From the desk of Andrew Burchett…
It occurred to me again today, as I sat in the National Office for the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Colorado Springs, that this is our tribe. In so many ways our church reflects the values, culture and life of this 127-year-old movement.
There have been some times that our “denomination” seemed like it was coming to a screeching halt, in danger of becoming a monolithic statue of what was – a monument of sorts. In those days, many of us feared that this family of churches had lost its influence, passion and relevance in our culture.
There are 6 million people in Alliance churches outside the United States and only about 500,000 of us who call themselves “Alliance” within our country. No one ever questioned whether our movement was vibrant and growing overseas. We needed a reformation of sorts in the national church here, and from what I can see; the positive changes continue to push us forward toward healthy momentum.
A new president, Dr. John Stumbo, was elected two years ago. He has brought back a fire, a purpose and a heart to the movement. Under his leadership he has reorganized the national office, brought different departments together that weren’t communicating and has inspired churches and leaders through his monthly video blogs. Click here to see his video blogs.
Today I had the privilege of joining a handful of leaders from around the United States to plan, dream, pray, plan and give feedback on a process of helping people know who we are as a tribe… as “the Alliance.” It was an honor to help shape and dream about what that might look like. Although this was only one step to a much longer journey, it was a very productive and fruitful time of serving the vision of our president and helping his team.
A few things that I resonated with today follow:
1) We are a multi-ethnic family in the U.S. with worship in 37 different languages. I continue to pray that our church will be more and more ethnically diverse – a reflection of heaven.
2) As the Alliance, we have 700 international workers in 70 of the darkest, least reached countries in the world. I am proud that we support Alliance missions financially every month as a church.
3) The work that our people are doing with Syrian refugees (especially in Jordan) is unmatched. We were on the ground two years ago in Jordan and saw this incredible ministry with our own eyes. It is an awesome effort of love we, as the Alliance are living out there.
4) Six alliance people died helping to fight against Ebola in Africa when that outbreak occurred. I was grieved to hear this today, but proud that our people are willing to risk their lives to share the life to the fullest that Jesus came to give those in Africa.
5) Authenticity is a value that was shared by each genuine person who sat around the table today. There was a humility and grace about this tribe that I love.
There are many other reasons that it makes so much sense that we are a part of this movement – but the most powerful is relationship. The key leaders of our church have genuine relationship with the people who are leading this movement. I am known, loved, and valued by those who lead here in Colorado. They see our church as a picture of love, prayer and passion.
I can’t wait to continue to introduce you to our tribe. Because it is clear that we belong.