, 45 church members showed up and reached out to 603 homes.

“The Lord really showed up that day,” Humphres said of the March 27 blitz.

Humphres didn’t charge into it blindly. He started a 40 days of prayer campaign back in February. Multiple people signed up for the 40 days of prayer. He ordered 200 copies of the 40 days of prayer material offered by the Kentucky Baptist Convention and 150 of them were gobbled up.

“That meant we had more than 40 praying,” he said. “Every week we continuously talked about that (Gospel to Every Home). We publicized it on social media, showed the KBC videos during worship services and kept the line of communication open to church members.”

Then they let the Lord work.

They knocked on doors and left Gospel to Every Home packages on doors. They had 21 who asked for special prayer and encountered 14 gospel conversations.

They knocked on the door of a television news reporter who was so interested in what they were doing she grabbed her camera and did a segment on the church.

“She came and videoed some of our service and I spoke to her afterward,” he said. “That was just another way to get the gospel out to the community. We are here for the community and we want people to know it. We are meant to gather and worship together.”

He said COVID issues were limited because most members have already had both vaccinations and the event was outdoors. Most wore masks during the canvassing and followed proper COVID guidelines.

The gathering of 45 was a “leap of faith,” he said, “because you never know if you’ll get five or 60. We had some youth and children with us too.” The church is without a senior pastor but the membership was ready to roll up its sleeves for the sake of the gospel.

Humphres said he brought his 5-year-old daughter with him. “I figured not many people are going to slam the door on a 5-year-old,” he said.

“If you’re not willing to go outside these walls, how do you think people are going to come?” he said. “It’s not about us. It’s about Christ and what he’s commanded us to do.”

He encouraged other Kentucky Baptist churches, no matter if they are going strong or struggling, to get behind the initiative and watch God work.

“What they should expect is for God to do some remarkable things,” he said. “Don’t be afraid. Having a positive attitude and being willing is the most important thing.”

Humphres said one of 12 Oaks church members did outreach for the first time but it won’t be the last time.

“She put on one of her (Facebook) posts, ‘I’m ready to come back and do it again!’ Once you do it, you’ll find it so easy to share the gospel. The other thing is to expect the unexpected. There are a lot of people who have quit going to church because of COVID or something happened. You may be able to reach somebody or plant that seed. God can use you to be the hands and feet of Jesus.”

Humphres said Christians should remember how they came to know Jesus and be willing to lead someone else like they were led.

“I’m a firm believer the only reason I’m saved today is my school bus driver. I was her Jerusalem. This is my Jerusalem. We want to send people out internationally and in North America but, if you’re not willing to do it here, why should you care about anywhere else? Miss Glenda was the bus driver. Christ was that for her. I want to be that light for someone else, too.”

The outreach continued into Easter weekend where the church held an Easter Egg Hunt on Friday with 290 on campus, including 81 unchurched.

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