CORBIN, Ky. (KT) – Immanuel Baptist Church is all in with the Gospel to Every Home initiative and Pastor Allen Bonnell can give you 10,000 reasons why.
His church and its three campuses will be delivering 10,000 Gospel to Every Home packets to the Corbin, Williamsburg and Richmond areas.
“I think right now we need it more than ever,” Bonnell said. “One of the taglines we’re using is ‘Hope to Every Home’ because that’s what this represents. We want to speak the gospel to every home.”
Handing out 10,000 of anything, especially during COVID-19 season, seems like a monumental task. Bonnell broke down the numbers to make it less daunting.
“Our churches will have maybe 1,200 people in services Sunday,” he said. “That’s less than 10 bags per person. Really, we’re just doing our part. It may seem like a stretch but it’s within reach. If there’s not a stretch to it, there’s an issue. It needs to be challenging enough. If it’s something easy, the men of the church may say, ‘Oh, they’ve got that covered,’ instead of, ‘If we don’t help these guys out, they’re in trouble.’ When you begin to extrapolate that across our churches it doesn’t seem like such a big number.’’
He said they are adjusting their Sunday morning schedule for a packing party after the morning worship service for all who will stay. Bonnell said he gained some tips after reading about Mt. Vernon Baptist Church’s packing and delivering effort in a story in Kentucky Today.
Mt. Vernon’s teams left the Gospel to Every Home packets on doors and only spoke with people who were outside. “We saw another church doing this in a story in Kentucky Today and it helped us in thinking through it.
“We want to bring Hope to Every Home using the Gospel to Every Home material,” Bonnell said. “We’re going out with info about the church, a postcard or even go up to people who are outside. We want to bring hope to every home in the community. There’s so much discouragement. Bringing the gospel to every home means something different to everybody.”
Bonnell said he has set up some goals beginning with the packing and delivery on Sunday morning.
“Our goal Sunday is to get half the bags distributed in one day,” he said. “We will rapidly pack the bags and send them to all the locations." They'll be distributing a gospel tract and a copy of the Gospel of John in the bags, among other items.
The Gospel to Every Home is a partnership between the state convention, local Baptist associations and Kentucky Baptist churches reach the 1.7 million homes in Kentucky with the good news of Jesus Christ.
“I love the idea of saturating the state with churches cooperating together to do it,” the pastor said. “The KBC designed it so we didn’t have to figure everything out. We don’t have to create anything because the resources are being produced for us.”
Bonnell has strategically planned the Gospel to Every Home distribution with the church’s annual service week program.
Last week, the church designated all the offerings to be given away to churches who need help, work projects and other ministries in the community.
The church has already started working in the area on some home projects. They repair cars of single mothers, build handicap ramps, patch roofs and generally be a blessing in the community. It is something the church has rallied behind, Bonnell said.
“As we serve, it opens up the door to talk about our Savior,” he said. “We have projects that have started and we’ll be going to do them all next week,” he said.
Bonnell said the 10,000 Gospel to Every Home kits will be distributed in seven days. He said it’s important to get the gospel message out however they can and there’s no better time to do it.
“We’ll use precaution but we need to get the gospel out,” he said. “Shouldn’t there be more urgency? We need to be more creative. Who knows how long this is going to last? We can’t keep putting off. We’ll try some things and see what the Lord uses. We’ve seen people come to faith and be baptized during COVID-19.”
Bonnell said members are slowly returning to in-person worship services. The church will have a Bring a Friend Day the first Sunday in November, which they timed with the time change for fall.