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.
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