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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.
Posted on August 15, 2018 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Evangelism, Missions
Nobody met me at the Mexico City airport. And from what I could tell, nobody was speaking English. I had to reach deep for every syllable I had learned in a Spanish class just to navigate across town. When I later paid the taxi driver in pesos and walked toward my destination the sense of accomplishment was incredible. God had kindly immersed me – sink or swim – in an alien culture. And for a 21 year-old at the time, that was a really big deal.
 
What I remember most about my arrival as a summer volunteer in Mexico was the chatter of unintelligible voices. I love the sound of people speaking other languages and particularly Español. The language has a melodic rhythm that I love to hear. Unlike my Spanish learning labs, nobody was speaking each word dis-tinct-ly and s-l-o-w-l-y. It was several weeks later until I could pick out words and begin to make sense of the river of sound gushing from Mexicans that I really wanted to understand. I once caught a pastor label me “El Mudo,” meaning “The Mute.” When he realized I understood what he said, I then heard him say in Spanish something like “be careful what you say, he understands more than he speaks.”
 
Genesis 11 describes people that had one language that started to build a great city and a tower that would reach to the heavens. God was cut out of their plans. So, God confused their language and the act scattered people across the earth. The building project stopped, but was forever labeled, “Babel.”
 
The primary sin of the people of Babel was leaving God out. Rather than having an opportunity to work with God, their apathy and self-reliance blocked them from joining God’s mission in a God-denying world. Sound familiar?
More than 2,000 years later, Acts 2 tells of 120 followers of Jesus who were praying during the Pentecost festival.
 
When the Holy Spirit came upon them, they spilled out into the streets of Jerusalem telling everyone the mighty works of God. And they did it in the languages of those they encountered.
 
When contrasting Babel with Pentecost, it’s easy to see what happens when believers pray expectantly. God equips them to be His effective witnesses, even when testifying to His greatness among those with a different language or culture.
 
God wants an opportunity to work through us, not despite of us. At Babel, the people chose to work together in the most aggressive building project known to mankind….but without God. They missed the opportunity and it brought disunity. At Pentecost, when empowered by God, the believers’ community was transformed as 3,000 repented, believed on Jesus, were baptized, and became disciple-makers.
 
Yes, it is hard to cross-cultures to take the Gospel, but the Holy Spirit provides and empowers. There are few higher honors given than to learn a lost person’s language.
 
Years ago, I received a call from a woman who was upset about illegal immigrants working in her community. But the reason she called was to ask, “Am I supposed to witness even to illegal immigrants?” I shared with her that legal or not, when any person returns to their homeland as a born-again Christian, they could share the good news of Jesus as they went. She was quiet a long time. Then she actually sighed and said, “Okay, I’ll witness to them.”
 
Pray for God to send workers into His harvest field to adopt one of the Cincinnati Area’s some 40+ immigrant people groups. Some have churches planted among them, but some have just been discovered and are not likely to be born again.
 
A missionary was waiting for me at the airport, but waiting at the wrong airline. Mistakes happen. However, I believe that when we align our lives with God’s mission, He provides a way – even if it’s just to get a guy like me – or you – across town and onto the Lord’s harvest field.
 
 
Mark Snowden serves as the Director for Missional Leadership of the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association.
Posted on July 16, 2018 10:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Evangelism
    Lawrence led a man on the street to Jesus as part of Crossover prior to the SBC in Indianapolis. The man immediately asked, “May I go tell my sister?” Lawrence agreed and soon watched as the man brought his sister out of an apartment building. After Lawrence led her to faith in Christ she admitted, “The second floor of that apartment is a brothel, but I’ll go tell them.” Lawrence pointed to the Baptist church, which was just across the street. The brother and sister said that they would go there to learn more about living for Christ.
    Would your church be ready to disciple these new believers?
Each year our churches see thousands of new believers who choose to surrender their lives to Christ in faith. Where are they now?
     In Truth That Sticks, Avery Willis and I pulled in a definition of discipleship that he had developed when writing On Mission with God with Henry Blackaby. He wrote:
     “Following Jesus is a lifelong, personal, relationship with Jesus in which He transforms our character into Christlikeness, our values into kingdom values, and in which God invites us to join Him in His mission in the home, the church, and the world.”
     Using “following Jesus” instead of “Christian” designates a person that is a disciple of no other philosophy, tradition, or religion. Unfortunately, “Christian” can often mean “not Muslim.” It is that “lifelong, personal, relationship with Jesus” that makes the difference. It may start as a decision that is made public by raising a hand, walking an aisle, or meeting with the pastor after an evangelistic worship service, but it reflects the change of the heart; that volition of the will.
     Jesus brings transformation in our lives – particularly to our character and values. I frequently rail against behaviors that align with a godly lifestyle but lack the transformed heart. Avery noted that behaviors follow the inward transformation. We respond to the initiative that God takes to involve us in His mission.
God’s mission starts in the home. According to George Barna in Think Like Jesus, only two percent of born-again teenagers live their lives in alignment with a biblical worldview. As hard as this is to say, God invites us not to focus solely on our homes, but to SIMULTANEOUSLY participate in His work in church and the world. It’s a full-court press. Jesus commanded us that as we are going to make disciples of all peoples everywhere (Matthew 28:18-19). In Acts 1:8, Jesus promised His Holy Spirit would empower His disciples to share their witness of a changed life wherever in the world they went. The saying is true that our Jerusalem is someone else’s ends of the earth.
     We are admonished to pray, “Maranatha! Come, our Lord!” (I Cor. 16:22) But when you evaluate the huge numbers of lost people in our land, a cry for mercy comes from our throats, “Oh, Lord, can’t you wait just a bit longer for one more soul to be saved?”
 
Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association.
Posted on June 5, 2018 8:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Evangelism
In my ministry, I often hear well-intentioned men and women give their testimony. Is there a better way? How is it possible to improve upon one’s personal experience with Jesus? We live in a time when people are complimented for even sharing their faith! But what happens when we spend too much time on the "before Christ" part and the moment of salvation is unfortunately muted, stunted, and offers no handles that a lost person can grab?
Have you told someone your personal salvation story in a while? Your testimony should model how someone can be saved. We all want to glorify God in what we say to others. And so here’s your opportunity to re-examine how what you say can present God’s plan of salvation. Helping others have a clear path to Christ is the ultimate way to honor God with your testimony.

Make your personal story more powerful. We'll address a typical three-part testimony – before, during, and after.

Before: A life before Christ is typically self-centered, but there should also be acknowledgement of the Holy Spirit’s conviction of sin. There’s a point of recognizing that we all stand guilty before God. Many people in America’s post-modern society think sin is what happens when you get caught. Saying how you knew what sin was should be based upon biblical concepts of knowing what to do, but not doing it (James 4:17). Shorten your experiences before Christ. You certainly don’t want to give them new ideas that Satan will tempt them to try later.

During: Providing a model for a lost person should be your priority. A friend of mine once said he made a fact-based decision without much of a change of heart. He described it similar to “buying fire insurance.” Be very clear about the need to repent of your sins as well as surrendering yourself to Christ. That’s the brass ring the lost need to hang onto in your testimony. Describe how your personal relationship with Jesus began. Don’t rush it. Be thorough and know why you are saying what you’re saying. How you say it will likely become the model that a new believer will use in their own life. If you present a dozen Bible verses in random order, so will they. Since most people are oral learners, presenting the gospel in the form of your story is powerful when it includes key Bible truths. These can be conveyed in summary versions of Bible stories and it may be necessary to convey this part of your testimony in multiple meetings depending on the time you have available.

After: Practice explaining that your spiritual transformation was by God’s grace, not any effort of your own. Describe the difference your life has been because you have the Holy Spirit of God to guide you (John 16:13). It’s okay to describe a few good works you’ve done since, but they should convey more than accepting a new set of rules, making different moral choices, and even efforts you’ve made at changing certain behaviors. These can come off as man-centered. Work hard to humbly give God the glory for allowing you to experience life according to what the Bible says. Just like the “before” section, this should be brief, too.

In a three-minute testimony, consider these parts: 30 seconds before decision, two minutes describing the decision, and 30 seconds after the decision.

It helps to immediately follow-up to giving your testimony by asking questions. Ask them if they would like to make a similar decision to follow Christ! If your “during the decision” part was presented carefully, then the lost person will know exactly what they should do—and how they will share their own personal salvation story to others one day. When used by the Lord, it's more powerful!
 
--Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership, Cincinnati Area Baptist Association
Posted on May 1, 2018 9:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Evangelism
Maj. James Howard became a Flying Tiger ace in China. He went on to become a P-51B fighter pilot in World War II. During one mission, he was separated from his squadron, but found the lead B-17 Flying Fortress bomber group. Each bomber had 30 men on board and there were ten planes in the air when he joined up; 300 souls were at stake. Kenneth Martin led the bomber group that day. The Luftwaffe soon dove toward the bombers. Howard gunned his fighter’s engine and climbed straight toward them. He put his training and experience to use as he shot down three planes on several passes. After each engagement, he returned to escort the lead bomber. Howard did this several times officially downing six planes, damaging many others, and even chased off the enemy when he didn’t have any more bullets. He stayed with the lead bomber group until they were back safely where he could head to his own airbase. No bombers in that group were lost that day. (For more go to http://acepilots.com/eto/jim_howard.html)
 
When confronted with lostness in your community, what do you do? Are you ready to engage people with the gospel? Do you back away or do you pray a quick prayer, trust the Holy Spirit to empower you as an Acts 1:8 witness, and warmly meet a new opportunity to share your faith in Christ?
 
The best training I have come across is preparing saved people to give their own personal testimonies. When they tell HOW they got saved, people catch it.

It is important for you to tell your own personal testimony and how you have been used of the Lord to lead people to Jesus. Lead from the front! Take on lostness as a lifestyle and “kick up some dust.”
 
Get people in your church used to hearing and giving testimonies. Invite people with a variety of testimonies to stand up and speak up each Sunday. Coach them on how to give their testimony in three minutes or so, focusing on what Jesus did to save them. You want to help other church members hear examples of what they need to do. And make sure those who testify talk about repenting of their sins. Those who were recently baptized are great people to use, but don’t forget about the most influential people in your church. And don’t be shy about videotaping a shut-in’s testimony and playing it.
 
That said, my counsel to pastors is to lead from the front. What you do, your church members will see and copy. Invite a highly relational guy in your church to go with you as your wingman to follow-up on every visitor in the past year. After three months, switch and you be his wingman. After another three months, suggest to this guy that he needs to get his own wing man and you get someone new. You can tell your Sunday School teachers to follow your lead and get their own wingman! You can’t get this from any book other than the Bible – check out Matthew 10 and Luke 10. There’s great sermon fodder and discipleship lessons in those passages.
 
Major Howard left the airfield day after day with a mission. For his courage on January 11, 1944, Howard received the only Congressional Medal of Honor awarded to an airman in the European Theater. When you leave your own personal hanger, are you on the lookout for ways to meet those without Christ? Are you staying on mission day after day? A neighbor once complained to me that when he came to faith in Christ, he quickly learned that he was just another notch on some guy’s spiritual gun belt. We have a bigger purpose in mind. Are you leading people to Jesus with disciple-making in mind? It’s a target-rich environment when you’re “flying” for the Lord.
 
Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership (DOM) for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association.
Posted on April 23, 2018 9:28 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Evangelism
A young pastor once scheduled a meeting with me. He wanted to know how he could get his church to become active witnesses for Christ. He had a pen and paper and was ready to write down a training program or book he could use. However, my advice was to model the behavior he expected of them.

MAWL is an acronym for Model, Assist, Watch, and Leave that was developed by then-IMB missionary Curtis Sergeant. The idea is that the disciple-maker exhibits the kind of life they want others to follow. Curtis also said, “Am I a disciple that Jesus would want others to be like?”

And once started, disciple-making efforts must become something each disciple does that is self-feeding. If not, then the disciples will never do it for themselves. There’s an intentional progression to live it out, help others to get it, observe them doing it, and then get out of the way!

Most church leaders are trained to value a new believer’s decision to follow Jesus. That’s a huge step. I once led a high school student to faith in Jesus, but he flinched at the idea of being baptized. For him, the decision was enough. Yes, believer’s baptism by immersion is an active of obedience.

And Jesus wants all believers to make disciples that make disciples! Too many times we train believers to lead others to faith in Jesus without giving thought to how they can pass along what they have learned—and that’s the rub.

Making disciples like Jesus did means getting personally involved. Discipling is a means to build up individuals into maturity in Christ. Apply this progression to your own situation as you seek to make disciples:

1.    Establish formal and informal training times, using Bible stories if possible to let learners vicariously catch a biblical truth. (More is caught than taught.)
2.    Explain to them what they don’t understand, which involves listening. Choose Bible passages in advance that best address different scenarios they’ll encounter.
3.    Coach believers by either making corrections or reinforcing spiritual progress. Spiritual transformation takes on a biblical worldview that is more than just doing the right things, valuing the right things, and knowing the right facts.
4.    Support new disciples by making some tweaks as necessary. You’re not a friend at this point or a judge, just a recognized discipler of Jesus that can speak into their lives.
5.    Fully authenticate your disciples’ actions by empowering them to work unaided. In other words, turn ‘em loose!

Every believer with a teachable heart can be taught to make disciples like Jesus did, but it will require a major shift in all of our disciple-making efforts. We have to be there for them over time.

Disciple-making training that keeps students on the move like Jesus did will mean that one day there will be a branching, a leaving, as new people hear about Jesus, develop a relationship with Him, and join new groups as they form. This may mean that the church has a new mature disciple-maker, or it could mean that the church sends out missionaries and church planters. For more ideas, check out Truth That Sticks, 129-134.
 
--Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership (DOM) for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association.
Posted on March 23, 2018 9:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Evangelism
Evangelicals began using altar calls and invitations in the 1830s. From Charles Finney’s invitations to pulpits today, the same urgency drives a need for every person to respond in faith to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. Half-baked and incomplete invitations can inoculate the lost to thinking that they have heard all they ever need to hear.
What response does your sermon generate? When Peter preached, the Holy Spirit convicted people to action.

•    At Pentecost: “…they came under deep conviction and said… ‘Brothers, what must we do?” (Acts 2:37 HCSB) And 3,000 were baptized.
•    In the Temple: “But many who heard the message believed, and the number of the men came to 5,000” (Acts 4:4 HCSB).
•    In Caesarea: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came down on all who heard the message” (Acts 10:47 HCSB). And Cornelius’ entire household was saved and baptized.

Peter’s sermons were delivered with boldness attributed to being filled with the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised would come upon Peter and all the disciples (Acts 1:8). Peter fully believed that delivering a message was conveying truth and would save hearers from the imminent coming judgment of God through forgiveness of sins (Acts 10:42-43).

The late Roy Fish served for years as the distinguished professor of evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Tex. In the book, Preaching Evangelistically: Proclaiming the Saving Message of Jesus by Al Fasol and others, Dr. Fish wrote:
 
Real expectation and confidence in God will seldom be disappointed. Even the very words used in the invitation should express confidence and expectancy. For that reason, it is not honoring to the Lord to say Sunday after Sunday, “Isn’t there one person here today who will respond to the claims of Christ and come?” That question should be asked like this: Not “Isn’t there one?” but “How many of you here today will receive Christ as your Savior?” Rather than “Won’t you come?” make it, “As you come, I will be here to greet you.” … Words something like this should be expressed: “This morning, if you are willing to turn from your sins and trust Jesus Christ as your Savior, I invite you to slip out from where you’re standing and come forward. I will be here at the front of the auditorium to meet you as you come.”  Excerpted from: www.lifeway.com, cited 12/14/12.

When delivering a gospel invitation, it is important to deliver it clearly, expecting a response. In Romans 10:17, Paul said that faith comes by “hearing,” which meant receiving a report in order to take action. There is a need for hearers to encounter Jesus in such a way that it brings spiritual transformation. Hearing does not mean words just come flying by our ears, but communicating so that next steps are understood. And this often means allowing for the adequate time needed to invite them to salvation.

God used the messages of Peter to draw listeners to Himself. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, He can use your invitations, too.
 
Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership (DOM) for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association.
Posted on February 18, 2018 10:00 AM by Mark Snowden
Categories: Evangelism
Last week I met a neighbor across the street. I tried witnessing to him and he tried witnessing to me. It turned out that he was a retired Methodist pastor. And he was born-again. In our next encounter, I plan to discuss what he’s doing as a disciple-maker.
 
A believer’s life perspective changes when he prioritizes making disciples. He listens to know if the person he meets is lost or saved. If he’s lost, is he in transit or living nearby? If he’s saved, then is he making disciples?
Most person-to-person evangelism plans end with an invitation for the seeker to pray what has been called a “sinner’s prayer.” Share the good news about Jesus, but consider ending it a little differently.

This is a crossroads of sorts in your testimony. A new question to ask is:
 
Are there others that you would like to invite to know more about Jesus?
 
I’m asking you to think groups, not individuals.
 
If the answer is “no,” then continue with the gospel presentation and ask for a decision as the Holy Spirit prompts you to do so.

If the answer is “yes,” arrange a time when you and your witnessing partner can meet with both the seeker and those he invites. Missionary friends have told me that when a group of ten or so meet, then usually six or seven accept Christ. This can form a small group! This is particularly important among families from a religion to Christianity who might want to ostracize an individual. However, when groups make the decision simultaneously, they often avoid individualized persecution.
 
When Tom Wolf was teaching at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, he wrote a short paper called “Oikos Evangelism.” He wrote, “An oikos was the fundamental and natural unit of society, and consisted of one’s sphere of influence–his family, friends, and associates. And equally important, the early church spread through oikoses–circles of influence and association.” You can pick up additional insights by downloading Dr. Wolf’s paper here.
Meeting someone new may introduce you to the next Apostle Paul of our day. It can form groups like Cornelius’ entire household, too, that can start a new church, a new small group, or possibly disband to assimilate into other existing groups.
 
Go ahead! Add a new question to your encounter with a lost person. “Are there others that you would like to invite to know more about Jesus?” And see what God wants to do in their circle of influence.
 
Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership (DOM) for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association.
Posted on November 2, 2017 10:00 AM by Josh Carter
Categories: Evangelism
Many churches do outreach events each Fall. If your community is like mine, Trunk-or-Treats and Harvest Festivals seemed to abound this year. But if your church is like mine, two things are equally true: 1) You don’t do these type of community events just because you like to. You do them with the hopes of engaging people with the gospel and seeing people come be a part of your church family. 2) Following up with guests from these types of events can be difficult at best. That being said, here are five ways you can see better results from your Fall outreach and other community events.

1) Be Intentionally Evangelistic. A lot of times we think we need to go soft on the gospel to attract people to our church. We might not even say this out loud, but we let our fear of offending people sway what we do at these type of events. In truth, I’d say this actually has the opposite effect of what we might be hoping to accomplish. These people have come to your church property. In general, they are expecting people to talk to them about faith and church related things. What happens when we aren’t direct is that they are constantly on guard about who is going to “hit them over the head” with some Christian ninja sneak attack. Being forward helps them put people at ease and opens up conversations throughout the night. We did this by stopping all games and activities each hour and doing a short welcome and gospel presentation from a central location. This went incredibly smooth and most people seemed to really enjoy the friendly welcome.

2) Invite Them Immediately. During the event we had several trunks that promoted other upcoming events going on at the church. As we handed out candy at these trunks we also handed out invitations to the families. Doing this gave us opportunity to let them know we were serious about continuing to minister to their families. An event can come off as a gimmick if you don’t show the families that you have a plan to continue to care for them.
 
3) Follow-Up Makes A Big Difference. Here is where most of us fail. The community event is over and we are off to the next thing on our calendar. If you do this, you are missing one of the greatest opportunities your church has to personally connect to the community. Here is how we did it: First, we registered almost everyone who came. Registration was required in order to have tickets for the free food we were providing. Each ticket was for a different food item. Not everyone registered, but a majority did. Second, we scanned the registration forms and sent them to a trusted data-entry company. That sounds like big bucks, it’s not! In fact, it might have been the best $20 we spent all year! We used  Invensis Global Outsourcing Services.  They compiled all our scanned contact information into a simple excel document within 48 hours. I was easily able to then forward the document on to church members who called the families, thanked them for coming, invited them to church, and asked how we could be praying for them. Families were blown away that we were thanking them for coming.
 
4) Follow-Up Again. Can this one really be overstated? In addition to phone calls, we also send out a “thank you” email. In the email we included a link to a short survey that asked about what we could do better, if we could add them to our emailing list, and how likely their family was to come to our church in the next few months. We received great advice and a lot of really positive feedback. In every follow-up we have asked if the family already has a church home. If the family responds that they do we then remove them from the next layer of contact. For those that don’t have a church home, we plan to send postcards in several weeks to advertise our Christmas sermon series and Christmas events. None of these ideas cost a lot or take a lot of man-power, but they do take intentional planning.
 
5) Be ready for guests. Over the next few weeks you will likely notice an increased number of guest visit your church. If you are not ready for them, they will leave as quickly as they came. Here is an article by Lifeway on how you can be ready: 7 Do’s and Don’ts of Welcoming Guest to Your Congregation.
None of these things are rocket-science. If they were I wouldn’t be able to do them. They also don’t cost very much and they don’t take very much time. Any church of any size ought to be able to put some if not all of these ideas into practice. As you do, pray that God would use your efforts to draw people to your church, to reach people with His gospel, and to build up His body.
 
Josh Carter is CABA's Leadership Catalyst and pastors Clough Pike Baptist in Cincinnati.
Posted on August 3, 2017 10:00 AM by David Frasure
Categories: Evangelism
Have you heard the new lyrics to an old song?  It goes like this, “Old McBaptist had a farm; E-I-E-I-O.  And ‘round that farm he plants the Word; E-I-E-I-O.  With a plow, plow here and a plant, plant there…”  The tune is familiar and hopefully, the words do not seem so strange to us.  The Bible often uses the imagery of a farmer when speaking of the work of God.  Jesus spoke of the sower going out to sow the seed of God’s Word.  Paul encouraged Timothy to be like a hard-working farmer as he discipled people and looked for spiritual fruit in their lives. 
 
Every farmer knows that in order to receive a harvest in the fall, someone must plow the field, sow the seed, pray for rain and eventually, harvest the crop.  It would be foolish to expect a harvest when there has been no plowing, or planting, or praying.  A dormant field does not a harvest make!
 
A dormant church cannot expect a harvest either.  Members of God’s church must get themselves face-to-face with lost people and have a gospel conversation in order to reach them for Christ.  The Great Commission reminds us that we are witnesses wherever we go, but we can also be intentional about setting up gospel encounters.
 
Dave Frasure is CABA's Disciple-making Catalyst and pastors FBC So. Lebanon. 
 
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