Missional Discipleship in the Local Church

Abstract: Church engagement in America is in decline as traditional churches close at alarming rates for lack of participation. This is not a church growth issue, but a discipleship issue. Discipleship is not done in the classroom because human beings are not “thinking” creatures but “loving” creatures. Therefore, the task of discipleship is not to fill the minds of believers with doctrine, but to aim their loves and affections toward the Kingdom of God, embodied most clearly in the life-giving community of the Church.

Missional discipleship, therefore, is built around this vision: followers of Jesus experience life-giving community with God…


(This is longer than I normally write…much longer. However, I’ve recently been exploring Black theology through James H. Cone. This is a paper I submitted for a class that puts into perspective some of the differences between the Black and white church. I highly recommend Cone’s The Cross and the Lynching Tree as an accessible text for exploring Black theology.)

In 1619 the first African slaves arrived on the shores of the “New World” marking the origin of America’s participation in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, an institution of systematic oppression with an enduring influence on the nation that continues today…


An Inadequete Reflection on the White Church and Race Relations in America

I was there, but I was late. If you know me, that doesn’t surprise you as punctuality is not my spiritual gift.

However, I was there as a diverse crowd gathered on the Bentonville town square to stand in solidarity with others from across the country who mourn the systemic mistreatment of African-Americans and desire for a more just and equitable nation to emerge in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder.

June 1, 2020: Hundreds gathered on the downtown square in Bentonville, AR to protest racial injustice in America.

Not surprisingly, Lieutenant Berry’s perpetual stone-cold, westward gaze was unfazed by the proceedings, and yet, there was a tragic irony to the moment as hundreds gathered in his shadow…


My heart was “strangely warmed” this week.

This was John Wesley’s description of a spiritual experience he had in which he famously testified, “I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation.

If I’m being totally honest, “strangely warmed” doesn’t even begin to cover it. It felt more like an ambush than anything else. That’s right…I was ambushed by the Holy Spirit, and I needed it. If you’ve never been ambushed like this, I feel like it’s my responsibility to share my experience, as you can never be too careful these days.

I’m beginning the D.Min. program at…


An evangelical preacher, a human resources manager, and a community organizer walk into a…

It’s sounds like the beginning of a joke, most likely a groan-worthy anecdote as bad as the dad-jokes I’m becoming known for. This motley trio really did walk into a room, but their reason for walking together was no joke.

I was asked to be part of a delegation from Northwest Arkansas to attend a conference in D.C. hosted by Welcoming America, an organization dedicated to empowering communities to be more prosperous by making everyone feel like they belong. Municipalities can be certified “welcoming” through simple and intentional steps to reduce the barriers immigrants face and to build bridges between…


As the story of our lives unfolds, it’s sometimes difficult to know when one chapter ends and another begins. Too often we transition from one phase to another without realizing a new reality has commenced. Suddenly, we’re jolted into the recognition of a new arrangement: we lose someone we love, our child announces an unexpected pregnancy, or our job has been eliminated.

Ever feel like you’re shifting from one chapter to another without a clutch?

As I think about how difficult and sudden these transitions can be, I’m extremely thankful for the weekend I was able to experience with my…


Many people were looking for hope last night. It happens every year about this time.

There was a lot of talk about #immigration. I’ve read proposals from lawmakers on both sides, and I honestly don’t think Red/Blue centrists are that far apart, as both want reform, #DACA updates, and border security. Unfortunately, the debate is dominated by extreme voices, some comparing undocumented immigrants to members of a deadly gang.

My immigrant friends are alarmed by such rhetoric, but it doesn’t worry me. I’ve assured them that we Americans are far too smart to be manipulated by fear. We see through…


I am a preacher. It’s a responsibility that I do not take lightly. Every time I stand to preach I breathe a little prayer that is actually a smash-up of a few Psalms, “Search me, O God…may the words of my mouth be pleasing to you.”

Giving God a search warrant is a dangerous prayer, but one that God is faithful to answer every time. It’s not like he needs a warrant…he knows what’s there. It’s more for us than for Him.

As I come to James 3, here’s what God’s search warrant has uncovered: words have power to heal…


“Christmas time is here.” How many times will we hear that melancholy refrain playing on our car radios and think of Charlie Brown and his friends? News that was first announced by an angelic choir of the heavenly hosts is softly sung with blue jazz tones in an airy falsetto.

This underwhelming announcement of Christ’s birth is not the only thing that doesn’t “fit” this Christmas. Recently, President Trump announced to the Values Voters Summit that he was bringing back Christmas: “We’re saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.” Declaring an all-out assault on godless pagans who say “Happy Holidays” was an irresistable…


Reflecting Upon the 29th General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene

The Church of the Nazarene just concluded its General Assembly, a gathering of Nazarenes from around the world that happens every 4 years. I was honored to be there as a representative to the Discipleship Convention from the North Arkansas District.

Some have called this the world’s largest family reunion, but this gathering of 40,000+ people from around the world is more than that. …

Mark Snodgrass

Son, Husband, Father, Friend, Lead Follower @BvilleComChurch. Strangely, I still believe God is using the Church to save the world.

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