Blog
Posted on September 19, 2022 10:03 AM by Phil Hopper
Categories: Missions
Everything was unplanned, but everything went as planned. This sentence seems contradictory, but to those who know the sovereign hand of God, this sentence makes perfects sense. When a tornado swept through the Goshen community on July 6, we were caught flat-footed, but God had been preparing us for this moment for over fifteen years. I have been blessed with the privilege to pastor Hill Station for almost twenty years, and my wife and I have been around HSBC for almost all of our lives. This has allowed us the unique opportunity to witness God’s hand in preparing the church for this moment. God is always at work. His sovereignty can be witnessed in the short and long terms.
 
Several years ago, Ohio Baptist had a partnership with Tennessee Baptist. Our former pastor, a Tennessean by birth who came to HSBC via West Virginia, returned to Tennessee after his time in Ohio. This Tennessee connection caused HSBC and the Weakley County Baptist Association to form a five year partnership which bought large mission teams to stay at HSBC and serve in our surrounding area. This mission team converted a Sunday school room into a restroom with two showers and a washer and dryer in our basement. The need to accommodate these large groups caused HSBC to install RV hook ups. Another Tennessee church provided the funds for a tankless hot water heater for the showers.
 
As Chain Saw teams with Disaster Relief were being deployed to Goshen, Tennessee Baptists returned to Goshen. We had the privilege to house over 80 Disaster Relief volunteers over two weeks. Tommy Wilson was one of those volunteers. Tommy was probably the only Tennessee Baptist that had ever heard of Goshen because he was part of those Weakly County mission teams. It would be easy to dismiss this story as coincidentally, but we know that God was preparing Hill Station to host these Disaster Relief over many years. We had not planned for the tornado but it was part of God’s plan.
 
As we were planning our yearly schedule, Vacation Baptist School was not falling on the calendar in any manageable way. After some prayer and brainstorming, a church member suggested moving VBS to Goshen’s spring break. VBS would work on the church calendar over spring break, but we had never done that before, nor had anyone we had known had ever done VBS over spring break.
 
Hill Station has always been a church willing to try something new and outside the normal box. Spring Break VBS was scheduled. We knew our community and we would need to provide dinner night nightly. This forced us to purchase two new stoves to replace the two stoves that only half way worked. This was only one example of God’s plan for the summer of 2022. It would have been impossible to cook on those old stoves and feed the Disaster Relief teams. When the Disaster Relief rolled in, there were two new stoves waiting on them. There are numerous other stories of God working through the Goshen tornado and its aftermath.
 
The tornado caught us by surprise, but God has never been surprised. Looking back, we can see where God has been preparing Hill Station for this moment for years. I just wonder what God is doing today that is preparing us for what will happen in the years to come. God is always at work. He is never surprised. Rejoice in God’s sovereignty. It is all part of God’s perfect plan.
 
Phil Hopper pastors Hill Station Baptist Church near Goshen, Oh. 
Posted on September 12, 2022 9:56 AM by Josh Wright
Categories: Missions
After we finish a rough Mud Out project, we circle up with the homeowner. Just before we pray I try to say a few words as the Blue Hat.
 
Here’s what I said to the team and Billy, the homeowner:
 
“I’ve been involved with this ministry since 2012. I’ve been to New York, Nebraska, Florida, and this is my second trip to Kentucky. I have cleaned up a lot of homes, and I know that some of them could not be saved. People have asked me, why are we doing this. Why are we working hard and getting dirty to clean a house that we all know will go under a bulldozer in a few weeks? I respond, it’s not about the house. They’ll back down and say, you’re right. It’s about the homeowner and helping people suffering by the flood. I say, it’s not about them either. We have a Lord who came down here, got dirty, and died to save us from ourselves. When you accept Christ as Lord, you are voluntarily putting yourself under His authority."
 
That means Obedience.
 
Josh Wright leads the Mudout Trailer Team (Disaster Relief) for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association. 
Posted on September 5, 2022 9:53 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Missions
Should churches go beyond their walls to help other churches?
 
On Wednesday, July 6, Goshen was hit with an EF2 tornado ripping through with 130 mph winds.Lake Lorelei and a few other communities were hit with an EF1 tornado. More than 100 telephone poles were downed, knocking out power for thousands lasting days.
 
Aarron Ellerman, planting a church in Goshen, jumped into action and was one of the first on the scene. Doug Sibcy, G3 Church, had been enroute to Goshen to pick up Trailer #4 when the storm hit and made multiple trips to recover it. Phil Hopper, Hill Station, had COVID, but within days established his church as the command center for Southern Baptist chainsaw and feeding teams. Dozens of volunteers quickly descended on Goshen. Even Clough Pike and G3 sent a crew to help transfer contents of Trailer #4 to a replacement.
 
I’m writing this after just returning from floods in E. Ky. Some 70 Ohio and Tennessee DR volunteers trained in Mudout, Laundry, Feeding, and command worked seamlessly helping dozens of desperate home-owners. Ohio volunteers were from every corner of the state. CABA’s blue hat, Josh Wright, is leading a team this week. He’s a member of University Baptist in Middletown.
 
DR response is one visible way that churches jump to help others in need. Look around you at other churches. Nurture relationships to volunteer to help meet a specific need. CABA churches over the next few years need to learn how to go beyond their walls to help other churches whether or not there’s an acute weather event. Associations help churches do more together than we can do alone.
 
Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association. 
Posted on July 26, 2022 8:00 AM by Jason McKinney
Categories: Missions
Fear of not having all the answers can hold a believer back from sharing the gospel. It can also hold a believer back from meeting with the curious or new believers for discipleship. Ultimately it becomes the very same principle that holds us back from encouraging and releasing others to go out and launch new Bible studies/small groups/church plants.
 
We want everything to be perfect because going out and being faithful to Matthew 28:18-20 certainly isn’t enough. Is it?
 
Let’s celebrate a moment: Jerome Byrd of Good News Baptist knew the potential was there for Gene Moore to take up the call for reaching new communities and gathering together as a new church. Gene knew God was stirring him to step out and acted in obedience. Because of the faithfulness of these two men and the great support of believers around them, we can celebrate the forming of a new church, Guiding Light Church near Sharonville. No starting budget, no salary. Just faithful obedience to disciple-making.
 
Gene isn’t alone. My family and the Moore’s, along with David and Elisabeth (and family), have been honing disciple-making practices together to continue seeing more multiplication. Nothing fancy, just reproducible practices. KISS Method: Keep It Simple, Saint! I know, that’s cheesy, but let’s not over-complicate faithfulness to the hindrance of obedience!
 
Contact Jason at jtrait@me.com to learn more.
Posted on July 12, 2022 8:00 AM by Cliff Myers
Categories: Leadership
I always enjoy writing articles that challenge and those which are a challenge to write. I was asked recently to write on transcendence in ministry. So, let me tackle “transcendence” from a counseling/coaching/ ministry perspective.
 
Transcendency is a noun implying an existence or experience beyond the normal. Synonyms are superiority, excellence, and matchlessness. I am already feeling inferior with respect to the request, but let me begin with the fact that I do not begin coaching Christians or Leaders with the question, “Where do you want to go with your life?” but rather by asking, “Where do you sense that God wants to take you?”
 
Our mind is the seat of intellectual activity. Living and leading with our minds allows us to make wise decisions. Now I sincerely believe God wants to take each of us to places of distinction, glory, honor, and ascendance. My goal as a Pastor/ Counselor/Coach is not to help people experience their dreams but to enable them to embrace God’s Will. Notice I did not mention Stardom or Superstardom as a place God may want to take us.
 
You see, giving people solutions is not as impactful as helping them discover God’s answer. As leaders must always refrain from taking God’s place in people’s lives. Now everyone falls into ruts, slips into ineffective routines, makes false assumptions, and according to God’s Word, commits sin. Everyone has blind spots. Everyone has room for improvement.
 
Back to transcendence. Living for Christ is sometimes challenging. Leadership is sometimes hard. How do we become transcendent? How do we soar? Quite frankly it is very simple. Have a deep passion for God and a holy discontent for anything that draws us from Him.
 
The framework for living a transcendent life and having a transcendent ministry is living by the Great Commandment… “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). Jesus is essentially saying we should love God with all of ourselves, with everything in us, with all of who we are. Your heart is what most connects you to God and others. Your soul longs to know God.
 
Your Strength – That is where visionary leadership comes from. Let me challenge each one reading to be transcendent. Have great faith and optimism. Focus on the future. Work tirelessly for the sake of God’s Kingdom. Live in spiritual integrity. Be a great prayer warrior. Never tire of seeing someone come to Jesus. So, in Charity’s words, do everything “For HIS Glory” and you will be moving in the direction of transcendency.
 
Where do you sense that God wants to take you?
 
--Cliff Myers is a biblical counselor serving in the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association. 
Posted on July 1, 2022 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Missions
In Malcolm Gladwell’s management book, David & Goliath, the villain was depicted as a tank and hero was like a jet. Goliath was slow-moving and weighted-down. David, according to Gladwell, was nimble and very, very accurate with a single stone.
 
When I look around the Cincinnati Area, I can see the David & Goliath story playing out:
 
The Goliaths:
1.     There are 1.8 million living here; the majority living in sin
2.     There are still one million who are unclaimed by any religious organization
 
The Davids:
1.     Our churches are resilient
2.     CABA churches have 10,000 in AM Worship
3.     Southern Baptists are only 17% of all evangelicals
4.     No mega-churches or giga-churches (<2,500 in attendance)
 
The Goliaths’ weaknesses
·        Inaccurate thinking about Jesus
·        Spiritually vulnerable
·        Stationary – not moving
 
The Davidic strengths
·        Mobility—go to them
·        Ability to hone strengths
·        Rely fully on God
  
Will you enter the spiritual battle today?
 
SBC % of Evangelicals per county
  8.7 Adams
28.2 Brown
27.7 Butler
24.7 Clermont
15.8 Clinton
  2.6 Fayette
10.2 Hamilton
  8.1 Highland
29.0 Warren
 
--Mark Snowden is the AMS for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association. 
 
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
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