CORBIN, Ky. (KT) – Like a well-oiled machine, Immanuel Baptist in Corbin put together 10,000 Gospel to Every Home packages in less than an hour after church and distributed almost one-fourth of them on a sun-splashed Sunday afternoon.
Pastor Allen Bonnell said while putting together that many kits was impressive, it wasn’t the biggest hurdle they faced.
“The preacher didn’t preach the whole time,” he said with tongue firmly in cheek. “That was the only thing people were worried about. But we cleared that hurdle.”
The pastor wasn’t surprised at the excitement or efficiency of the day. He credited his staff and other lay volunteers with having everything neatly organized.
“It’s really just our culture,” he said. “Our culture is about being the church and reaching into our community.”
In other words, spreading the gospel was right in their wheelhouse.
“We’ve been building up to it in our sermon series and prepping folks,” he said. “Our church responds well to ‘1-2-3 GO!’ If we talk about it for a month, the level of response and participation doesn’t go up. It was like, ‘We’re going to do this real quick and then we’re done.’”
Teams of people put bags together that include information from the Kentucky Baptist Convention, a copy of the book of John, a small New Testament from the North American Mission Board and material about the church.
“We took the same protocol of not passing an offering plate,” he said. “We let everybody pack their own bag instead of passing them.” They also wore masks and gloves during the packing.
Gospel to Every Home is part of the KBC’s challenge of reaching every home in Kentucky with the gospel over the next year.
Bonnell said he was happy to have Corbin, which also has campuses in Richmond and Williamsburg, do its part in what he says is a tremendous initiative. He said the KBC’s resources they provided makes it easy for churches throughout the state to become involved. If everybody does their job, he said, the feat for the gospel can be accomplished.
He said it was critically important for people to hear the gospel message even during the COVID season when many are staying inside,
When Gospel to Every Home packages were put together, they were boxed up and distributed to neighborhoods where other church members were waiting to put them on doors. They also looked for opportunities to share the gospel with neighborhoods in the church’s area by engaging those who were outside.
“People jumped in and were excited to do something and serve,” Bonnell said. “Two weeks before we gave our offering away and pushed our folks toward a service project (in the community). This was almost like building a ramp leading up to the jump.”
The church does an annual Service Week in the fall and Bonnell made distributing 10,000 Gospel to Every Home kits one of the projects for some of the church’s Life Groups and the youth group, which will be going out in mass on Wednesday.
“Some are taking different nights and going to other neighborhoods,” he said.
Immanuel Baptist distributed 2,300 of the packages on Sunday and Bonnell said they would all be passed out by Sunday.
“This was really perfect for us,” he said. “We couldn’t do a lot of the work in the community that we usually do because of COVID-19. But we could do this. We coordinated several larger neighborhoods today.”
He said the fast start and accompanying good weather that the Lord provided were important. “I think it was key to have a good start," the pastor said. "We had a blast.”