Tom, Amy & I (Andrew) have been in Colorado Springs this week for the Resonate conference at the National offices of our denomination, the Christian and Missionary Alliance. As a tribe, our vision is to be a “Christ centered, Acts 1:8, family.” The Springs is a place of incredible beauty, nestled among the Rocky mountains with red rocks and bluffs that emerge from evergreen hillsides. It has rained fiercely intermittently since we arrived, punctuated by thunder and lightning. Creation has refreshed us. It has also been a time that has been filled with inspiring messages and helpful information about how we can be more a part of this family.
We spent a little time with the President and his wife, Dr. John & Joanna Stumbo this evening. It was such a sweet time of genuine relationship and connection. I felt like a college student who had been away at college and was visiting with mom and dad at home. Conversation was free and easy, sprinkled with laughter and some tears as we shared stories about our lives and reflected on God’s goodness. The testimonies that were being shared brought such honor and glory to God, and they just flowed naturally, story after story, as we shared our hearts and lives.
It occurred to me on this trip that we are home. This family is deep, diverse, genuine and led by the Spirit of God. The movement of the Alliance has a rich texture that boasts 37 different languages spoken in churches in the United States alone. Diversity is refreshing. When I look at the nearly 200 people from all over our country, it looks a little bit like I can imagine heaven. People with all shades of skin, speaking different languages, surround us in the worship times. This family is making an impact on 70 of the least reached people groups in the world. Twenty two of the fields overseas are now sending their own missionaries to other nations and tribes.
It is a powerful thing to be known. When I walked into the national office, and I was recognized and embraced by the people who are there, I was humbled. As a son of this movement who once was far off, unconnected from the family, I finally realize that I have been blessed and accepted not only by the father of our movement (President Stumbo), but embraced by the rest of the family. I have a place at the table here to help speak into our movement, and as a church, Neighborhood Church has a part to play in helping to blaze new trails and inspire the leaders here too.
God is on the move here. There were many stories of miracles we have heard. We have watched the leaders here set aside time for counseling and healing prayer for people attending the conference, and we have watched as the Lord has spoken through prophetic words. The emphasis on being committed to the Word of God and following the voice of the Holy Spirit that we have witnessed has been nothing less than awesome. As a church, our DNA fits perfectly with what we have witnessed here. I am so proud to be a part of one of the few denominations in the U.S. that is growing.
We belong. We are a movement. We are the Alliance.