The Missionary Church Era

AboutHistory › The Missionary Church Era


The C&MA in the United States and Canada became increasingly multicultural with the influx of refugees from Southeast Asia in the mid-1970s, and immigrants from many parts of the world, especially Latin America. Many ethnic churches were planted in the US during these years. About a third of the Alliance constituency in the United States worships in a language other than English.

In 1975, the Alliance World Fellowship (AWF) was formed by representatives from the national churches of the C&MA around the world. This is not a legislative or regulatory body, but simply a fellowship. The AWF meets every four years for fellowship and to talk strategy about how they can fulfill the Great Commission.

In 1981, The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada became autonomous from the U.S. C&MA but the two organizations maintain a close cooperative relationship today.

Since the mid-1960s, there has been a growing awareness among the C&MA national churches in Third World countries that they also have a responsibility to become missionary-sending churches. The national churches in Hong Kong, the Philippines, and India led the way. According to Dr. Ralph Winters, the C&MA is the only mission agency that has successfully planted missionary-sending churches overseas.

The face of missions has been changing in recent years. There are some countries where the C&MA feels that the national church is well established and is able to carry on the ministry by itself. As a result the C&MA no longer has a sizeable missionary staff in the Philippines, Peru, Guatemala or Côte d’Ivoire. In other countries the C&MA can no longer send traditional missionaries because of political reasons. The C&MA has redeployed some of its workers as “tentmakers” to reach out to parts of the world that are “closed” to traditional missionary methods but open to professionals who provide a service.

The passion of The Christian and Missionary Alliance is to take the gospel to people who have not yet heard that Jesus died and rose again for them. Fulfilling the Great Commission is our reason for existence. We desire to preach the “gospel of the kingdom in the whole world, as a testimony to all nations” so that the end will come and our King will return (Matthew 24:14).


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