BEREA, Ky. (KT) – Emphasis on the Gospel to Every Home and commitment to group discipleship has parlayed into a culture change in the approach toward evangelism at Middletown Baptist, said Pastor William Dooley.
Every age category of the church has found their niche through the Gospel to Every Home. Some have packed GTEH packages, some have fed the groups getting ready to go out, many have taken to the streets to share the gospel in the communities, and all are praying, Dooley said.
“Our church culture wasn’t ever bad but now it’s different and none of this is original to me,” the pastor said. “I’ve tried my best to get everybody I can involved in the process in some way.”
With everybody pulling in the same direction, the church is united on what it wants to accomplish, which is sharing the gospel to nearby neighbors and friends. And good things are happening because of it.
“I pray that many pastors like William will be able to leverage the statewide initiative and resources to help strengthen the evangelistic culture of their churches,” said Rob Patterson, the team evangelism leader for the Kentucky Baptist Convention. “I love how he is finding ways to involve as many people as possible and to celebrate every step of obedience. What joy for people to realize during a baptismal service that those who helped packed door-hanging bags, prayed as teams went out, cooked meals for volunteers, or went door-to-door, all had a part in seeing a neighbor come to Christ.”
A large percentage of those in discipleship groups make up the volunteers who are going door-to-door. But Dooley also understands that nothing works without prayer, which is why he’s enlisted prayer teams who are working ahead and committed to those who are taking the gospel to the streets.
The pastor is among those knocking on doors and he shared an experience where he had a conversation on the porch of an avowed atheist for 20 minutes.
“He told me he was an atheist but didn’t object to us being there,” Dooley said. “He said, ‘As a matter of fact, if you believe what you say you do, this is exactly what you should be doing.’ I asked him if we could pray for him about anything and he said, ‘No, I don’t believe in any of that, but my girlfriend does and she has a job interview coming up. So you can pray for her.’ I prayed with an atheist on his front porch.”
Seeds are being sown with every visit, Dooley said, and his young discipleship groups are leading the way in taking out the gospel.
“William is modeling biblical disciple-making,” Patterson said. “He is pouring into the lives of young people through discipleship groups. Understanding that maturity in Christ cannot be separated from the mission of Christ, he is mobilizing these young disciples to participate in Gospel to Every Home. Imagine what can happen if these teens begin discipling friends the way William is discipling them?”
Dooley said he learned much about evangelism from listening to KBC partners like Patterson and Todd Gray, the executive director-treasurer of the KBC. The pastor said he utilizes and teaches Gray's front-door evangelism methods.
Dooley said one of his young men came out to visit because of the accountability of discipleship programs. “He told me if I’d just put out a list, he would have never gone,” the pastor said. "That's what these discipleship sessions are doing."
So far, the pastor said the seeds are being sown and they are waiting for the harvest. When that happens, he said, they will celebrate with everybody who had a hand in Gospel to Every Home.
“Everybody is playing a role,” Dooley said. The first time I see somebody saved from a Gospel to Every Home visit as part of it, we’re going to celebrate. It takes every one of us functioning like this to accomplish this big task.”