ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (KT) – Did you ever want to take a whack at COVID-19?
Just one time, take a swing with a sledgehammer right in the kisser.
Welcome to Crossroads Baptist Church of Elizabethtown where Sunday night from 6 to 8 your wish can come true. The church is hosting a “Crush COVID for Missions” event where participants can take a swing with a sledgehammer at at an already beat-up automobile for a donation to the fundraiser that benefits the church's short-term mission trips.
The automobile was donated for the event and the church youth have painted it in some hideous colors to make it an easy target for those wanting to wield a sledgehammer and take a hearty swing.
Crossroads Pastor Rob Sumrall said the church typically does a big dessert auction as a missions fundraiser, but “COVID messed that up” so this year they are taking out their coronavirus frustrations in the best way possible by letting participants take turns smashing the car with a sledgehammer.
“We are a church that tries to prioritize involvement in missions on many different levels,” he said. “We foster an attitude of missions through short-term mission trips. Obviously, that’s a pretty expensive endeavor. So this year for our mission fundraiser, we’re crushing COVID for missions.”
Sumrall said the event has “grown its own legs” with the Elizabethtown fire department and police department asking if they could participate and, since the church is fairly close to Fort Knox, there will be a Green Team coming for a military presence, too, the pastor said.
“Then we had guys come up from the church and said we needed an ‘Average Joe’s’ team," Sumrall said. "We all want to get COVID out of our lives. Even more than that, we want to raise money for missions. It’s going to be a great time of fellowship and it’s going to be outdoors.”
Sumrall said his church is ready to come back and put COVID in the rearview mirror. “We have a few folks with some health issues who are hypercautious, and that’s fine, we understand,” he said. “But a lot of people are asking, ‘When are we coming back to be together?’ I thought this was a really creative event to bring us together outdoors and in a fun way.”
Sumrall credited missions pastor Patrick Walsh for taking the lead on the project and generating excitement around it.
“We are in such a unique season at our church right now,” Sumrall said. “We have six or seven families that are here that I’m just now getting to know. They connected with us digitally. Now they’ve kind of come in and plugged into our church. I feel like I’m preaching to strangers.”
He said Crossroads is beginning to reach pre-COVID numbers and 30% of the pre-COVID members aren’t back yet, “which means we’ve had 30% growth,” Sumrall said.
On Easter, he said they had two services so they could accommodate social distancing to keep everybody comfortable. They typically have one service on Easter.
The pastor said the typical mission trip is a week to 10 days and the church underwrites the ministry expense. They have sent teams to Croatia, Ireland, Guatemala, and Oakland, California, in the past few years. “Our goal is not to go in and do a gospel dump but to see a strong, vibrant local church (growing),” he said.
All are welcome to attend the "Crush COVID for Missions" event, he said.