The national gathering for the US Christian and Missionary Alliance, called Council, took place May 26-31. This is a bi-annual gathering for all the US churches. Council 2015 was inspiring. If you didn’t attend, you don’t have to feel left out. Tons of videos, the Twitter stream, pictures, slide shows, and document downloads are available on the Council page. I wanted to offer my impressions.
It was one of the all the more profoundly challenging and impactful gatherings I have attended. We are living in extraordinary times for the church.
- A pentecost is happening every hour! More than 3,000 people are coming to Christ around the world each hour of every day.
- The movement of people is opening access like never before. This is exactly what Scripture says God does (Acts 17:27).
I think everyone left with a feeling that there are remarkable days ahead for the Alliance.
- We are reaching 70 of the more than 4,000 people groups who have yet to be reached with the gospel.
- More than 80% of our international work is to unreached and under-reached people groups.
Our President, John Stumbo, hit a home run in my estimation. His own particular heart for Jesus, his sensitivity to the Spirit, and his passion for the future of the C&MA are infectious. He shared a dream of a Christ-focused, Acts 1:8 family that was embodied in the words: Love, Proclaim, Reach and Launch. More than 25 segments are available to listen or watch here.
I thought he skillfully offered a compelling picture of what God could do, while at the same time clearly defining reality. He said, “I don’t care about casting blame. I just want to do better.” Casting blame for who or what led us into the challenges we face is a waste of time and energy. The fact is, we can do better. Believing that and resolving to do better, should be our focus.
- We can do better raising up international workers within our churches. Today we have more churches in The Alliance, but are sending fewer missionaries overseas.
- We can do better allocating resources beyond ourselves. Today a greater percentage of local church income stays within the four walls of the church.
The Midwest District was represented well. We were honored to have one of our district pastors, Eric Simpson, share in one plenary session the great things God is doing as Christ is proclaimed through Eagle Church. During the closing ceremony, six of the thirty-three International Workers commissioned were from the Midwest District.
In two years, our next General Council of the C&MA will be held in Columbus, OH. That is within striking distance for most of us. Decide now that you’ll be there. You will walk away loving Jesus more and appreciating the church family you are part of in a deeper way.