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Posted on May 15, 2019 6:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Evangelism
Your car’s tires have a number for ideal inflation. Your body’s blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol have ideal numbers. When I had cancer, my body confounded the doctor because my “numbers just weren’t right.”
Over the past three years, I’ve made a big deal out of identifying the numbers of lost people in the Cincinnati Area’s nine counties. If you’re beginning to make disciples who can make disciples, then there are three percentage numbers you should track: 2%, 13%, and 25%. That’s it. Track these numbers and you’ll not only impact lostness, you’ll begin to be used of God to transform communities with the Gospel.

Two percent: You’re there. Congrats and praise God! No county in the Cincinnati Area is 98% or more lost.  But we are at 85% lostness. Researchers in evangelical missions agencies around the world have agreed that a minimum threshold of two percent of their population must be born-again—and have recently planted at least one new church. Globally, there are still more than 2,000 Unreached People Groups (UPGs) that have more than 100,000 people that are not born again and nobody is planting churches among them.

We have many UPG segments in the Cincinnati Area. Of the groupings with 50 people or more in them, we have 47 nationalities with any kind of evangelical work underway. There are 36 people groups living near 16 of our SBC churches.
Thirteen percent: This is an odd number in evangelism/discipleship. It would be easier to say a “tithe” at 10% or go on up to the 80/20 rule where 20% do all the work. It’s extremely important, but it is often overlooked. When 13% of a community or people group are born again and are actively making disciples, there is a sociological phenomenon that the other 87% really takes note that something serious is going on.

Sociologists tell us that when only two percent of a population exhibit the desired behavior of a specific cause, then it begins to take off because the next 13% are watching. The initial two percent are often flaky innovators, but the larger group of early adopters know them, understand them, and watch to see if their lives are benefited. In the lingo of evangelism/discipleship, influential non-Christians are counting the cost of following Jesus.

Twenty-five percent: When a group of people exhibiting desired behaviors reaches 25%, it reaches a critical mass. A sustainable movement is possible. This is the line we need to cross for evangelization to become a movement of God.  
You would think that churches and followers of Jesus want to see others become believers. Over time, some CABA Baptists that you might want to include in that 25% evangelical statistic lose their vision. There is a significant chunk of CABA Baptist churches – one-quarter (26%) – that did baptize anyone last year. (Note that 35 churches with SBC ID numbers failed to complete their 2018 ACP reports.)

Only God can bring about a movement—churches planted spontaneously, disciple-making underway, souls being saved, etc. Missions leaders advise to remove as many barriers to movements as possible, so when God is ready to move out, His Spirit is unhindered.

So, to reach 25% is not about numbers and percentages exactly. It only includes those churches that are exhibiting specific desired behaviors. Desired behavior should emphasize a personal relationship with Christ, believe in the authority of the Bible, and prioritize the need to share their faith with non-believers.

Track the spiritual transformation of the peoples in your community. Are they just starting out under 2%, getting really serious at 13%, or becoming sustainable past 25% by exhibiting godly disciple-making behaviors?

CABA’s next training in disciple-making is May 31-June 1 at First Baptist Mt. Healthy. It’s free, but you need to get tickets here: Eventbrite Tickets
 
--Mark Snowden is the director of missional leadership for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association (CABA)
Posted on May 13, 2019 7:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Evangelism
Evangelizing has been on our heart this Spring! Here are three specific ways we've support evangelism:
 
1. Saturate Cincinnati: Some 1.5 million still are far from God. Southern Baptist churches and other kingdom-minded churches are joining together as never before to make Christ known across the Cincinnati Area.
Saturate Cincinnati: 347,000 households were adopted zip code- by-zip code. Some 67 CABA church leaders have taken on a huge task to distribute door-to-door kits containing the Gospel. 90+ zip codes have been adopted. That’s 43% of Hamilton Co. and 63% of the surrounding counties. Sign-up to adopt a zip code, which is usually 10,000 homes: SaturateUSA.org to register your zip code and get the free kits.

2. Who’s Your One? This Southern Baptist initiative is simple yet profound. Pray for one person and seek opportunities to share the saving good news of Jesus with them! Free resources are online at Whosyourone.com.

3. No Place Left continues! NPL seeks to start spiritual conversations that lead to sharing Three Circles – or your own preferred method in your oikos; circle of influence. Then it leads to forming new small groups and even unfunded church plants. More than 200 have been trained in weekend events. Register for May 31-June 1 at Mt. Healthy. It’s free, but you need tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/no-place-left-cincinnati-tickets-57641126160?aff=ehomesaved
 
--Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association.
Posted on May 1, 2019 6:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Evangelism
A number of veteran IMB missionaries were given personality tests and then given four samples of print materials to evaluate. Since this was my project, I assumed that the stern accountant-types would choose terse text and bullet-point layouts with conceptual analysis. Not so. The missionaries regardless of their personality type all chose print media that had lots of photos and testimonials of personal struggles or victories.

They chose play over work every time.

There is a sociological norm that people can only handle so much work in their lives. In fact, through years of research and experimentation, the split was 25% work and 75% play. (Play Theory in Mass Communications was developed by William Stephenson. He retired from the University of Missouri in 1974.)

Play Theory says we have a need for more play than work. Some educators take their training and mix with entertaining videos (think PBS’ Sesame Street). Even the 40-hour work week is 24% of the 168 hours in a week. Tack on a few hours of “church work” each week and you get an insight into how church leaders can burn out if it’s all work and no play.

Meanwhile, some people in America actually want more “work” in their lives. I’ve noticed that after their retirement, my parents sought out far more news and preaching. (The average age for Fox News audiences is 69 years old; CNN is 62.)

Through consultation with researchers, I not only learned about Play Theory, but its implications for communicating more effectively, even among those missionaries. I conducted several dialogue sessions for insights. Missionary work was considered difficult and when they got some free time they wanted to be inspired, hear from other colleagues who were coping in similar conditions, and have wholesome entertainment. And they said they could occasionally stand help-oriented advice and skills upgrading.

Is evangelism work or play? Until evangelism becomes a lifestyle, it is work. For good or bad, most followers of Jesus had evangelism presented as work – a course, learning a complex method, or a series of tasks requiring memorization.
After Jesus cast the demons from the man in Mark 5:1-20, He gave him a new task (work). He was not to go with Jesus (play), but return to His family and explain His story about God’s mercy. The former demoniac went not only to his own family, but throughout the Decapolis—the region with ten towns—and told them about Jesus!
 
Q: Why did the little boy keep hitting himself with a hammer?
A: Because it felt so good when he stopped.
 
People don’t do things that hurt; at least not for long. The man from whom Jesus cast out the legion of demons took no courses in evangelism, but actively shared a personal witness that likely became very pleasurable (play).
Sometimes people that love their job say, “I’d hate to have to work for a living.” They mean that what they do day in and day out is a pleasure (positive) and not work (negative).
 
If evangelism seems like a non-pleasurable task, then it is not yet part of your lifestyle. Sure, it can be discouraging to be rebuffed or ignored. But it becomes a glorious positive when there are results. Experts say it takes 40 days to establish a habit.
 
For those of us who encourage believers to be obedient to the Great Commission, we know the joy of seeing people come to faith in Christ. The trainers and encouragers forget that people are hassled by life—kids, spouses, jobs, bills, etc. It’s a lot easier to plop down in front of the TV than engage those around you with the gospel. It’s work!
Yet, Jesus knows what’s best for us. He calls us to come and die to self each day and follow Him (Luke 9:23). Spiritual development that matures makes evangelism the new normal – and that’s good “play” whether you’re an IMB missionary or a Baptist in Cincinnati. Witnessing anyone?
 
Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association
Posted on March 1, 2019 10:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Evangelism
A number of exciting new Christian movies hit last year. Excellent Christian radio stations broadcast throughout our area. On cable and satellite TV there are a number of channels carrying the gospel. Tracts are in abundance. Bibles are being distributed and creating opportunities for spiritual conversations.

What can your church do to use different media tools to accelerate response to the gospel in your own community?

The word “communication” is very broad and encompasses more than a dozen categories ranging from drama, storytelling and research to advertising, TV and social media. Generally, media tools fall into three categories: print (books, periodicals, newspaper), electronic (audio, video, digital), and traditional (drama, stories).
Marshall McLuhan is credited with saying, “The medium is the message.” Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is the one that convicts and not the manipulation of some media tool. However, the axiom is true, “The medium can affect the message.” Stated plainly, the communications tools may be used or misused.

Media tools can do two things very well:
1.    Help people evaluate a new idea objectively and from a safe distance. This helps them count the cost, risk assessment, and determine the value of decisions.
2.    Reinforce relationships and confirm decisions made in the past. They can promote loyalty, recruit others to try it, and assist explanations for actions taken.
Media tools can do two things poorly:
1.    Push into places where they are not welcomed, endangering the sender. Media tools can distort viewpoints, generate biases, and jeopardize the faithful.
2.    Alienate people instead of fostering personal relationships. They can make people throw up shields, add distance, and can inoculate against future attempts to share the Gospel. Church leaders need to make some very important decisions. Should they work quietly with hand-to-hand distribution or in a much more mass appeal?

A public launch of some Christian media tool, such as a movie or even a splashy event, lends “credibility” among people that don’t know Jesus as their Savior. If a news article, magazine feature, or public figure discusses the actual title of the resource or event, then acceptance is more likely among non-Christians. They may not trust you, but they can trust an authority they respect.

Even a well-timed and attractive ad in a newspaper, poster series, billboard, or cable TV spot can carry a certain amount of “preparing the way” for receiving Christ into their lives. Among the most antagonistic people, it might be necessary to tell amazing stories that you know to establish credibility as a storyteller. If they happen to be from the God’s Word, then so much the better!

Churches must try to communicate clearly and in places in which intended audiences can receive them in time. In Romans 10:14-17, Paul not only expressed the need for preachers, but he also focused on the importance of faith coming by “hearing” or “understanding.” In the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4:1-20, Jesus offered no condemnation on the sower for getting some seed among the thorns, in with some rocks, or sprinkled along the pathway.

An evangelistic video showing or gospel tract distribution is like a fireworks show. The crowd stands around giving their ooohs and aaaahs. But spectators can be fickle. They wonder, “What is next?” or “What else do you have?”
So, think “river,” not fireworks. When a person steps into a river, they quickly feel the flow of the current. Evangelistic media should provide multiple entry points that should all lead the same direction. Whether far upstream or way downstream, the strength of the current varies, but the movement is in one direction. One media use should lead the user or viewer closer to a believer who can introduce them personally to Jesus.

Evangelism-discipleship media tools work together over time to create powerful effects. Give the Holy Spirit many opportunities to bring spiritual transformation.  
 
Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association. He holds a Masters in Communications Management from Virgina Commonwealth University.
Posted on January 23, 2019 8:00 AM by Josh Carter
Categories: Evangelism
What does a healthy, productive, and successful year look like?
 
For some it’s getting a new job, getting a raise, or completing a degree. For many it’s finally working up the motivation to lose that weight that just keeps hanging on. With any of these goals intentionality is required. Diligence, determination, and discipline are all necessary to complete life’s great goals as well as overcome life’s great challenges. 
 
Intentionality matters in nearly everything we do and it matters in ministry the most. Let’s ask the question this way, if you are trying to lose weight or get in better shape, will you be satisfied or disappointed if this time next year your body looks the same if not a little worse for wear? Now,  what about the body of Christ which you serve? God has called us to exercise and be good stewards of the gifts he has given each local expression of the church. God has called us to healthy growth through missions, evangelism, and discipleship.
 
If the church you serve looks the same next year, if not a little worse for wear, will you be satisfied or disappointed that you were somehow unable to make the most of the opportunities that God brought your way?  Like exercise, evangelism and missions take great intentionality. This means that you need to have a focus and a strategy to accomplish the vision, rise to the challenges, and successfully navigate the opportunities that the Lord provides for you in 2019. If you would like help in developing an evangelism, discipleship, or overall strategy for your church the other catalysts and I would consider it a privilege to serve you in these areas in 2019. Like exercising with a good friend, great things can happen when we partner together to accomplish God’s work. 
 
Let me finish by personally inviting you to two upcoming events that will greatly resource you as you   develop your evangelism strategy this year:

~Saturate Cincinnati will take place on             
February 21, 2019 around lunch, and the location is TBD. You can view the website at        https://www.saturatecincinnati.org/

~No Place Left will take place at Clough Pike Baptist Church on February 22-23, 2019.
Mission
 
-- Dr. Josh Carter serves as CABA's Evangelism Catalyst and pastors Clough Pike Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Oh.
Posted on December 13, 2018 10:41 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Evangelism
After interviewing five men from Central Asia in refugee camps, I asked them what would attract them to actually listen to Bible stories on the radio. After suggesting five or six options, I asked, “Would you listen to conversion testimonies from Muslims, even Muslim religious leaders?” Their eyes grew wide. One asked through an interpreter, “There is such a thing?”

In their country, conversion was considered an act of treason punishable by death. One man said that his child was almost kicked out of school for being caught with one page from a Christian coloring book–and they were Muslims. Yet, their religious leaders and thousands of everyday folks were quietly praying to receive Christ. Now, in some Muslim areas, Jesus reveals Himself in dreams that lead them to seek the Truth. However, in this country, many were coming to faith in Christ through the bold, if careful, witness of believers.

When I discussed Muslim conversion in that area with an IMB missionary working among them he said, “The veneer of Islam has created a hunger for the Gospel. They know their leaders don’t have anything to offer and they turn to Christians that they know to request the Bible, evangelistic materials…anything to help them understand the Gospel.”
The point was that the believers had to risk everything to walk in obedience with Jesus. And, in obedience to the Great Commission, they were seeking to make disciples. If they kept quiet, they could live normal lives. If they spoke up, some may believe, but some may turn them in to the religion police.

Step back and examine your walk with the Lord. Is it in obedience to Jesus? Do you share your faith? Are you helping someone become a disciple; even a disciple-maker? Are you currently active or “taking a break”?

When a man was caught distributing the Bible in this predominantly Muslim area, he was brought before a judge. The judge forced him to bring in his pastor. The pastor asked the judge, “What is so harmful in the Bible’s message?” The judge answered, “People will believe the Bible if they read it and I will lose my job.” The judge gave the two believers a stern warning and set them free.

Why would someone want to ask you about Jesus? What is your faith reputation?

Many times people who are not believers exert their authority because they feel it is their role as an official enforcer. That doesn’t mean that some time later they won’t seek you out. In one Muslim area, a police sergeant told a believer that he had to guard a shipment of Bibles. He wondered about the fuss over a mere book until he began to read it. When he got to the part about Jesus, he prayed to find a believer who could resolve the situation. He gave his heart to Jesus, but felt conflicted because he had to keep enforcing the local law.

There are many enforcers who exert negative influence against the Gospel. In America, they typically are in seven “power centers:” government/military (elected officials/leaders), business (CEOs), education (superintendents/principals), news media (anchors/producers), sports (star players), arts & entertainment (writers/actors), and the family (head of households).

Why not be intentional to talk to them about your faith in Jesus?

In predominately Muslim areas, sharing Christ is understood to be done going against the dominant culture. Increasingly, Cincinnati Baptists find themselves witnessing in a hostile environment. Just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3 faced down a king passing laws hostile to their faith, so believers today are facing a furnace of their own.
 
Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership (AMS) for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association.
Posted on November 15, 2018 10:15 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Evangelism
Churches with an evangelism strategy have many more baptisms, some 60% more. The key is to be intentional and specific seeking the Lord’s leading in planning. Each CABA church is urged to have a Missions Committee focused on lostness. Here are five steps that pastors should share with a Missions Committee leader.

Step One: Research lostness

Internal assessment: I recommend the “Fruit Inspection” guide available free on our website, www.CincinnatiBaptist.com in the “Leadership” section.  Use it to look for strengths, weaknesses, and even gaps in equipping/discipling among segments of members – missiology, doctrine, depth, lifestyle issues, witnessing experience, etc.

External assessment: Boots on the ground knocking on doors is vital. Over the past three years, teams of volunteers have mapped the most ethnically-diverse areas of Cincinnati. The same principles apply in canvassing the community where you serve. Then compile the resources into a prayer guide – “the” place to start for mobilizing workers among the lost. CABA’s prayer guide for the “Nations” is on Cincinnati.com, too. Look for it in the “Missions” section.

Evaluate resources available: Be realistic about people, time, and budget.

Step Two: Pray intentionally

Teach your people to pray. The book, One Cry, is a “win” to draw believers into a closer relationship with the Lord (www.onecry.com) It is encapsulated in a six-week program, but can initiate a movement. Sunday School classes need to know how to pray and what to pray for. Getting segments within the church engaged in specific ways is important.

Contact Ken Slaughter, CABA’s prayer encourager to begin praying for the lost across Cincinnati. Contact Ken at emailpastorken@gmail.com. Ask him to add you to our early-morning prayer times.  

Step Three: Equip for disciple-making

Role models: Pastors and church leaders must set the example for their members.

Personal evangelism: No Place Left uses the Three Circles method of evangelism. It is highly conversational and doesn’t assume prior biblical knowledge. It also has a clear path to becoming disciples that can immediately share their faith with the lost.

Teamwork: Sending out teams two by two requires intentionality and training. We’re using No Place Left training, which is an international phenomenon. The next (free) training is February 22-23 at Clough Pike. Registration is on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/no-place-left-cincinnati-tickets-53059832387?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
 
Decision Counselors should help new believers after their decision to follow Christ and make it public. New believers need to know how to lead someone to Christ. Follow-up must be required to help new believers become active witnesses and disciple-makers.
 
Step Four: Sow down the Gospel
 
Widespread evangelization: Initiate a blitz during an evangelistic “season” that may last for one month at a strategic time. The ideal time are the weeks prior to Easter.
Internet: Recording and uploading member testimonies of believers in your church can be promoted using business cards. You may use an existing service such as www.mostimportantthing.org, www.whativaluemost.com, or perhaps your church’s website can host it.
 
Commit to making disciples. That should be every CABA church’s number one biblical priority. Make sure everything done is reproducible and holds people accountable for spiritual development. I believe Bible Storying holds relational and supportive keys to reproducibility. I can provide a catalog of resources to those who write snowdenministries@gmail.com. You can order online the book that Avery Willis and I wrote titled Truth That Sticks that really gets after disciple-making.
 
Step Five: Celebrate with a purpose
 
Baptisms should become more inclusive and celebratory. New believers should invite family members. The focus of the service should be on the need for salvation and baptism. This helps the new believer be a bolder witness for Jesus.
 
As the campaign continues throughout the year, testimonials and experiences should be showcased in every communication vehicle of the church including the pulpit as a prioritized act of worship. Remember, you’re not bragging on what you, a committee, the strategy, or the church did, but giving glory to what God did through your church through the activity of the Holy Spirit. This is an Acts 14:27 event as the church gets together and learns how God “opened a door of faith.”
 
Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association. Follow him on Twitter at @wmarksnowden.
Posted on October 25, 2018 10:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Evangelism
My mother’s favorite story is about a little girl who needed new shoes, but foolishly spent her money on a beautiful purple jar. One day she opened the jar and dropped it on the floor. All the purple water spilled out. She was left not only with a useless jar, but shoes that hurt her feet. 
 
Recognize this as a parable for evangelizing opportunities. Millions are distracted by dressed-up philosophies while they hobble along, having settled for what they wanted and not what they needed.
 
In the Cincinnati Area, believers do not witness for Jesus in a vacuum. There are churches in many places as well as on television. Thousands of messages bombard non-Christians shaping their theology, doctrinal premises, and understanding of Christianity prior to salvation.  Countering with Truth is as simple as speaking to your neighbor. A testimony from a friend or coworker can shine light on Satan’s ploys. The Holy Spirit is at work!
 
This past summer, I joined Sajjan Betham, a member of Newtown First, to evangelize in his neighborhood. In only one hour, two families committed to being in a Bible study at Sajjan’s home.  While I was waiting for an hour at the Health
Dept., the security guard and I discussed salvation. He said that he had heard the Gospel already because he used to work at Kroger with Jerome Byrd, who now pastors Good News Baptist. 
 
In Luke 10, Jesus sent out His disciples with a purpose to intentionally prepare people in towns to receive Jesus and His kingdom message.  Trained as disciple-makers, believers in your church can join with other believers in God’s harvest. Acts 1:8 carries a promise to witnesses that they will receive power.
 
The important thing is to obey Jesus and prayerfully “look to the harvest fields” (John 4:35).  Worldly ideas are like purple jars that fill our neighborhoods, but they fall short of God’s saving design. Engage in intentional evangelism that proclaims Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6), then make disciple-makers.
 
--Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association
Posted on October 16, 2018 10:00 AM by Josh Carter
Categories: Evangelism
Here are six tips to be more evangelistic this next month:
 
1) Pick a Tool. I like to use “The 3 Circles.” You may not love evangelism tools or you may like another evangelism tool and that is fine. I just know when I go to share Christ, it is always better to go prepared than unprepared. 
 
2) Pick a Time. As a pastor or church leader, a thousand different things can come up during your week. You must, and I stress that, carve out time to be evangelistic. If you do not, you will not. 
 
3) Pick a Place. Determine where you will go in your community to share the gospel. You will rarely share the Gospel in your office, so pick a place where the community gathers and then go to them.
 
4) Bring Someone Along. I am always more evangelistic when I know someone is with me than when I’m by myself. Maybe it’s just the pastor in me, but I intentionally bring someone to show how it’s done. I tend to do a little better, too.
 
5) Share with Your Church. If you want to build evangelistic zeal in your church, start giving personal accounts of how you have been evangelizing. You will probably find the fresh new accounts to be more relatable and encouraging to the church than the story of how you led someone to Christ 20 years ago.
 
6) Consider Some Help. If you would like some help on growing in evangelistic zeal personally or as a church, reach out to me because CABA has some great pastors and resources that you can pull from to help you and your church impact the lostness around you. In fact, it’s the reason CABA exists! Contact me at JCarter@CloughPike.com
 
Josh Carter serves as CABA's Evangelism Catalyst and pastors Clough Pike Baptist in Cincinnati.
Posted on September 19, 2018 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
When I led a Sunday School class for our church’s college students, I was astounded one Sunday when one long-time Christian and faithful attender blurted out, “Just tell us what to believe.”
 
My Baby Boomer generation grew up doubting the Establishment with its political corruption, humiliated tele-evangelists, rampant inflation, and unethical business practices. The Baby Boomer mantra was lifted straight from Karl Marx, “Question everything.”
 
This was unique to me. I belonged to a youth group at church, but went to public schools, participated in the student council, and played sports. I started looking at these college kids more closely. Over time I realized that it is possible for young adult followers of Jesus to live in a parallel universe that does not intersect with the larger society. Many Millennials that profess Christ were raised, schooled, dated, got jobs, married, and began the cycle all over again raising kids within a Christian bubble.
 
Millennials are an age grouping that includes the oldest members born in the early 1980s, now in their mid-30s, and it goes down in ages to those born 17 or 18 years ago. But when I look around churches where I teach and preach, I don’t see significant numbers of Millennials beyond those in the most vibrant youth groups. Just look at the 2010 census counts to see the majority of Millennials are unengaged.
 
And I’m convinced it’s not always the crowd that “loves Jesus, but hates the church” described in Steven Crainie’s book. Tom Gilson, in a review of the book unchristian by David Kinnaman, points fingers at our churches, “This book robbed me of sleep, revealing, as it does, how badly the church is disconnected from younger Americans, and how negatively we are viewed. The source of the disconnect, I’m convinced, is that our discipleship has been weak, sloganistic, not very thoughtful, not loving enough, shallow. Though 29% of Americans say they are highly committed to Jesus Christ, only 3% espouse a Biblical worldview, defined for research purposes as adhering to eight basic doctrines of Christian religion.”
 
Leaders of Bible studies using Bible Storying methods likely have the best chance of effective disciple-making among Millennials. However, I believe two groups of Millennials may have to be evangelized and discipled as if they were two different people groups. Those with a strong evangelical background may need to be challenged more to be evangelistic than those who are from the “lost” ranks. Those with a nominal Christian background are biblically illiterate. An active witness cannot assume those Millennials that they encounter with the gospel know any Bible stories, not to mention basic Christian doctrine. Bible verses used in tracts will be from an unknown context and use words unfamiliar with the lost. Millennials raised in the Christian bubble will have just as difficult time and will likely need cross-cultural training to gain significant relevance among their own peers. Believers need reproducible methods and tools that Storying provides.
 
Bible stories and Storying methodology provide vital tools for advancing the gospel among those in the next generation to the glory of God. Using Bible stories or proverbs as illustrative points in a conversation can flow naturally and planting seeds for future conversations. Being a friend that cares is one thing. Being involved in an important community project that they’re invited to be alongside you is probably even more important. Sharing life together provides a witness when it is verbalized in a relevant but moving story from God’s Word.
 
If an oral approach is ignored, I’m afraid that Millennials will keep considering Christ is no different than considering, well, Karl Marx.
 
Mark Snowden is Director of Missional Leadership for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association.
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