LOS ANGELES –“I just love people,” Kenneth Dean says. “I love encouraging God’s people to fulfill the purpose that God has for them.”
On the field since 1995, Ken Dean is community ministries field specialist for the California Southern Baptist Convention Healthy Church Group.
He spends his days responding to ministry calls throughout the Long Beach, San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles areas. Whether the request is to help a church establish a non-profit organization to meet community needs, discuss reaching gang members for Christ, or volunteering at a church-sponsored community ministry event, Ken’s willingness to help reflects his love for people.
“I have the most satisfaction when I see people come to the Lord, see them grow in the Lord, and watch them bear fruit for Him,” Ken said.
Ken trusted Christ as Savior at the age of nine while attending Galilee Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas. When he graduated from high school, Ken came to California. He aspired to be a professional musician, so he went to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting and music.
“I met my wife, Sharon, in 1977 and we were married about seven or eight months later,” Ken related. “She was a member of the Central Baptist Church in Inglewood, and after we were married she totally gave her life to the Lord. Me, I was still out there doing my music.
“In 1981, I wanted to go to my band’s New Year’s party. Sharon wanted to go to Watch Night Service. She agreed to go to my party if I would go with her to the church service. I went to the Watch Night Service and then we went to my band’s party. We stayed there about 15 minutes when I realized that I didn’t want to be there. We left.”
A week later, Ken got up on Sunday morning and asked Sharon what time church started. He went to church and found that although Jesus was his Savior, he needed to ask Him to be the Lord of his life. Ken says, “The rest is history.”
For the next 14 years, God uniquely prepared Ken for ministry. His experience began as assistant Sunday school director, a job he knew nothing about. Encouraged by his pastor that he would learn by doing, Ken never looked back. He became minister of education, Sunday school director, community missions leader, worked for Community Youth Gang Services, and started going to Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary – all at the same time!
“I interned with L.G. Chaddick. We did different projects. I worked with him and other gang specialists across the country and we wrote the Gang Ministry Manual to help churches be aware of how to minister to gangs and how to recognize the gang members in their own congregations. Mainly I was doing missions, going to school and interning with L.G. Chaddick through the former Home Mission Board.”
Ken sees ministry evangelism as the most effective way to share Christ with the 37 million people living in California, 80 percent of whom are unchurched. He sees ministry evangelism as intentional – it intentionally puts believers in the presence of people and affords great opportunities to share Christ. Believers must go out into their communities and show God’s love by simple acts of kindness. When needs are met and trust is forged, people’s ears are open to the gospel.
Ken graduated from Golden Gate in 1994. The North American Mission Board appointed him and Sharon to the position vacated by L.G. Chaddick in 1995.
Ken’s message to California Southern Baptists:
“Care the way Jesus cares. When Jesus saw the confused and aimless masses, as recorded in Matthew 9:36-37, He did not say, ‘What a pity!’ He had compassion on them, which means to me that He met their felt needs and then He met their spiritual needs by telling them about the Kingdom. I just pray that California Southern Baptists will see that ministry evangelism gives greater opportunities to share Christ. In doing so, we’ll be caring the way that Jesus cares and seeing our communities through the eyes of Christ.”
Ken’s prayer requests:
Pray that the ministry of Ministry Evangelism will continue and reach even greater masses of people for the Kingdom of God.
Pray for the many missionaries who do ministry evangelism that this great work that Christ has begun will continue until He comes.
Pray that the Lord would open the eyes and hearts of His people to see their communities as Jesus sees them.
Pray consistently that the Lord of the Harvest will raise up workers to fulfill the Great Commission.
Pray for Ken’s health, strength and wisdom as he mobilizes people to reach the masses. Many of Ken’s days start as early as 6:30 and end around 9 p.m. A trip can cover from 118 to 140 miles.
Pray that God will give Sharon, Ken’s wife, wisdom and open doors to continue the ministry through which she has met the physical and spiritual needs of numerous students and their families.
Pray that in the face of economic downturn and high gas prices, California Southern Baptists will give sacrificially so CSBC ministries will continue to reach California’s unchurched millions for Christ.
Did you know?
The Healthy Church Group Web page (www.scbc.com/healthychurches) offers “Healthy Church Solutions” including a short paper titled, “Impact Your Community with Ministry Evangelism.”
Ken’s contact information:
Community Ministries Field Specialist
PO Box 56541
Los Angeles CA 90056-0541
E-mail Kenneth Dean