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. 
     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.
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 July 1, 2021 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: General
     Dave Frasure, Convener and pastor, FBC So. Lebanon, asked me to speak to Region 4’s pastors monthly meeting. He asked me to help pastors to cope with stress. Maybe it was rather counter-intuitive, but I made a list of 27 things that I have heard pastors say they found stressful over the past year. Cicadas weren’t on the list, by the way. I read every one of them to the guys in the room. At first, there were a couple of men saying, “Yep.” Then the pastors started remembering what they had experienced as the list continued. One pastor put his face to the ceiling and jammed the palms of his hands into his eye sockets. Another gripped his hands so tightly his knuckles turned white. More than one blurted out, “Oh wow, that’s so true. In our church….” And then a memory would come tumbling out. 
     They relived 2020 as if it were a movie before their eyes. I won’t say which kind of movie.
     Each pastor was encouraged to keep their health up – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Exercise, read, meet with other pastors. One pastor mentioned how mental illness problems were at an all-time high. Stats were later shared in which nearly all teens had considered suicide in 2020. Nearly all. 
     If pastors stayed healthy, then they could minister more effectively to their families and church families in crisis and those wandering away from a changed church experience.
     However, the best coping advice came from Peter’s experience in which Jesus beckoned him to get out of the boat and, in faith, walk on the water to join Him. Peter did, but when he allowed himself to be distracted by the wind and the waves, he sank. Keeping our eyes on Jesus is the key during life’s storms. Part of keeping focused on Jesus is continually casting a vision of a lost Cincinnati Area to our church members and to ourselves. We see the bigger picture, so the momentary stressors take a secondary role. 
     The pastors admitted that they had often been isolated during the past year. CABA’s regional meetings are becoming retreats for an hour or two with colleagues going through the same stuff. Biblical counselors are still available at no cost to the pastors. None of the counselors have become booked-up. There’s help available for the asking. 
     Who knows? Maybe the 28th stressor is right around the corner. 
-- Mark Snowden serves as director of the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association.
Posted on April 6, 2021 8:00 AM by Kirk Kirkland
Categories: General
From my conversations with members of Revive City Church who happen to be black, I’ve learned many are not referencing an organization when they speak of Black Lives Matter. They think about a movement, or rally cry, with a vision to see people of color experiencing equity when engaging our justice system.

In the fight for civil rights, black churches in the 1960’s were the equivalent of this modern movement for justice. But I believe that the Black Lives Matters organization, connected to some with neo-Marxist ideologies, exists because of a vacuum once filled by churches. If we do not disciple, the next generation in our churches in matters of racial reconciliation a secular society will.

My church and yours needs to claim a stake in the process by taking the high ground.
In an interview with Matt Lyons, a Southern Seminary graduate & pastor in Maryland, he gave some history on white and black separation. “Until the 1500s, most Europeans identified with their nations. However, with the advent of slavery, ‘whiteness’ was adopted to make slavery more tolerable.” 
Lyons went on to point out that when, say, and Irishman emigrated to America, he was presented with only two choices for racial identification– white or black. They naturally would choose white in exchange for their national/ethnic identity. “Today,” Lyons said, “the answer is to remove barriers.” 
Let’s not diminish the importance of anything, but as Christian brothers, get past barriers and do everything possible to win as many as possible to the Lord Jesus. 
--Kirk Kirkland pastors Revive City Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. 
Posted on April 17, 2020 5:30 PM by Mark Snowden
Categories: General, Leadership
During the SCBO's Conference call this morning, Dean Fulks, a pastor in Columbus, was asked how they counted viewership on their Facebook Live worship service. He raised a caution that anyone that scrolled by the screen during the service was counted as a viewer. He said that they only counted viewers that had spent at least three seconds.
That got me wondering. How many are you counting as viewers? Do you multiply the number by three per view to get at Households? What about members of one household that watched on tablets, smartphones, laptops, and on their TV's? Do you go live or playback a recorded service? Those metrics are all different.
Stephen Jennings at Clough Pike and Tyler Freeman at Sonrise Church helped me this afternoon understand a few things to pass along to you:
1. FB Live seems to be the most common way to stream your church's worship service. You want to look for "Through Play." These folks watched the whole service. These are the "real numbers" and get at more than Viewers who might have been scrolling through. And remember, FB Live typically goes just to members of your church who have "liked" your church's FB page. Only when they Share your service on their own feed can your church show up in their friends' FB feed. All you'll see is how many Shared and not who actually watched the service.  
2. You can BOOST your service on FB Live for only $10 per week. This gets people viewing your service who are more than just your regular church members. Boosting your FB Live feed will let it stay online for three days; five days for $20. Boosting your FB Live feed will let you choose demographics like parts of town and age group priorities. Where the $10 boost might expose you to 2,500 FB users, a $20 boost goes up to about 7,000 FB users. When they're looking at videos, then your video will show up next and they may choose to watch it. Encourage comments. Some churches hear things like, "This church is in my community and I didn't even know it."
3. When you record your service in advance and then play it at your normal worship service time, you want to track "Clicks to Play." Viewers literally have to hit the arrow to start the worship service. This is available as an option on FB Live and YouTube. There is an advantage to having a smoother worship experience, equalizing audio, and permitting editing of the sermon for either time or mistakes.
4. Know your families. Look at your numbers and think about your church's demographics. Are they families with teens watching separately on several devices? Are Mom and Dad holding their wiggly kids in their laps and occasionally changing diapers as they watch? Or are they Empty Nesters glued to the screen as a couple? This helps you know how to come up with a general count of people watching at one time each week.  
5. Yes -- many new people really are watching at least some of the church services online. Tracking is different than engaging. Tracking those numbers when the COVID-19 mitigation efforts are relieved is worth the effort to "boost" and track. However, providing incentives to sign "guest registries" online can be worth it. Will you send them a free Bible? Will you make a contribution to a food pantry in their honor? Will you have someone available to call 24/7 for counseling or prayer? What works as an incentive to engage with your social media can nurture a budding relationship. Now's the time to experiment!
Finally, some churches are investing in new video gear to maintain their social media presence. Just be sure that the numbers of viewers that you're encountering are real and not just those who are scrolling on, leaving a digital "1" in their fast-moving wake. Look toward the day when a viewer becomes an active follower of Jesus, quite possibly because you took the time to engage those viewing your church's worship service back during those "sheltering in place" days.
--Mark Snowden serves as Director of Missional Leadership, Cincinnati Area Baptist Association (AMS, DOM)
Posted on September 5, 2019 8:00 AM by Diane Sibcy
Categories: General
Here are some tips for having a successful Block Party event:


PLAN AHEAD: Possible Events could be Back to School Celebration, Fall Harvest Parties, Winter Wonderland in the gym, Spring Fling, End of School Celebration, VBS, Block Parties, Church Picnics etc.
RESERVE A TRAILER NOW: Go to and look for TRESS on the toolbar. To ensure your reservation, send your paperwork with payment to Diane two weeks after your reservation is made.

PREPARE YOUR TEAM: Be ready to share the gospel. 2 Timothy 4:2 In advance, train "Tellers" who share the gospel.


REMEMBER-Block Party Trailers are great fun for both inside and outside Events; however, if you’re outside and it looks like rain, inflatables and any electrical machines such as blowers or food machines cannot get wet. Please watch the radar and put them away prior to rainfall.

BE-good stewards of God’s blessings and courteous to the churches who use the trailer after you. You don’t want to be the church that finds the trailer in disarray so don’t leave it messy when you drop it off. Everything has a specific spot and should be returned to its proper place.
--Diane Sibcy serves as CABA's Block Party Trailer coordinator. Her husband pastors Impact Church, Lebanon.
Posted on January 9, 2019 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: General
Bob Bakke is an authority on revival and spiritual awakening. In a symposium in which I participated, Bakke spoke in detail about the movement in Scotland that spilled to America and exploded in Cane Ridge, Ky. The Cane Ridge Revival united whites and blacks, rich and poor, rural and urban for weeks. Known as the Second Great Awakening, the Holy Spirit had people praying and crying out to God. And God moved in their midst. 
Moving ahead from 1801 to 1970, the Asbury (Ky.) Revival began at a routine 50-minute chapel service at Asbury College and erupted into a time of repentance. Two students went to the west coast and shared their experience among California’s hippies. Known as the Jesus Movement, the Holy Spirit had people praying and crying out to God. And God moved in their midst.
Did you notice that two great spiritual movements of God in America happened in small towns rather than in cities? I was raised in Kentucky (Winchester) between Asbury (Danville) and Cane Ridge (Paris).
And I was a “Jesus freak.” The idea that God could use His people in a fly-over place like central Kentucky leads me to wonder why God couldn’t begin a new awakening in the Cincinnati Area? In your community? What would it take?
Is your church on its knees before the Lord? And look to the younger leaders to begin the movement! Bill Elliff, pastor, Summit Church, North Little Rock, Ark., said, “Older adults will not likely spark a spiritual awakening, but they can squelch one.”
God wants to move in our time. I’m deeply impressed that our posture before God to send revival is not a selfish pout, but a humble plea. It won’t come through a prayer that shouts and demands action from God. Instead, I believe that revival – even a great   awakening – will only come through a cry of the heart.
--Mark Snowden serves as Director of Missional Leadership (AMS) for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association
Posted on August 29, 2018 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: General, Leadership
Journalists are notoriously a tough crowd. Some go to prison rather than divulge a source. A few are imprisoned or even shot for being mistaken as spies. They take the heat from important people for holding them accountable. And Christian journalists have no fewer pressures as they work hard to accurately explain how God is at work.
You may not be a journalist, but do you have a message of salvation from God? And how will you share it with those who need to hear it? Personal meet-up? Hand them a tract? Facebook them? Tweet it?
“The Lord sent Nathan” is how 2 Samuel 12:1 begins. The prophet, Nathan, told David a story and emotionally involved the King. David was upset that a rich man would take a poor man’s only lamb to feed his guest. Nathan stood and delivered one of the most famous judgments in the Bible, “Thou art the man.” David had caused Bathsheba’s pregnancy and her husband, Uriah’s death. Christian journalists and other thought-leaders have a “prophet” ministry not unlike Nathan’s.
When Nathan spoke, David repented and the Lord spared his life. When Christian communicators share their stories, they should expect change.
Print-only journalism is dwindling in readership across America. From 2003 to 2011, the Newspaper Association of America reported that advertising for newspapers in print and online dropped by half. Some studies say that print journalism will not stop, but it will rather find its niche like radio has done.
Newspapers will never again dominate the secular news industry. The hardened write-or-die reporters constantly face the reality that they need to look beyond the literate word to fully communicate. Journalists – print, electronic, social media – must see readers or viewers as audiences.
The Millennial age group (ages 19 to 36) have a far more oral learning preference than any other U.S. age segment. They are a communications force that is personally engaged in embracing what is genuine and foregoing the slick, the formatted, and the scheduled delivery. They thrive on “real.”
Christian communicators, especially journalists, can learn a lot from those with an oral worldview. Like Nathan standing before King David, they will tell stories out of their calling from God to their ministry. Will those reporting mojo stories let people who interact with their content (visual or story) draw out biblical truth? Users of smartphone and web-based media want to stay informed. They’re clearly blurring the lines of information and entertainment seeking a brave new world of entertainment.
The stuff we see, hear, smell, touch, and taste are gateways to our minds—and ultimately to our hearts.  The more senses that are engaged, the more effective the communicator will become. Brain theorists have noted that “emotions etch memories.” Experiential learning means more than “sitting and getting” whether it be by staring at ink on paper, text on screen, or via some other channel. As many pastors are starting to say, “Don’t turn off your smartphones, but text out to your followers and friends the truths that the Holy Spirit teaches you today!”
The bottom line is that church leaders must help believers become truth-tellers who craft their own stories of faith. Will churches empower communication in the hands of those who dare to communicate as God sends them?
What is God calling you to say? And how will you say it?
Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association.
Posted on July 2, 2018 9:00 AM by David Frasure
Categories: Disciple-making, General
I value vacations.  I would rather sit in a comforter than on a wooden bench.  I like the feel of pulsating steams of water massaging my tired back in a hot sauna.  Ah, yes, comfort can be a very good thing.  Yet, comfort can also be a very dangerous thing.  In the work of God, we can love our comfort a little too much if we are not careful.  The result is a neglect of the Great Commission.  A complacency about discipleship.  An apathy toward worship.
The dangers of being spiritually, too comfortable are many.  We can miss opportunities to experience God at work in and through our lives, if we get too comfortable.  We can choose the easy, softer choices of life and neglect God’s invitation to grow in our faith.  Being too comfortable can cause us to overlook the lost and disregard a brother or sister in need.  The 39-year-old man maybe comfortable living in his parent’s basement playing video games all day, but if he wants to live a meaningful life of purpose, he needs to leave that comfort to embrace the challenges of life.  In a similar way, we need to be challenged to leave the comfort of our current level of spiritual growth and usefulness, to begin pursuing the next.
Churches can also become too comfortable.  We can get accustomed to the comfort of being a certain size as a church and forget that God has placed us in the middle of a real mission field of people who need to be reached.  We would never put out a sign saying, “No New People Welcome Here,” but churches can still communicate that message in many subtle ways if they are too comfortable.  Even in a Sunday School class or small group, we can delight in the people we have, to the neglect of the people we need to reach.  After all, we have a nice comfortable feel to our class as it is.  Why work on reaching someone new?
To overcome comfortableness, we need to remember that spiritual growth flourishes in discomfort.  Discomfort caused Abraham to leave Ur and Moses to go back to Egypt.  Discomfort allowed Joshua to face the challenges of Ai and Joseph to become the leader he needed to become to “save many people alive.”  We need our discomfort to motivate us to strive for more.
We must remember that our purpose in life is to know and love God with all our being and to love people as Jesus loved people.  That challenges us to dive deeper into His Word and prayer.  That keeps us moving out of our comfort zone to touch lives we have never touched.  The potential of our lives and the impact we can make by God’s grace will be diminished if we remain in a state of continual spiritual ease.
We must be reminded of the brevity of life if we are to overcome our comfortableness.  All of us want to make a difference in this life.  We want to leave a positive, spiritual mark on our family, our friends and our neighbors.  No Christian wants to look back on their lives one day and see a series of wasted opportunities to influence others for Christ and grow closer to Him.  Psalm 90 reminds us “to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  Becoming too comfortable can be very unwise.
There is nothing wrong with having a lemonade under an umbrella on a beautiful beach.  We all need time to pause, reflect and meditate.  Times of rest are essential, but we also know that relaxation won’t pay the bills and advance us in life.  Likewise, in our walk with God, we need to enjoy our seasons of blessings, but remember that life is too short to be comfortable in our complacency.
Posted on May 15, 2018 9:00 AM by David Frasure
Categories: Disciple-making, General
Every once in a while, someone will make a statement about the Old Testament as if it is old news, implying that Christians don’t really need to get too excited about its content.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  It may be a little tougher to dig into the history of the Old Testament (OT) and understand the culture of that day, but the insights into life are worth the effort.  There are several reasons why the study of the “Hebrew Bible” is valuable to the New Testament Believer.
The Old Testament was the Bible Jesus and the Apostles used.  Jesus saw the OT as God’s inspired Word.  He and the Apostles both quoted from it in their speaking ministries and read and studied it in their personal lives.  If Jesus and the Apostles studied the OT, certainly that is enough reason for us to do the same.
The Old Testament is our heritage as God’s people.  The New Testament is grounded in the Old.  The OT gives us the prophecies of the first and second coming of Christ.  In fact, it could be argued, that the topic of the OT really is Christ Himself.  The flow of OT history is the completion of God’s plan of redemption, fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ.  The OT helps us understand the New.  It gives us insight into the blood sacrifice and what it really means that Jesus Christ is our “great High Priest.”  Without the OT, we would understand very little about covenants and the real significance of the cross.  It helps us to know who we really are in Christ.
The New Testament refers to the importance of the Old Testament.  First Corinthians 10 reminds us that the events of the OT were given to us as an example of God’s dealings with His people.  So, when we read of God’s judgments upon Israel, it helps us see how He deals with our nation.  The OT teaches us how to live the Christian life.  We learn what endurance looks like from Job.  We see what faithfulness really is when we study the life of Daniel.  We learn more about obedience when we read of the life of Abraham.  Our lives are enriched by the events and examples we find throughout the OT.
The New Testament Christian is blessed by the study of the Old Testament.  We use the Psalms extensively in our worship songs and our devotional lives.  Who is not blessed by a better understanding of Psalm 23?  How would we know about creation without Genesis?  The wisdom of Proverbs would not be able to challenge and shape our thinking today were it not for the OT.  The OT makes up the bulk of God’s inspired Word.  Without it, we would miss many blessings.
Studying the Old Testament helps us to witness to people who know little about the New Testament.  Chuck Swindoll challenged me one time on his radio program by asking this question, “Could you share Christ with a person using only the Old Testament?”  There are many unsaved people in our own communities that have a deep respect for the OT.  If we could help them see Jesus portrayed in the OT, they would be much more receptive to our message.
Yes, I am a New Testament believer.  I am not under the old covenant and I know Jesus has fulfilled all the law and has become the perfect sacrifice and High Priest of my soul.  But God speaks to us through the pages of His Word regardless of which book of the Bible we are reading from.  The study of the OT does have its challenges, but how inspiring is its poetry, how rich is its history, how precious are its insights.  I love the Old Testament because it edifies my soul and points me to Jesus.
Posted on May 1, 2017 7:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: General
Here’s how Baptist associations like CABA receive money: CABA only receives direct funding. We receive no Cooperative Program funds. We recommend 3% undesignated giving by churches to the association. Giving to CABA's Ann Dunn/ Joanne Hopkins Offering each May is similar to gifts to Ray Roberts Offering (SCBO), Annie Armstrong (NAMB), and Lottie Moon (IMB). And the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association greatly appreciates every contribution from our churches!
Now is the associational giving season! Every CABA church is invited to conduct a Week of Prayer for Associational Missions. The Ann Dunn / Joanne Hopkins Offering is included in that emphasis. If you observe other state, national, and international missions, then this completes your “Jerusalem” giving above and beyond the tithe and allocations from CABA.
The Dunn/Hopkins offering this year has a goal of $4,900. Please help us raise money for (1) libraries for bivocational pastors, (2) 10 kits for Backyard Bible Clubs, and (3) a prayer guide for Cincinnati’s least reached people groups.
Please give your offering to your church who will forward it on to the CABA Office. Praise God for co-operating churches fulfilling the Great Commission!
The Dunn/Hopkins Associational Mission Offering goal this year is $4,900. It is seeking to raise special funds for a prayer guide for unreached peoples in Cincinnati, Backyard Bible Club kits, and libraries for bi-vocational pastors in the Cincinnati Area.
Give your money to your church so that they can receive a blessing as you give together. But sometimes individuals want to give directly to the association. That's okay, too. Send your check to:
P. O. Box 54885
Cincinnati, OH 45254
Praise God! And thank you!
Mark Snowden
Director of Missional Leadership
Cincnnati Area Baptist Association
« previous 1 2 next »
RSS Icon