The cooperative effort of five Kentucky Baptist churches – and two associations – in LaRue County produced a two-day Drive-through Live Nativity that has become a popular Christmas attraction in the rural community.
Jonathon Carl, the pastor of South Fork Baptist Church, said the churches have partnered on other evangelistic activities too.
“Too many pastors and churches are in competition,” Carl said, listing Good Friday, Easter outreach, back-to-school prayer and Vacation Bible School as examples of other collaborative events. “We like to work together and find ways to cooperate.”
The churches are from the Lynn Association with Kelvin Edwards as associational mission strategist and the newly named Lincoln Association with Shawn Edwards as AMS. The Cooperative Program funds the associational missions to assist Kentucky Baptist churches.
‘We divided and conquered’
“We decided do this last year because everybody was already doing the drive-thru churches,” Carl said. “First Baptist Hodgenville had a church member who raises some nativity animals so last year we did it together. The five churches split up the nine different scenes and we made a script. We divided and conquered.”
About 500 car loads experienced the Live Nativity last year and about that same number came through this year, Carl said.
‘Anything we receive goes to Lottie Moon (offering)’
A nine-minute narration done by Kenny Rager, an associate on the evangelism team of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, guides the visitors through nine different scenes from the creation to Christ. Each car is given a sheet that describes each of the nine scenes. They also receive information about the five churches with links to websites. There are also evangelistic links. At the end of the tour, they receive a gift bag that includes the gospel of Mark, a gospel tract and an ornament.
“We don’t ask for anything, but some people like to donate,” Carl said. “Anything we receive goes to Lottie Moon (offering).”
Carl said visitors come from far away to go through the tour.
“We had one grandma who came last year because she wanted her grandkids to know what Christmas is all about,” he said. “Some people won’t come to church if you invite them but they might come to something like this.”