Blog
Posted on May 9, 2022 8:00 AM by Guest Speaker Writer
Categories: Leadership
Here are seven things to consider.
1. Focus on what matters the most. Guard the important things with all you’ve got. Let go of what doesn’t matter.
2. Empower others and celebrate individuality. Entire companies can shut down over the lack of just one bold. Use your spiritual gifts.
3. Build high levels of trust. Covid eroded trust. “Trust is given; mistrust is earned.”
4. Accept change as a natural part of life. The average church dies in 30 years. Avoid change when:
a. Obstacles—everyone complains b. Wears you out c. Discussing but not doing d. When structure won’t last e. Structure prevents creativity
5. Take care of yourself. Protect your soul. We need healthy rhythms.
6. Learn how to deal with pain. Help others, also. Learn to “let it go.” Grieve those you lost. Focus on the new.
7. Get better at Follow Our Leader. Jesus still calls, “Follow me.”
 
--Ron Edmondson was the keynote speaker for the Spring Meeting of CABA. He is a leadership author and Lifeway's podcaster for leadership. 
Posted on May 2, 2022 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Leadership
Does your church’s financial team have the correct financial information? Clip this and share it!
 
Send your Cooperative Program contribution to the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio. The SCBO keeps 50% for work across Ohio and the other half goes to the SBC for mission work, six seminaries, and other SBC ministries.
 
Address for CP:
Cooperative Program
SCBO
9000 Antares Ave.
Columbus, OH 43240
 
Now--Since CABA does not receive CP giving, a check must be written directly to us. 
Address for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association is:
CABA
P. O. Box 54885
Cincinnati, OH 45254
 
The standard recommendation is 10% to missions: 7% CP and 3% CABA. Giving to special missions offerings are above and beyond these goals. Special offerings each year includes the Ann Dunn/Joanne Hopkins CABA Offering, Ray Roberts SCBO Offering, Annie Armstrong NAMB Easter Offering, and Lottie Moon IMB Christmas Offering. Sometimes churches contribute to Disaster Relief directly through the SCBO. Each year on the Annual Church Profile (ACP), all of these and any additional missions contributions total Great Commission Giving. 
 
Also keep in mind that payment for a CABA Trailer rental should not be considered missions giving to CABA by your church. Make checks for rentals payable to “CABA” Trailers and mail to:
Mrs. Diane Sibcy
P. O. Box 1261
Lebanon, OH 45036
 
--Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association
Posted on April 26, 2022 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Missions
When I worked in the Church Planting Group at NAMB, I was responsible for interviewing new church planters as part of their assessment. One couple was going to a city with one million people in which evangelical churches’ average AM worship attendance never topped 45 people. When I suggested that they plant four churches simultaneously, the wife’s eyes opened wide and said, “How is that possible?” They had been so focused on planting one church that they had never considered multiplying from the start.
 
In my favorite Star Trek episode, furry animals were taken onboard their starship and immediately began to reproduce. Medical Officer “Bones” did a thorough analysis and reported to the First Officer, “Spock, they’re born pregnant!” What if new churches were started with the intention of starting a new church in the next six months?
Now, don’t think I’m only being hard on church planters. What if every church in CABA planted one new church next year? Would you just try to populate it with those already saved or would it be an ensemble of soul-winning new believers? What if this time next year we had 210 churches instead of 110 churches? What would need to change?
 
Could our 110 churches handle 18,000 new members? There are 1.8 million people living in CABA’s nine counties. If 10% of those attended CABA churches, that would be 180,000 people. According to ACP, our CABA churches have less than 10,000 attending AM Worship on average every week. What about adding 1% of those in our nine counties? (18,000!)
 
Midland Baptist Church, Keith Crank, pastor, was awarded this year’s Baptism Pacesetter award for baptizing six new believers. That represented 24% of their AM Worship attendance (25 people). What if CABA churches had a 24% baptism rate? The church that was recognized for the most baptisms had 52 last year. By contrast, they ran 667 in AM Worship. What if they had Midland’s baptismal rate of 24%? The church would have baptized 160 people!
 
Last year, according to those 68 of 110 churches reporting by ACP, only 49 churches had at least one baptism and 19 had zero.
Does your church have an evangelism strategy? It is a passion of mine. How can I help?
 
--Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association
Posted on April 12, 2022 8:00 AM by Jason McKinney
Categories: Missions
There’s no doubt that it’s important to track numbers. We have a whole book in the Bible about tracking numbers! We have several numbers we especially watch: bodies in our events, professions of faith, and baptisms.
 
What do we track that reveals our ongoing or long -term impact? Are there any indicators of how we are succeeding in our core missionary task? Were we to track those participating in discipleship, we would have a certain set of numbers with a certain useful insight. Were we to track believers who are discipling others, then not only do we get insight into discipleship, we also get an insight into the reproducing nature of our work. We begin to see impact. We can track how well we are “succeeding.” What if that tracking was bent to track generationally? Second Timothy 2:2.
 
What if instead of celebrating a whole number (those being discipled), we celebrated “streams?” A leader discipling three others, who are being discipled to grow personally as well as reproduce by discipling others, and ongoing. 1-3-9. We get people discipling others because of their identity in Christ as ambassadors. The win becomes growing streams of generational discipleship rather than an individual completing a course.
 
The implication becomes significant in scope with evangelism, discipleship and reproducing congregations all at the heart. The thought is toward long-term impact, which is also long-term work and long-term transformation. What are you tracking? What are you celebrating? What are you reproducing?
 
Note: thoughts, questions or even challenges? Let’s get coffee or lunch and discuss!
 
-- Jason McKinney pastors One Church in Cincinnati and serves as the church planting coach for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association
Posted on March 29, 2022 10:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Leadership
   A pastor recently told me he’s concerned about new leaders actually doing what they signed on to do. Delegating authority is a great sign that you are developing leaders. However, when you withdraw that authority too quickly it can lead to a lack of trust and interpersonal problems. 
   Ken Blanchard wrote the One Minute Manager who was described as a Situational Leader (HarperCollins 1985, 2013). Blanchard talked about four levels of development—moving from high control to letting go. As a leader dedicated to training, I found the key was in delegation. Each stage was a checkpoint to see if the new leader was fulfilling their commitment. As Jesus said, “He who has been faithful in little will be faithful in much” (Luke 16:10). 
   The problem comes when leaders quickly dump the whole responsibility in a newbie’s lap. The worker invests time, but often runs into problems. Then the leader comes swooping in. They may not like what they’ve seen and heard. They snap and withdraw some or all of their delegated authority. Resentment is a terrible outcome. 
   Many pastors are so busy they want others to take on more and more responsibility. However, each stage requires accountability and oversight. If they withdraw and correct after fully delegating a task, responsibility, or role, then Blanchard called it a “Zap.” Ouch.
    Blanchard taught that leaders are best developed through directing, supporting, coaching, and then delegating. Pastors are wise to follow Jesus’ example of training Simon Peter until one day Peter could lead on his own without Jesus’ personal presence. Pastors must learn to take each task seriously in their church and let go too fast at their own peril. Through accountability, pastors begin to see authority transferred carefully with full respect of the leader they develop to the glory of God. 
 
--Mark Snowden serves as director of the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association. He has a masters in Communications Managment from Virginia Commonwealth University
Posted on March 15, 2022 2:13 PM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Disciple-making
    When my daughter was baptized at the age of seven, a lady in our church turned to my wife and me and asked, “Now, how will you disciple her?” The thought never occurred to Mary Leigh and me. We were immersed in our church plant. Our daughter would attend Sunday School and church each week. We would have devotions, Bible reading, and pray together every day. We would also have spiritual discussions and sing Christian songs along the way. 
    At a Denominee leader meeting in Atlanta in January, we were presented with the quote that 70% to 80% of all pastors in the U.S. have never been discipled. 
    Intentional. In my daughter’s case the question had been one of intentionality. Sitting and getting information in a Bible study class week after week wasn’t the same thing as experiencing spiritual transformation. Having sermons wash over you may or may not be intentional discipleship. We tried to immerse our daughter in a home steeped in missionary lifestyle, but looking back there was nothing planned in what we did with her spiritual walk. 
    The idea that pastors could receive information in a one-way info dump and yet not be discipled is troubling. Is that why our churches can’t make disciples, but church attenders? I was in a youth group, attended seminary, and sure attended lots of church services. But was I discipled? Are you being discipled? Finally, the bigger question is, “Am I an intentional disciple-maker?” 
 
--Mark Snowden serves as director for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Assocation
Posted on March 2, 2022 10:00 AM by Tom Pendergrass
Categories: Direction
   Pastors meet people all the time who struggle with anxiety and depression. It’s something else when it’s in your family. My journey has led me to some insights that might help church leaders.
   1. Socially—Keep track of good days and bad days. Solutions might vary, but it usually means getting outdoors; a change of scenery. Find friends that can support you and your family doing things together. The trap of the enemy is isolation. 
   2. Sexually—Intimacy can be affected. Touch, hold hands, kiss, and don’t let that be interrupted. Protect yourself by avoiding pornography. You should have an accountability partner. When possible, never travel alone.
   3. Sanity—Seek professional Christian counseling. CABA provides biblical counselors for pastors and church staff. Christian counselors experience a 65% success rate compared to 8% with secular counselors. Rely on the promises of God! Keep eternity in mind; look ahead. 
   All of us have bad days. It’s when it becomes a pattern that it becomes a problem. 
   Let me say that God has provided medicine that really helps. Sometimes medicines can cancel each other out, so be proactive and continue to monitor medicinal effectiveness. It may take a long time, but it’s worth it. 
   As a caregiver, it has helped me learn about the father and not just the prodigal son (Luke 15). Don’t be afraid to speak into someone’s life that needs help. If I can help, just let me know. 
 
--Tom Pendergrass pastors Urbancrest Baptist Church in Lebanon, Ohio. Reach him at tpendergrass@urbancrest.org
Posted on February 16, 2022 8:00 AM by Oliver Hawkins
Categories: Missions
In 2008, I was sitting in a church planting class at Southern Seminary and first heard the news that soon over a thousand Bhutanese refugees would be placed 
in the Cincinnati area. Terry Sharp, an IMB strategist that works to reach the Diaspora with the gospel, also reported that soon our cities would have people moving in that had lived for many years in seven refugee camps in Nepal.
 
A year later the Association office received a call asking for help to plant a Bhutanese/Nepali Church. Association Missionary Dennis Holmes, working with Pastor David Smith at Creek Road Baptist, helped Pastor Raj Ghimire start meeting with a handful of people that became Grace Nepali Church.Grace Nepali grew to over 100 in attendance over its first few years of existence. It quickly became evident that the Bhutanese/Nepali population in Greater Cincinnati was growing rapidly with the help of a second migration as thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Nepali people were moving to Cincinnati. 

They moved here from Texas, Georgia, Idaho, and New York looking for better opportunity or living conditions. The need to multiply churches to reach this growing population was a must. 
 
In 2016 Grace Nepali sent our Rudra Mishra who became the Pastor of Ephphata Baptist Church our second Nepali Church Plant. Working together with three Associations there are now eight Nepali Churches with three new church plants in the works. Eleven Nepali Churches planted in the past 11 years sounds great, but the need for more churches to reach one of our fastest-growing demographics will take churches raising up leaders and sending them out. 
 
If you live in Springdale, Forest Park, Colerain, Fairfield, Hamilton, or West Chester Areas you probably have neighbors from Nepal. Pray for them, engage with them by inviting them into your home for a meal and pray for an opportunity to share the gospel with them. If you would like to meet one of our Nepali Pastors to learn more about how you can talk to your Nepali neighbors, I can connect you. The Nepali people are loving, friendly people who you will enjoy getting to know.
 
Pray for the eleven pastors I mentioned as their churches attempt to reach this growing population with the Good News. Your church already has helped with these new church plants through gifts to the Cooperative Program and Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. If you want to get more involved, churches are needed to be Sending or Sponsoring Churches to help these new church plants. Thank you for your partnership!
 
-- Oliver Hawkins serves as church planting catalyst, NAMB, in the Cincinnati Area.
Posted on February 7, 2022 8:00 AM by Greg Birdwell
Categories: Disciple-making
We've been blessed with steady growth over the past ten years. There are three things we've learned. 
 
First, we started with a simple method. Read the Bible together. "Stir up one another to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24 ESV). What better way to stir one another up than to read the Word together? No in-depth training was required. We just committed to get together with someone else and read a book of the Bible together. A great little booklet with tips on the method in all its simplicity is One to One Bible Reading, by David Helm.
 
Second, we became leadermodeled. Our church's pastors, including me, invested time in One-to-One Bible Reading with one or two others. When we read one or two books of the Bible together, we commissioned those men to each choose others with whom they would do the same. Then we held them accountable. The process has then been modeled and replicated. 
 
Third, we made short commitments. When a person in the congregation asked another to read a book of the Bible together, we made sure they understood that this was not a lifelong partnership. They were to finish and both move on to read with 
others. Then the fire spreads faster!
 
--Greg Birdwell pastors Providence Bible Fellowship in West Chester, Oh. 
Posted on January 24, 2022 8:00 AM by Ron Renner
Categories: Leadership
We began as First Baptist Church of Dent, Cincinnati, with an intentional process of revitalization in August 2018. Through five months of training, the entire church committed to do whatever it took to keep our church from dying. This included our six charter members. God put together two of the most essential 
things when it comes to bringing a church back to life. One, a leader. 
 
I believe the leader makes all the difference. It has to be a man who has the skill-set and the giftedness to help people understand what has happened in their church, what to do about it, and how to get it moving forward again. Two, a group of people that realize reaching people and growing the kingdom is more important than personal preferences and heritage. What we’ve seen God do at Beacon of Christ has been phenomenal. Not in terms of size, but in relation to kingdom impact. 
 
Here are just a few of the highlights we’ve experienced as a result of trusting God, trusting leadership, and surrendering ‘personal 
preferences.’

 Change the name from FBC Dent to Beacon of Christ Church.
 Change the Constitution and By-laws which led to a redesign of our ministries and organizational structure that match our vision and purpose. About 60 percent of the church is serving in some capacity. 
 20 Baptisms in 36 months! All but two have been professions of faith with people between the ages of 14 and 77. 
Most of these have come from a Catholic background. (About 90 percent of our community is Catholic.)
 Developing a different church “culture.” This is a mind-set that takes time, patience, and a lot of prayer. 
 Be committed to the Word! Every time we presented a change to the church, we put together a biblical basis for “why” we needed to do this. 
 I heard once, “love the people, love the place.” I remind myself of that every day. Stay the course. If you start, finish! Don’t compromise God’s leading, but always let your love for people and God supersede all. 
 
Can any church do this? Maybe. The question lies in, “are we willing to?”
 
--If you would like to have Ron Renner as a 
coach in your church, please contact him at 
rdrenner76@cinci.rr.com or (513)550-5945
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