Encouraged Leaders – John Stumbo Video Blog No. 104
Members of the C&MA Board of Directors describe what excites them most about being a part of the Alliance family and where we’re heading together.View Transcript
– [President] Alliance family, you elected them; today, I’d like you to get to hear from them. Three announcements to start: Life Conference- registration is coming in well. The price increases at the end of March, so if you’ve been delaying, now is your time to get on it. We would benefit from some prayer support and from some volunteers to make this a strong event. This teenager, in 1976, was powerfully impacted by Life. Tens of thousands of youth have been impacted since. Let’s make this one of our best events ever. Second, we believe it’s time to be bold in church planting. Church planting materials are available to you as you investigate how you might engage. Lastly, we’re asking every Alliance church to engage in Great Commission Day sometime this spring. Our theme this year is “Be Present.” As we generously contribute to the Great Commission Fund, it allows us to continue to send and sustain the workers who are bringing gospel presence to the peoples and places of the world that need it most. Let’s continue to be generous, Alliance family. It’s in our DNA. I have been so blessed by the board of directors that you elected to serve the Christian and Missionary Alliance Family at this moment in time. At our recent board meeting in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, we sent them off to a Sunday school classroom in the church that we were meeting at, and asked the simple question, “What encourages you about the C&MA?” We don’t have time to share all of their wonderful responses, but today, I believe you’ll be encouraged as you see this.
– [Man] Well, there are so many things that excite me about the Alliance family, but I am most excited about Project Reimagine, and I really believe that God is expanding our ability to imagine and even to dream. We talk a lot about what we have been as a family and where we are today, but I feel like in this season, the Lord is just really challenging us to imagine what we could be if we really trust and put our faith in Him. So, when I first heard about this project when John presented it to the board, I thought it was probably one of the craziest things because we were just entering this worldwide pandemic, and I thought this was probably the worst time to relocate our National Office. And then I got invited to go and see the site for the first time, and probably we saw over 30, 40 locations, and none of them, I would say, really sparked any imagination. And then we came to this Kmart site, and all of us who were there on that day, we felt that God’s hand was upon that place. So, I really believe that God is going to provide for us, and this is really His dream for the Alliance family, and I am so excited.
– [Man] I’m excited that the Christian and Missionary Alliance keeps on pressing back the darkness in least-reached places all around the world. One of the things that gives me the most hope is when, as a board, we’re able to commission a new set of missionaries every four months that are going to head off to new places where people have never heard the gospel of Jesus. I love the national conversations that we’re having around doctrine, not just for what we are talking about, but for what we’re not talking about as well. I love that while we have spirited debate on secondary issues, we’re not even asking questions about the Resurrection of Jesus or pushing the envelope on sexual ethics or the authority of the Bible. We are deeply committed to the most important things. I’m thrilled that in the past year, we’ve launched 52 brand new churches, brand new expressions of the gospel, all of around the country, and that the last two years, our denomination has been growing in an era where most denominations are shrinking.
– [Man] So, what I’m excited about during this season is that we have been going through a difficult moment in COVID-19 here in Brooklyn, but we are looking and expecting God to do some amazing things. We are stepping out to plant new churches. We’ve already launched one with plans in the pipeline for two additional. It’s a big risk. It’s a time where we’re saying, “Are people going to show up?” But we’re stepping out, believing this is the mission God’s called us to.
– [Man] I’m deeply encouraged with the C&MA, in that there’s been a thrust of dreaming big. There’s been a thrust of being able to make pivots and being able to be in step with our culture but also impacting it with Kingdom value. And so, it’s good to be inspired, and there are plenty of inspirational leaders, but our current leadership, I have to commend in terms of taking action steps towards these pieces. And some of those would be the relocation to Ohio; some of those would be task forces that have been put together, statements of faith. I’ve just really seen momentum and movement, which is inspiring.
– [Man] I am excited about the faith-filled risk that I see in The Alliance, not just in local churches where I’m hearing stories about how ministry has shifted, you know, because of the pandemic, and the way that the gospel is being lived out. I’m also excited about the way I see the Kingdom advancing since we’ve moved as a denomination, and since we moved our National Office to Columbus- the connections that we’re making with community, the way that the vision of this diverse community is being seen and lived out, in the way that the national office is shaping up, the ways that we are advancing the gospel, through the multiple ways in which people can give to The Alliance now. Those things excite me, and I’m just glad to see that the gospel footprint is expanding because of the ministry of The Alliance
– [Woman] I am excited to see multiple ways in which The Alliance is expressing itself in neighborhoods and in communities. We just got an opportunity to look at a preliminary master plan for Project Reimagine, all about where and how we office, and just excited about, “What does it mean to help a neighborhood and a community flourish? What does it mean to both preach and demonstrate the gospel? And to see that on a national level, but also to see that in multiple churches, in multiple parts of the country, in all different kinds of contexts, including my own- that’s what gets my blood pumping.
– [Man] To me, what excites me about what’s going on in The Alliance is perhaps antithetical to what I am like, ’cause I don’t like change, but The Alliance is going through what seem to be lots of great changes, and they’re very exciting. And I’m here for a board meeting, and I went to our new facility, and it was raining really hard, and I just, I had some time, and I just sat outside this place, and I asked myself, “Can we dream about what this place would be?” And then today, I saw some of the things that we’re thinking about, and it’s wow, we are dreaming. And I enjoy being part of The Alliance right now in the places that we’re going.
– [Man] I am most excited about The Alliance, of our missions. I don’t think The Alliance will exist without missions- doing what God called us to do, accomplishing the completion of the Kingdom. We’ve got a lot of work left to do, the incomplete work of God, which was left to us. I think The Alliance is faithfully doing the job, so, that makes me very excited about the C&MA.
– [Man] I love the diversity of the Alliance family. In our own church facility, we have services in six different languages in Cleveland, Ohio, and that’s just indicative of who The Alliance is as a whole, that we have 37, I think, languages right now, people worshiping, and what a foretaste of heaven. And in a season of our nation where there’s been such polarization, to have that kind of representation, that when you have allegiance to Jesus, there can be a unity among differing peoples. I love that about The Christian and Missionary Alliance. So, at the early start of the pandemic, I began asking the Lord, “What are you saying to us as a Church? What are you saying to us as a movement?” And the word that started coming to me was the word that, “I’m taking people’s attention off of their idols and their focus, and I want it back upon me.” And so, in looking at where we are as an Alliance, I was just so thrilled to think that we’re already a step ahead on that one, in that our focus is Jesus Christ and that we focus on the centrality of Christ. And so, I see that as we’re placed in this position now, we can encourage others, “Keep your eyes upon the Lord Jesus.” A lot of the externals that are happening around us are simply that, externals, and we’re ready to take all of Jesus to all of the world. And we need to be doing that in our own communities as well, that we need to take the whole gospel to the whole world.
– [Woman] So, what really encourages me about The Christian and Missionary Alliance- our family, at this time- is the way churches come together to minister the love of Jesus Christ, particularly in the area of refugees and immigrants who are coming to our land and who need to know the love of Jesus Christ. And so, we get to show the love of Christ in practical ways, and we get to do it together. So, what a legacy we have in The Alliance in working together to show the love of Christ to the stranger.
– [Man] What I really love about The Alliance more and more is the idea of modeling what we say and modeling it by what we do. And I say that right from the very top. This Project Reimagine, this moving of the National Office, to me, has not just been a move, but it’s been a a strategic plan that says, “We can model what it is that we claim. We can model what it is, what we say we should be doing, and we can model it from the top.” And so, that really does excite me, and I think it’s beyond the National Office move. There really is a movement that I think, I feel more and more in churches, to say, “If we’re gonna be in a community, that community ought to be a better place because we’re there.”
– [Woman] I have been very excited to see the diversity of the Alliance family come front and center. I have loved watching my brothers and sisters of color stand in the front and step forward and take their place in The Alliance.
– [Man] What is exciting me about The Alliance right now is multiple generations coming around one common vision of All of Jesus for All of the World. We must realize that this is unique, and going on in the United States, that those who are more mature in age and those who are just starting off in their ministry journey and their life with Jesus Christ, are fully grasping that the world needs Jesus more than ever. And with wisdom and energy, we are getting things done in new, fresh, and creative ways that is rooted in our rich heritage. So, jump in, be excited, and let’s expect God to do great things.
– [President] Again, we didn’t get to hear from all of our board members, but this sampling, I believe, gives you a sense of the richness of this team and the encouragement that we have that God is at work within this Alliance family. Let’s continue in well-doing.