OWENSBORO, Ky. (KT) – Only about two months into the ministry as the new associational missions strategist for the Daviess-McLean County Baptist Association, Nathan Whisnant had to find a connection.
COVID-19 restrictions had started and churches were having to close their doors.
“I was not able to visit with any of the pastors and I love to visit,” he said. “It broke my heart.”
Whisnant had gone through a Zoom training session for AMS’s through the IMB and a segment on prayer walking caught his attention. The example from the video was that an AMS would pray walk around the churches he was serving and called the pastors later since visiting was impossible in the days of the coronavirus.
“I liked that a lot,” he said. “Instead of sending them word afterward, I sent them word before and asked how I could pray for them specifically. Many pastors sent back texts. I was really pleased with the response from that.”
Whisnant spent part of his day prayer walking around the 55 churches and missions in the association. He got familiar with their surroundings and their needs. He made a connection that has already enabled more communication with pastors, who he is encouraging to be part of the Gospel to Every Home initiative of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
“Now that we have begun to regather and I’ve been able to attend churches, almost every pastor has brought that up,” he said of the prayer walking. “They would say, ‘Your AMS walked around the church and prayed for you.’ I believe God is blessing that.”
He said his job as an AMS was to have a connection with pastors and prior to prayer walking around their churches he felt more of a disconnect.
“There’s something about being on their campus, walking around the church and praying fr peopole who will eventually come to those doors,” he said. “I prayed for the pastors, for leadership and for strength and courage, and for families as they get through this. I tried to use this time kind of like an incubator of spending time in God’s word.”
It took him a month to prayer walk around the churches in the association. The farthest from the office is about 30 miles, he said. He would take 4-5 churches every day and spend 2-3 hours walking and praying. Once he completed the first round of prayer walking on every campus, he started another one until the churches began slowly to reopen.
Whisnant left the pastorate last December so he asked himself how could an AMS have best served him.
“Prayer is the most important thing that you can do,” he said.
He’s still doing the prayer walking but also meeting in person with pastors as much as possible. Fifteen pastors have agreed to participate in the Gospel to Every Home program with some scheduling dates in September or later in the fall.
“Without fail, every single pastor has said ‘Yes, count us in,’’’ Whisnant said. “I’m able to share why I’m passionate about it and they can see it. There’s something about that personal connection.”