In a casual conversation with a missionary friend of mine, I learned that some 2,000 largely Muslim West Africans have moved into the Lockland community in the past six months. That is a huge group of immigrants and refugees that have recently come to our city.
There are about 200,000 immigrants in the Cincinnati Area, but these are part of larger people groups around the world that total some 5.5 billion people! When you touch an immigrant, we like to say that what happens here happens there! I believe that God’s plan is to use CABA churches to evangelize, disciple, raise up leaders and send out new brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.
It is recorded in Acts 1:8 that Jesus to His disciples they would be given the Holy Spirit so that they could be His witnesses here, there, and everywhere—even in a place like Cincinnati.
Since 2015, different volunteer groups have surveyed our most ethnically-diverse communities. We’ve had World Changers, P2 Missions, and waves of volunteers go out and try to locate people to know their ethnicity, languages, and religions. We want to understand these people so that we can know their bridges and barriers to the Gospel. For instance, a bridge is something that they believe and we believe such as fidelity in marriage or being against abortion. However, a barrier to the Gospel may be an understanding of the Trinity or a concept like forgiveness. We want them to begin to have a biblical worldview.
Missionaries typically have seven jobs. Let me run through these. Could God use you to be sent among one of CABA’s 61 peoples?
1. Form a team. Don’t think you have to do it on your own.
2. Address lostness: Use surveys to understand a people group’s worldview.
3. Make a plan: A strategy gets everyone on the team pulling together.
4. Evangelize: Spend time each week among a people, introducing Jesus to them and God’s plan for reconciliation.
5. Disciple: Jesus told us to make disciples of all peoples everywhere. These disciples should be able to share their faith and make other disciples. Part of disciple-making is also gathering together for Bible study and worship. Intentional church planting can happen.
6. Train Leaders: Raising up leaders is a powerful way to put workers into the harvest. New pastors need help that can be provided by those who serve as missionaries.
7. Mobilize others: Casting vision from church to church helps not just recruit others, but also send out new workers into the harvest.
So here’s my question for you. If you don’t, who will?
And if you will, there’s a 7-lesson course I have developed. Write me for the free Leader Guide or check out my YouTube page for lessons called People Teams.
--Mark Snowden is the director for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association