5 reasons why I joined the Kentucky Baptist Convention staff

He plays with his eggs as he sits across the breakfast table from me. He is not going to eat them, but he does not know quite how to respond to the awkward silence. We have talked about sports and about our families but I know neither of those topics are what he really wanted to meet about. I can tell he wants to ask a question but is trying to determine if it is appropriate. Wanting to be gracious, I say, “I know you are wanting to ask me something so just ask.” He smiles and then blurts out a question I have heard multiple times: “So why did you leave a church you love to join the KBC?”

It is a fair question. For nearly 15 years I had the wonderful privilege of serving one of the great churches of our Kentucky Baptist Convention. The church was gracious to my family and generous in their support of me. I loved the people I served and the ministers I served with. It was exciting to see the church grow both in attendance and in their love for missions. I came to the church as an eager 27-year-old and was blessed to have a tremendous experience. Then, four months ago today, I left the pastorate to begin a new position with the KBC.

As I pondered his question, I could think of at least five reasons for why I left a wonderful church to join the Kentucky Baptist Convention staff.

Kentucky Baptists Have Impacted My Life

Many of the good things in my life are because of Kentucky Baptists. My family was first invited to church by a Kentucky Baptist Sunday School teacher. I was baptized by a faithful Kentucky Baptist pastor. I fell in love with preaching at a Kentucky Baptist camp. At 15 years old I preached my first sermon in a Kentucky Baptist pulpit. My first church mission trip was with a Kentucky Baptist ministry. I attended a Kentucky Baptist college. I was an evangelist supported by many Kentucky Baptist churches. My mentor is a former Kentucky Baptist Convention president. I am a devout Kentucky Baptist because of the investment they have made in my life. When approached with the opportunity, I considered it a great privilege to serve in a role to help my beloved Kentucky Baptist Convention.

Kentucky Baptists Demonstrate We are Better Together

I have always had a high view of partnership ministry. As a result, I was very proud that our church gave 11% annually to the Cooperative Program. I am convinced that we can do things together that we could never do alone. There is not a single church that could care for 800 foster children, plant dozens of churches, lead a robust disaster relief organization, distribute gospel materials to every home in our state, or place campus ministers on every major public university campus. Our partnership through the Kentucky Baptist Convention allows us to do all of this and much more. In a recent presentation to association leaders, Dr. Todd Gray reminded me of a quote by John Maxell that says, “We can go faster alone but further together.” I want to live my life pursuing the Great Commission and I believe the only way we can reach that goal is by working TOGETHER.

Kentucky Baptists Have an Influential Voice

Kentucky Baptists are the leading anti-abortion voices in our state. The Friends of Life KY Initiative, our advocacy for a constitutional amendment supporting life, and employing a journalist who writes exclusively on sanctity of life issues are all evidence of our commitment to protecting the most vulnerable of God’s creation. Additionally, when the state government threatened religious liberty, it was faithful Kentucky Baptists who rallied to make sure ministries like Sunrise Children’s Services were protected. The Kentucky Baptist Convention provides a needed prophetic voice in our commonwealth.

Kentucky Baptists Have Unrivaled Unity

We may not agree on everything, but by and large, Kentucky Baptists have done an excellent job of avoiding the divisions that some Christian groups experience. That is a monumental celebration in a state convention with 2,300+ churches led by a diverse group of pastors. Our unity allows our convention to focus on gospel ministry instead of putting out fires.

Kentucky Baptists Love Kentucky

When Kentucky has needs, Kentucky Baptists respond. When tornadoes devastated West Kentucky, Kentucky Baptists answered the call to help their hurting neighbors in a tremendous fashion. Generators were donated, chainsaw crews enlisted, meals prepared and generous financial gifts distributed because of faithful Kentucky Baptists. Each year, hundreds of hurting foster children from broken homes are cared for by Kentucky Baptists through our Sunrise Children’s Services agency. In Clay County, local children receive free Christian education because of our partnership with the Oneida Baptist Institute. Funds are distributed to help Ministry centers throughout our state serve people with food insecurities. We are a convention of churches who love the people of our state.


I loved serving as a pastor, and I now love serving as a member of the Kentucky Baptist Convention staff. At that breakfast table, my friend asked, “If you love the church so much, why did you join the KBC?” My response was, “I joined the KBC BECAUSE I love the Church so much.” This affection is not just for one singular local church, but rather, the broader church as a whole. I desire to see the church as the worldwide followers of God be strengthen, so that together, we can fulfill the Great Commission. I am glad to serve in my new role to play a small part in helping that happen.

Will God ever judge me for my sin?

In 1999, Cornelius Anderson robbed the manager of a St. Charles, Missouri, Burger King at gunpoint when he was attempting to make the restaurant’s night deposit at a nearby bank. An eyewitness reported the armed robbery to police and Cornelius was soon arrested, convicted and sentenced to 13 years in prison. Shortly after his conviction, he was released on bail while his appeal was being considered. Cornelius lost the appeal, but because of a clerical error he was never picked up and taken to prison. Apparently, the Missouri Department of Corrections mistakenly thought he was already incarcerated. 

Over the next 13 years, Cornelius Anderson lived a normal life. He got married, started a business, voted, and renewed his driver’s license. He went on living his life as if the conviction and sentence had never happened.

In July 2013—13 years after his conviction—Cornelius Anderson was scheduled to be released from prison. It was on his discharge date when the Missouri Department of Corrections realized he had never been in prison. A warrant was promptly issued for his arrest, and he was subsequently picked up by authorities.

His lawyer said he always told Cornelius this day was coming. He knew that eventually Cornelius would have to pay the penalty for his actions.

For many of us, because we may not receive swift punishment for our sin, we may wrongly assume that there will be no penalty for our sin. Like Cornelius, we may erroneously think that life is going well and that we have escaped judgment for our actions. However, just as his lawyer reminded Cornelius, the Bible reminds us that a day of judgment is coming.

Do not be fooled — just because God may delay the judgement for our sin, it does not mean he has eliminated the judgment for our sin. Peter wrote these words to remind us of the purpose for God’s delay:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 1 Peter 3:9-10

While God is patiently waiting for people to repent, we are still reminded that His judgment is imminent.

The good news is that there is a way for us to avoid punishment for our sin. When we trust Jesus as our Savior, the Lord accepts Christ’s atoning death on the cross as the payment for our sin. The debt accumulated for our sin is marked paid in full if we accept His redeeming work of grace.

So today, my brothers and sisters, do not keep living like the penalty our sin deserves will never be enforced. Rather, follow Christ, trust in Him for salvation from the coming judgment and encourage others to do the same!

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