Investing in Spiritual Transformation
Posted on July 1, 2020 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Followers of Jesus and their churches can take the initiative to change their relationships with those in the Cincinnati Area. To do so aligns with biblical principles. A culture of repentance, awareness, and generosity in our churches must be cultivated.
I am convinced that CABA churches do want to invest in people and activities that are used of the Lord to bring spiritual transformation. Churches can aid those who have needs, especially in the African-American community. Here are some suggestions inspired by Jemar Tisby’s book The Color of Compromise (Zondervan 2019):
• Underwrite the salary of a Black bi-vocational pastor so he can minister fulltime.
• Fund church planting efforts in predominately Black neighborhoods so that disciple-making is local and not preached from infrequent outsiders.
• Provide a scholarship for a Black youth to attend college so that educational attainment becomes a reality.
• Learn from a pastor who is different from you who is leading a seminar so that the pastor is honored, shown respect, and relationships are built.
• Attend community gatherings as a learner. Open council meetings and prayer events provide opportunities to understand and cry out to God for justice.
• Focus prayer, meet spiritual needs, and pay utility bills for a year of a struggling predominately Black evangelical church so that it becomes a vibrant witness.
• Open your church or help a church in a needy area to sponsor after-school activities to develop leadership among Black teenagers, tomorrow’s leaders.
• Teach biblical activism for church members so that reforms are Bible-based.
• Ensure SBC seminaries include Black histories so that every student understands and appreciates contributions made to kingdom advance.
• Use Black History Month to celebrate Black leaders who were followers of Jesus so that your church has positive role models to celebrate.
• Remove flags, monuments, plaques, and other Confederate symbols from the Civil War that still exist on your church property to remove stumbling blocks to church health.
• Invest in education by sponsoring predominately Black public schools needing books, technology, and teachers so that relationships can be formed and communities spiritually transformed through relationships with believers and churches.
• Change the color of leadership in your church, especially when it’s in a community undergoing racial change in order to better relate and serve.
--Mark Snowden serves as Director of Missional Leadership, Cincinnati Area Baptist Association