Kentucky Congregation Sets Goal of Reaching All Homes Within One Mile of Their Church With the Gospel

Pastor Josh Schmidt, front and center, with some of the members of First Baptist Grayson, Ky., as they begin knocking on doors through a project where they will try to reach 1,201 homes within a mile of the church. Photo from Facebook

GRAYSON, Ky. (BP) — Pastor Josh Schmidt and a little more than two dozen members of First Baptist Church in Grayson went out on foot two Sundays ago to start a yearlong initiative of knocking on 1,201 doors.

That’s the number of homes that sit within one mile of the church — and statistics say that an incredible 94 percent of people in those homes are unchurched.

Put another way, the harvest is ripe.

“The top eight of the most unchurched counties in the state, every single one of them was in northeastern or southeastern (Kentucky) — right in the middle of the Appalachian Bible Belt,” Schmidt said of data provided to him through the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

Schmidt, who has been pastor of the Carter County church for two years where his late father previously pastored, said the impetus for the door-to-door effort was birthed from last year’s REACH Evangelism Conference.

“Joel Southerland from NAMB said his church had decided that within one mile of his church that was going to be their Jerusalem,” Schmidt said. “He talked about how he’d made himself ‘mayor’ of that area. From one mile out at least, there wasn’t going to be anyone who didn’t hear the Gospel.”

Schmidt said he was burdened because “we weren’t doing any outreach. We were doing discipleship stuff, which is very important too, but nothing with outreach. Our leadership was challenged by that.”

So they began putting the plan in motion. The first Sunday they decided to go up and down three streets that covered about 60 homes. Most of those they encountered were not attending church anywhere and some didn’t know of the church within a mile of them.

“We had three groups of four and another 13-14 out to prayer walk,” he said.

Several businesses and churches are also along Main Street in Grayson where the church is located. They sent out letters of encouragement to them.

Schmidt said the Three Circles evangelism program is “in the DNA of our church” and that’s the tool they took with them. They had some Gospel conversations but mostly asked residents how they could pray for them and invited them to church.

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Source: Baptist Press