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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
Posted on September 3, 2021 8:00 AM by Tom Pendergrass
Categories: Evangelism
“If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him….” Rev. 3:20
 
I was blessed to have a wonderful father-in-law. Earl was a humble, godly man who lived a simple life. … He was born in 1909, and in his later years, Earl became very hard of hearing. Years of working in a brush factory left his hearing damaged and with each passing birthday, his hearing diminished even further. When Earl was 85, the family thought it would be a great idea to get him hearing aids.
 
Earl hated the hearing aids. ….
 
On one occasion, he was being encouraged (really nagged on) by his family to wear his hearing aids. We were all tired of yelling to communicate a message to him. After his wife and both daughters exhorted him and then left the room, Earl turned to me and spoke a profound statement.
 
“Tom, I’m not hard of hearing, I’m tired of hearing!” I’ve never forgotten that moment.
 
There are times when I want to turn down the volume of those speaking to me. Their requests feel endless and I can never seem to meet their expectations. It is at those moments that I understand why Jesus would go up on the mountaintop to be alone.
 
Please remember that the voice pleading for you to open the door is a voice that you cannot afford to ignore, refuse, or reject. His voice alone can calm the storms and speak peace to your somewhat chaotic life. Seven letters to seven churches all with the same plea! Please hear His voice, stop what you’re doing, and open the door!
 
--Tom Pendergrass, pastor, Urbancrest Church, Lebanon
Taken from Tom Pendergrass’s book, Through the Door (Author Academy 2019) 62-63.
Posted on August 17, 2021 8:00 AM by Oliver Hawkins
Categories: Missions
It is easy to come up with slogans and goals, but there is value in setting goals and working to achieve them. In the next four years, the hope, prayer, and goal at the Send Network is to work with churches and our partners to see some great things happen. We hope to add 5,000 new churches to our Southern Baptist family, giving us more than 50,000 churches. When we imagine together adding 5,000 churches to our Southern Baptist family by the end of the year 2025, we know this means that we need to add 1,250 churches each year to our family. How will we do this?
 
Our goal of adding 1,250 churches annually will look something like this, 600 new churches planted annually across the US and Canada, 100 new campuses identified or added by our multi-site churches annually, 350 new churches affiliating with us annually. What does all this mean? It means that working together we can enlarge the footprint of the areas where we as Southern Baptist are taking the Gospel to the lost. If the Lord continues to bless, by 2030 one-third of all SBC churches will have been planted since 2010. Your church already plays an important role in this vision by your gifts to the Cooperative Program and the Annie Armstrong Easter offering.
 
Thank you for your support! If you would like to explore how your church could be more involved in church planting, there are so many ways to get involved. CABA offers the No Place Left training that will train your members in evangelism as well as start them thinking about ways to reach their neighbors with the gospel which is what church planting is all about. We can help your church set up a residency to train potential church planters using the multiplication pipeline as a tool to help train leaders, some of which may become church planters. Your church could become a Sending church for a church planter or a partnering church by agreeing to pray for and help a church planter as the Lord leads.
 
Church planting is not all of the answers to how we reach our city and region with the gospel, but it is a great part of the answer. We need more churches in strategic areas and with your help, the 2025 Vision can be a reality.
 
Oliver Hawkins serves as NAMB's Church Planting Catalyst for the Cincinnati area. 
Posted on August 3, 2021 8:00 AM by Jason McKinney
Categories: Evangelism, Missions
If you want to brighten Mark Snowden’s day, ask him about orality and methods. He’s passionate, experienced, and knowledgeable. The insight is worthwhile, as storying is becoming a lost ability of the church. Sadly, we’ve been moving away from sharing stories overall.
 
Perhaps you’ve heard the adage that vision is a leaky bucket? Well, story-telling is an incredible patch for leaks. Many in the church are apprehensive of sharing the gospel because they don’t have habits of talking about or through the gospel. Similarly, many don’t have rhythms of gospel sharing because we don’t foster a culture of celebrating such gospel sharing.
 
This point is where story-telling brings change for effect. If we cultivate sharing stories of God at work, especially in lives changed, we fuel a passion for participation in His work. Stories lead people to see the God of the Bible working today as He did then. Stories lead people to desire to experience such work. Stories move the heart and challenge the mind. And overcome inhibition. Stories of movement fuel movement. Let’s reclaim the art of storytelling.
 
Let’s foster a culture of sharing stories about God at work!
 
--Jason McKinney pastors One Church and is CABA's Church Planting Coach
Posted on July 20, 2021 8:00 AM by Dwayne Lee
Categories: Leadership
Believe it or not church bullying is common in many churches. They will wreak havoc and cause dissension among the church. Typically, they are not happy unless they are fighting a battle or not getting their way.
 
They position themselves or posture in such a way that regardless of whether or not they have an official position they make their voice heard. This training will help us look at ways we can defuse a situation, address the current issue or maybe eliminate it all together.
 
Church bullies have always been around. Perhaps as we look at various methods of dealing with this issue it can help us recognize them before they do too much damage.
 
Dwayne Lee's presentation on Church Conflict is on CABA's YouTube Channel: Click Here for Part one. 
Posted on July 15, 2021 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Leadership
     All CABA churches should be working toward be a sending church. Three CABA pastors and I have been in touch with a church planter in South Asia for the past year. We haven’t been able to travel, so we have met monthly via Zoom. There are other creative ways to serve on mission, too. A deaf interpreter at FBC Seaman where Boyd Lacy pastors, has spent the last six months discipling a new believer who is deaf via Zoom and now she is teaching the same lessons back to her. 
     What should you be looking for when you connect with a missionary church planter? Here are a few ideas:
     :: Some orientation to the missiology and strategy driving the work
     :: Advice for mobilizing more workers once back home
     :: If this is a second trip or more, then connect with a local church planter for follow-up monthly via Zoom.
     Contact me if you’re in a church with limited resources and want to collaborate with another church on mission. I’ll be glad to train or connect you!
 
-- Mark Snowden serves the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association as director.
Posted on July 13, 2021 8:00 AM by David Frasure
Categories: Leadership
Recently, a well-known pastor in California announced that his church was ordaining three women as pastors. They are not being ordained as senior pastors, but the concept of ordination was clearly present, so this is more than semantics. There is not an example in the Bible of women being ordained as pastors, but is this really a big deal?
 
In our day, many people are focused on women’s rights and opportunities. Rightly, women now can run companies, serve as firefighters, and hold high political offices. In the Bible we see women like Esther, Deborah, and others who had great spiritual influence over the people of God. These are not, however, the same as ordained pastors. Many denominations have been ordaining women as pastors for several decades now. We sincerely believe the Bible is the foundation for our faith and practice, so that is where we should start on this difficult issue. On women as pastors, there are two things in the Bible that need to be worked through. The "husband of one wife" statements in 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6 clearly assume a man is a pastor or “teaching elder.”
 
Also, the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 2:12, speaks of women not being permitted to teach men or usurp authority in a public church setting. The context lets us see that the teaching Paul is referring to is Bible teaching to a mixed congregation, not teaching music, missions, Sunday School administration, or holding a women’s Bible study. Since a pastoral position carries with it a certain ecclesiastical authority, that again would keep a woman from serving as a pastor under normal circumstances. There is, however, not a restriction on women proclaiming God’s message if it is to other women or if it is done outside the local church setting in a non-pastoral role.
 
We find in Acts 2:17 that sons and daughters shall prophesy, that is, proclaim the Word of the Lord in these last days. Also in Acts 21:9 we find that Phillip had “four daughters who also prophesied.” These women proclaimed God’s message somehow, even though they did not serve as pastors in a local church. I think I should add—there may be situations where there is not a pastor available and in that case a woman may need to step up to do pastoral-type ministry. I am thinking especially on the mission field.
 
Sharing Jesus and discipling believers is a priority, and that must be done even if a pastor is not available. Paul is giving Timothy and Titus teaching on local church conduct where there are men called and qualified to pastor. But if there is no such man, a spiritually mature woman may need to serve in that capacity until a qualified pastor can be found and called. Some try to explain away the teaching on women as pastors as part of an ancient culture that no longer applies, but I think God has a reason for this. First, He knows the carnal tendency of men to "leave the religion to the women and children." Second, I think the Lord is providing an example in the church to help men be spiritual leaders in their homes.
 
We have too many men who think spiritual leadership is honking the car horn while their wives get the kids ready for church. There are women authors and Bible commentators that I greatly enjoy reading and I listen to their teaching as well. I would not, however, recommend them to be pastors or have them in the church pulpit on a Sunday morning with a mixed audience for the reasons above. My concern is not with church tradition, but rather in violating the passages God has inspired and recorded in His Word. It has nothing to do with their obvious intelligence and spiritual maturity. The real issue is not what culture says, but what the Bible teaches us about our faith and practice.
 
--David Frasure is senior pastor, First Baptist Church, South Lebanon
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