by Pastor Keith Joseph
Many churches today are in a state of deep discouragement, brought on by church apathy, absenteeism, a depleted budget, and often abandonment by the younger generations. Does this describe your church? If so, you need to know that God has already provided the antidote for these symptoms in the form of a gift. But before we open the gift, we must own the fact that it is a forgotten gift.
I see churches that spend all their efforts on rebranding their name, changing their programs, following the latest trends, and even recreating who they are. But still the symptoms of a dying church linger. All the while, God’s forgotten gift remains unopened. According to Ephesians 4:11-12, this gift is the evangelist, who comes to the church (3 John 4-7) with no less than four gifts. He is the prophet, the encourager, the harvester, and the light in the darkness.
In September, First Baptist Church of Jackson Georgia decided to open this gift by inviting Bucky Kennedy to preach our revival, and that’s exactly what our church experienced…revival. Bucky was used of God as a prophet. He was prayed up, studied up, and filled up with a word from the Lord. Each service was like an arrow into our hearts. God used him to encourage us to stay the course of faithfulness to what we know. He challenged us to keep the Gospel as our focus. Bucky was also used of God as a harvester. We saw friends, family, and neighbors embrace the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Bucky was used of God to point us back to the light of Christ, calling us to be “all in for Jesus.” Since then, we have seen the winds of revival get stronger and stronger each week.
I want to challenge each church to open the gift of the evangelist. God has ordained men like Bucky to come alongside the Church to reach the world with the Gospel. He does not seek to build himself; he seeks to build the Church. Pastor, you and your staff will be lifted and better equipped to do God’s work. Your men’s ministry will get the shot in the arm that it needs. Your women’s ministry will be challenged to take the next step and the next generation will hear God’s call to be “all in.” At FBC Jackson, we also saw God provide all the resources needed for the revival as our budgeted giving was affected positively by the work of the evangelist.
Our church has been profoundly impacted by the gift of Bucky Kennedy Ministries. So much so, that we have already scheduled Bucky to come back next year! I highly recommend this ministry to you as well. I encourage you to pray about God’s gift, and then by faith, to open it in Jesus’ name.