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Posted on November 23, 2021 8:00 AM by Jason McKinney
Categories: Missions
Jesus modeled for His disciples what He expected of them. Then he sent them out in pairs to go reach the towns and villages (Mark 6, Matthew 10). Later he sent them out again, but it’s the 72 going out as pairs. All along, he was preparing them and entrusting them with the work of reaching and discipling others. It was messy, and Jesus knew that not everyone would prove faithful. Yet the God of all was entrusting the work to the unlikely group.
 
Our small groups can provide a wonderful time of community and accountability as they wrestle with the Word and life together. They can also be an incredible pathway to multiply. If our outreach is about invitation, we can have a good group of attendees. Yet imagine if our vision was for making disciples that felt confident to go and make disciples. As the church made disciples-making disciples, it may even recognize that the people in those small groups could own the vision and provide the basis for new churches.
 
--Jason McKinney pastors One Church in Cincinnati and serves as CABA's church planting coach.  
Posted on November 16, 2021 8:00 AM by Brad Cunningham
Categories: Leadership
“We have abandoned the regional megachurch model. Instead of trying to grow and become the largest oak tree we can possibly be where we can be seen from miles around and we can tout all the people sitting under the shade of our branches, we want to instead be an orchard with as many gospel outposts planted as possible.”
 
Those are the words I shared with our church publicly in casting a vision for a multi-site church strategy. We have also publicly communicated that our desire was to cap our attendance at our Liberty Township location at 1200-1500. Each time we approach that number, our vision would be to deploy people to start a new campus or strengthen an existing campus located in the community they live in.The vision is not the growth of Liberty Heights Church, the vision is the spread of the gospel further and faster.
 
As the church has grown larger over the past ten years – we have felt the tensions that often come with larger churches. Relationships are harder to develop. Fewer people can get to know the staff and vice versa. Keeping people from being anonymous almost becomes impossible. Getting people connected to groups and ministry becomes increasingly complex. We started noticing this as we grew past 800 several years ago and certainly when we grew past 1,000.
 
The New Testament Church was familial in nature, but the larger a church becomes, the harder it is to feel like family. Unfortunately, the trade off in local church ministry is that if you want a high level of excellence – choose a large church. If you want lots of access to the staff and more of a family feel – choose a smaller church. We believe an intentional multi-site strategy truly can offer the best of both worlds. It allows people to be on mission with their actual neighbors through community-based churches instead of large, regional mega churches. It is an intentional move away from attractional into missional.
 
Multi-site provides the evangelistic impact of a new church plant, but guards it from a lack of resources that often serve as the catalyst to the failure of church plants. Only 4 out of 10 church plants survive and one of the leading causes of failure is the lack of resources related to people and money. Our Orchard Initiative sends both from our original location, that is led by a campus pastor, through live preaching – but he also receives the resources and encouragement from a larger team dynamic.
 
--Brad Cunningham pastors Liberty Heights Church and its four satellite campuses based in Liberty Township, Ohio.
Posted on November 1, 2021 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Missions
Workers in the Harvest Available
You can’t live in the Cincinnati Area long without realizing we’re on a mission field. 
 
Imagine two people from your church going on a mission trip...for two years. Pretty cool, huh?! 
:: But what if they kept their membership and tithes in your church?
:: What if they slept in their own beds here in Cincinnati every night? 
:: What if their mission work was in the Cincinnati area? 
:: And what if they invested six hours every week?
 
CABA has prioritized places like Washington Court House and Delhi. Could you or leaders in your church be moved to take the gospel into a place or among a people that needs Jesus and disciple-making efforts?

Workers in the Harvest (WITH) is missionary training for church members. It is available in the Cincinnati Area to augment what we've been doing with No Place Left. It's not to be confused with Families on Mission, our church to church volunteer opportunities in 2022. Where WITH was used in Missouri, my wife and I were glad to host one of four small groups that started Freshwater Church. When I did WITH training in the Boothill of Missouri, we had 19 laypeople start a biker church and a Spanish-language church. In Kansas City, we had the first small groups of Somalis and the first convert among them. Churches were working among Saudis, Vietnamese, and many others. 

What’s the cost? It’s church planting on a shoestring. Sending churches get excited about doing prayer walks, evangelism blitzes, and prayer support. However, because the two sent on mission already have jobs, then they don’t receive a salary and don’t need to raise funds. This IS their church ministry. 
Think of a modern-day Paul and Silas straight out of Acts 16 going out to evangelize and start small groups. Paul and Silas paid their own way and the local church did not pay them. They met Timothy and Luke along the way. They didn’t pastor, but were used by the Lord to kick lose a Gospel movement!
CABA churches need volunteers who will go out boldly in faith. The methods Paul and Silas used were infinitely reproducible. They removed as many barriers as possible so that the Gospel could spread quickly. 

Could God move you? Pastors, could you ask two members of your church to be sent? NAMB has their pipeline for career planters. Workers in the Harvest is missionary training for church members. It takes a few hours of training on a Saturday and is ready upon request from me. It’s what I developed at NAMB, used in Missouri, and would love to help you use it out of your church to the glory of God.

So, where would you send missionaries into the Cincinnati Area?
Look around you. You might identify three people groups. My missiologist friend Van Sanders called it the North American Peoples Spectrum:
1.    People – Immigrant groups or refugees – some 30 teams are needed
2.    Place – multihousing, dorm rooms, and communities like Delhi and WCH.
3.    Passion – Interests like outdoorsmen, bikers, cowboys, truckers 
What needs do you see in an apartment complex or hear about on the news? Could God call you to work among them one people at a time?
 
-- Mark Snowden has been part of three church plants and trained hundreds of missionaries. He directs the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association. 
 
Posted on October 19, 2021 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Missions
Let’s start with some lostness math on the Cincinnati Area. According to TheARDA.com, there are 1.5 million who are not evangelicals. One million people are not claimed by any religious organization. SBC church members are only 17% of evangelicals in the Cincinnati Area. On average there are 122 people in AM worship in CABA churches (2020 ACP based on 52 churches reporting). That leaves CABA churches needing 2,500 new churches if we carry our weight. Let’s go one more step and say at the current new planting rate of about five churches per year (praise God!), that means it’ll take 500 years. And just focusing on new churches doesn’t mean that 17% of 1 million unclaimed will all be baptized.

How many new churches could a church start in a year, if it started one new church and their daughter church kept it going at the same rate every six months? How long would it take them to have 100 new churches? Remember, there are 115 churches and plants in CABA right now. What could ONE church do?
 
Year          Church 
   ½:     1 (1st church planted takes about six months)
   1:     1 + 1 = 2
1 ½:     (1 + 1) + (1 + 1) = 4 or 2 x 2 = 4
   2:     4 x 2 = 8
2 ½:      16
   3:      32
3 ½:      64
    4:     128 [If there are 10 per church that means 1,280 believers.]
 
The point of all this math is to say that missionaries must train church members to be disciple-makers. Can your church’s leaders make leaders? What kind of leaders are in a church? (Pastor? Deacons? Teachers? Childcare workers? Youth leaders? Financial officers? Ushers?) Leader training is a serious priority for church multiplication. Workers in the Harvest takes on this kind of multiplication. Contact Mark Snowden for more information CABAdirector (at) gmail (dot) com.
 
Mark Snowden has used this method of training with dozens of churches while serving with the North American Mission Board, SBC. He directs the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association. 
 
Posted on October 5, 2021 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: General
NETWORKS: An Asian Network led by Yongwon (James) Lee was added to the Regional Conveners:  Aaron Swensen, David Smith, Doug Sibcy, David Frasure, Jason McKinney, Michael Brandenburg, and Jonathan Lawler. See the inside cover for an updated regional map.
 
COACHING: Three church coaches are available from CABA at no cost to pastors: Ron Renner, Doug Sibcy, and Mark Wilson. The church planting coach is Jason McKinney. Other coaches available to pastors include Jerry Birdwell (finances), two biblical counselors Cliff Meyers and Dave Sherwood, and a graphic artist, Brandon Severn to help with church logos.
 
CHURCH PLANTING: CABA’s ALT has prioritized Washington Court House (Fayette Co.) and Delhi in Southwestern Cincinnati. Churches can send out a Paul and Silas (Acts 16) from their midst to these priority areas or to other people and places. CABA now has a church planting couple working in Lockland among West African Muslims. Jason McKinney continues developing a planting environment by leading Gospel Conversations from No Place Left Training for churches and even church plants.
 
YOUTH EVANGELISM: Appreciation goes to CABA’s Youth Evangelism Study Committee. At the SBC Annual Meeting in June, the challenge was tweaked to include children. Members were included from CABA’s seven regions: Tyler Freeman, Ken Dillard, Tyler Evans, Jason Buss (Chair), Tom Leach, Danny Calves, and Bink Garbutt. 
 
WEEK OF PRAYER:
     2020: Last year’s CABA Week of Prayer and Dunn/Hopkins Offering got into full swing with “Hope Changes Everything” New Testaments specially-printed by LifeWay Christian Resources for CABA. Some 20 churches participated in distributing some 5,000 NT’s offering to study the Bible with the recipient using the ten lessons in the back. For example, Dave Frasure, FBC So. Lebanon reported that they distributed the NTs home to home, in restaurants, and other “as you go” encounters. “We saw a few new people visit our church and God seemed to be blessing the effort as attendance gradually increased about 20% in a five-month period….We thank the Lord and the association for making this distribution a possibility.” Some $12,000 was collected exceeding our $10,000 goal!
     2021: This year’s Week of Prayer theme is “Families on Mission.” It is a direct follow-up to the report from the Youth Evangelism Study Group. In short, parents need to model witnessing for their children. That said, Families may be Mom and Dad taking their kids. However, it could also be grandparents taking their grandchildren, aunts and uncles taking their nieces and nephews, or maybe individuals like Seniors forming their own families taking the Gospel into a new community. Some CABA churches will want to send volunteers while other CABA churches want to receive them. We could call this a mission trip to Cincinnati. Five sessions of training are being developed for the sending churches. Meanwhile, churches wanting to receive volunteers next year are being given a guide with ideas for some 35 community engagement events. The training, materials, and evangelistic resources will be the focus of this year’s $10,000 Dunn/Hopkins goal. Prayer Cards are to cover one week undated throughout October. The actual Week of Prayer for Baptist Associations across the SBC is October 17-23, 2021.
 
RELIEF: Covid-19’s presence and its variants have been felt over the past six months. Yet, churches were able to meet. A general consensus has been that 80% of our church members returned for in-person worship. No CABA churches closed or pastors left because of Covid. Praise God that some 11 pastors were blessed by the $750 CABA Pastors Relief Assistance to date in 2021.
 
OPPORTUNITIES:
1.      ISRAEL: The ALT has made available $300 each for 50 pastors to participate in a Holy Land Study Tour. The first 25 slots are available April 25-May 5, 2022, and another 25 are to be available in 2023. Mark Snowden and Dwayne Lee (SCBO) plan to be the tour leaders. CABA is partnering with The Bible Comes to Life, licensed tour operator of the Israeli Tourism Council. Churches are encouraged to contribute to their pastors for making this invaluable trip. This isn’t sightseeing, but intentional study for ten days where Jesus walked.
2.     MARRIAGE: The ALT has made available $400 for up to 30 pastors and their wives to attend a Weekend to Remember (FamilyLife) marriage retreat in 2022 and again in 2023. Pastors may choose any weekend that fits their schedule.  
TRENDS: The Denominee strategy development process is now underway in CABA. We are one of 36 associations. This will further align CABA with the work of the state convention. At this time, four pastors are participating with me – Aaron Swensen, Doug Sibcy, Mark Wilson, and Jason McKinney. The team is meeting every month to prayerfully and realistically evaluate elements that will be a blessing as we address lostness.
 
--Mark Snowden, Director of Missional Leadership, Cincinnati Area Baptist Association
 
Posted on September 27, 2021 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Missions, Prayer
Quick! Pick one:
____ Could your church send out families on mission for a few days next summer?
____ Does your church need to have some help for a few days next summer?
 
Planning is underway for CABA churches to send while others receive. The Youth Evangelism Study Team learned that children and teens follow their parent’s example. Why not raise the bar with a mission trip?
 
CABA’s 2021 Week of Prayer has a goal of $10,000 to provide training materials and some evangelistic resources for parents, children, and teens to receive training and then link up with a church in need. Unlike some mission trips, families on mission are to sleep in their own beds!
 
CABA churches are challenged this year to raise $10,000 for the Ann Dunn/Joanne Hopkins Mission Offering. The contributions are to be designed to support mission trips to the Cincinnati Area.
 
CABA’s Week of Prayer resources are undated, but we recommend October 17-23, 2021.
 
So, would your family take a mission trip to the Cincinnati Area? What projects are needed in your church? Call Charity at CABA to register! (513) 724-8172 or email CABAoffice@gmail.com.
 
Give generously this year to the Dunn/Hopkins Offering so that churches can send while others can receive to the glory of God!
Posted on September 20, 2021 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Missions
The 2nd Day of the Evangelical Missiological Society's Annual Conf was no less helpful and challenging, too! Here's another 10 ideas from my notes.
1.       "New Homiletics" is facilitating an experienced event. It's no longer just transmission of cognition.
2.       90% of Muslims & Hindus do not have a Christian friend.
3.       There are more followers of Jesus in the Rest than the West.
4.       Asian religions (Islam & Hinduism especially) integrate multiple levels of life; not just knowledge as in Christianity.
5.       Global percentage of Christianity in 1910 was 34%. In 2021, it was 32.3%.
6.       In 1990, 82% of Christianity was in the Global North. In 2020, 67% percent of Christianity is in the Global South (factoring in China.)
7.       The languages of Christianity globally is 16% Spanish, 10% English, 8% Portuguese, 5% Russian, and 3% Chinese.
8.       In America in the 1800s, Christians published a Slave Bible that was 1/3 of the Bible. It removed all references to freedom and included all verses related to slavery. It was produced for slaves to obey their masters.
9.       To Blacks, the most powerful Bible story connecting missions and theology is Jesus' story of the Good Samaritan. Many view it as the crux of African-American life. They relate deeply.
10.  The arts is the language of worship through expressions. Songs and oral proclamation, yes, but also learning games, thought-provoking riddles, relevant to topic meals, planned and spontaneous dance, casual and formal visual arts, chants, poems, wearing symbolic jewelry, expressive deaf songs, witty proverbs, and video (highly visual) Scripture readings. Merge the digital with the oral = digitoral.
 
Posted on September 17, 2021 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Missions
Part 1 of 2: Ten Ideas in Missions
Heading into a 2-day annual meeting for the Evangelical Missiological Society. There are about 100 presenters and eight tracks. The conference is 11 am to 9:30 p.m. .via Zoom. I was honored to present "Orality in the West" in the Orality Track. Some tips and reactions from Day 1:
1.       Listening in dialogue allows the teacher to know the spiritual progress of those they're discipling.
2.       OT writers intended Scripture to be read. If you want a good "verbal" translation use the Voice Translation. Listen to Scripture more.
3.       Students get excited about Harry Potter and the Avengers because they don't know the story of the Bible. The Metanarrative puts Scripture in the bigger context. Students at Liberty U actually get ANGRY that they have never been taught the big picture of the Bible.
4.       Our relationships (including with God) shape our understanding of reality. The language and words we use are strong identity markers.
5.       We learn through our senses and emotions etch memories, including bad ones. Scripture is full of motion -- lift up your hands, if you have ears to hear, dance before the Lord, demonstrate your excitement, display scripture on doorposts, faith in action/behaviors/ministry, etc.
6.       Evangelical Whites in the U.S. see immigrants as (1) changing America, (2) 90% want more restrictive policies, and (3) support family separation at the borders. Most churches in the U.S. lack friendship and partnership with immigrants.
7.       When you give money for work among immigrants, you foster a "health & wealth" gospel. How can God's Story become part of an immigrant's story? When it becomes the community's story.
8.       To change culture, change their stories.
9.       The West says, "Seeing is believing." Israelis say, "Hearing is believing."
10.  Missions shouldn't just be a church strategy, but a lifestyle that shapes our lens through which our world is experienced.
 
-- Mark Snowden is the director of missional leadership for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association
 
Posted on September 14, 2021 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Leadership
In a meeting with Aaron Swensen, our CABA Moderator and pastor of SonRise Church, Aaron shared how he had encouraged another pastor. The pastor was dejected because 20% of his regular attenders had not returned to regular worship services. Aaron switched it around and complimented the church for having 80% of the members return. I liked Aaron’s perspective and positivity. He ministered to another pastor at an important juncture in his ministry.
 
Jason McKinney, CABA’s church planting coach, had another change in perspective at a meeting conducted by leaders in No Place Left. They identified ten qualities of a church using the church at Corinth in the Bible as an example. Jason’s church actually had more going on in his church than Corinth did!
 
What markers do you use to determine your church’s health? No Place Left uses 10 markers that are not budgets, bodies, and buildings:
1.      Repent & Believe – professions of faith in Jesus
2.     Baptisms – first sign of obedience
3.     Pray – constant and consistent
4.     Go Make Disciples – maturing, but also going
5.      Love – exhibited by care
6.     Worship – genuine adoration
7.      Lord’s Supper – ‘til He comes
8.     Give – a culture of generosity
9.     Leaders – developing and empowering
10.  Gather – finding ways to meet
Celebrate or address any or all of these markers of a healthy church.
 
NOTE: This year many CABA churches have been distributing Hope Changes Everything CSB New Testaments. They were funded by the Dunn-Hopkins Associational Offering. In the back are printed the “10 Commands of Christ.” Each of those Bible studies line up with the 10 Qualities of a Healthy Church. In No Place Left training, the Church Circle is a church health diagram for new believers to study and participate in churches who want to be as biblically healthy as possible. If you would like to have a few dozen of these Bibles to use, LifeWay blessed us by printing an additional 1,000 copies. I believe at this writing some 700 still remain.
 
--Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership, CABA
 
Posted on September 7, 2021 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Missions
In the book, T4T: A Discipleship Re-Revolution, Ying Kai, the co-author with Steve Smith, told what happened when he was an IMB missionary serving in a large Asian city. It’s adapted here for clarity:
 
Every morning, Ying went to a local restaurant and ordered a bowl of soy milk and a donut for breakfast. He was always asked, “Do you want an egg in it?” And Ying always said, “No,” because it cost extra.
 
One day, Ying went with Grace, his wife, to a new restaurant. As usual, he ordered the bowl of soy milk and a donut. However, this time the owner, who was very busy asked, “One egg or two?” Ying said, “One.”
 
When he returned to the table with his wife, she asked him, “Why did you get an egg today?”
 
“Oh!” he said. “Today he did not ask me ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ but just ‘one’ or ‘two.’ So I said, “One!”
 
Ying watched the owner. He always asked people “one or two eggs?” Nobody told him “No!”
 
Ying credited God for showing him this truth. He said, “Yes, I am sharing the gospel and it is a good thing. Why do I need to ask their permission? I need to just give it to them.”
 
He began to change his approach. Rather than ask permission, Ying began asking, “Do you want to hear how I was a bad person?” They always would agree and he’d lead them to faith in Jesus.
 
Not only did they become believers, but they started small groups that became churches. Within four years, Ying and Grace helped to start 400+ new churches with thousands of newly baptized believers.
 
So, when can we talk about training your church in witnessing and church planting?
 
-- Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership, Cincinnati Area Baptist Association
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