Acts 1:8 in Africa
Here in the U.S. Alliance we hear much about Acts 1:8 - “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Have you ever thought about the fact that the greater Alliance family around the world also shares that vision?
“Dream bigger!” said the Native American Association when Pastor Joe Boeringa first considered updating Vineland Native American Chapel, in Onamia, Minnesota. The North Central District and other Alliance leadership agreed and suggested they bulldoze the whole structure and start fresh. Now their ministry to the Native American people of Central Minnesota has a bigger vision and new life.
Dare to Dream
An outward focus has long been emphasized at CrossPoint Alliance Church in Akron, Ohio, especially with Tim Feather at the helm, former Alliance missionary to Thailand. However, when the church’s Dream Incentive Grant proposal was accepted to boost outreach to local internationals, the harvest came right to their front door.
From Rainbows to Electric Avenue
At several key moments during their years of ministry, Mark and Lori Welch have seen a rainbow in the sky — almost like a confirmation of the direction they were heading. When they started The Pointe, an Alliance church in Antelope/West Roseville, California, there it was again.
How the Rich Discover They're Really Poor
Mendham Hills Community Church (MHCC) in Chester, New Jersey, has a unique approach to outreach: before inviting their neighbors to church, they first invite them to the dump.
They Heard The Gospel In Their Own Tongue
Imagine being a Chinese student just arriving in the United States to study in a small college town. Imagine stepping off a bus, overwhelmed with an entirely different culture, thousands of miles from home, where nothing is familiar. Imagine your astonishment when, suddenly, you hear someone speaking your own language!
A Matter Of Perspective
Sometimes God works outside the box — at least from our perspective. Sometimes He gifts people to join Him in work outside the box. Pastor Brian McMillan is one of those outside-the-box kind of guys, and the story of CenterPoint Church in Massapequa, New York, is an outside-the-box kind of story.
When Hope Was Born
As Dr. Gordon Meier finished his tenure as District Superintendent of the Central District, he felt burdened to plant a church. Unbeknownst to him, God had already put seed in the ground with Pastor Jonathan Schaeffer of Grace Church. God’s providence brought them together, and they, along with newly recruited Jim Garber, cast their vision. And they prayed. God heard their prayer, and in 2009, Hope Church was born in Brunswick, Ohio.
It’s More About Attitude Than Age
Some studies suggest a congregation’s average age will be the age of its pastor, plus or minus 10 years. “Guess I blew that theory,” chuckles Pastor Bill Vaughn (age 78). In the past five years, Oasis Community Church in Fallon, Nevada, has grown more than ten-fold under his shepherding. From a dying 20-person Bible study to a thriving congregation of more than 200, Pastor Bill is proof that God still uses His people during the golden years.
Opportunities From Ashes
During the summer of 2012, the Waldo Canyon Fire swept through the city of Colorado Springs, devouring real estate and devastating the lives of thousands. For days, members of Front Range Alliance Church (FRAC) watched news coverage showing the flames approaching their building and wondered if it would still be standing when the fire died down. But God spared their building and left a visual mark of His hand of protection. The burn line showed that the fire had crept right up to the parking lot — and stopped. He had work for them to do.
They Knew They Would Be Welcome Here
We’ve all seen bikers—black leather, tattoos, Harleys— but have you ever seen 9,000 of them in a church parking lot on Sunday morning? It happens every year at the Blessing of the Bikes at Murrysville Alliance Church (MAC) in Pennsylvania. Pastor Dan Lawrence prays for a safe riding season and then invites them to return any Sunday. They always feel welcomed and loved. Over the years, many have joined MAC’s Biker Ministry before hitting the road on a mission to share the love of Jesus.
When The Nations Come To Us (Ethiopia in the Alliance – Part 2)
Endalkachew Tefera was raised in a morally conservative home in southern Ethiopia. Christ became the center of his life in high school, and in between semesters at Bible college, he served as a full-time evangelist. One summer at home, he was asked to preach to a church of thousands.
A Place To Belong (Ethiopia in the Alliance – Part 1)
The C&MA excels at taking the gospel to the nations, but what about when the nations come to us? Do we welcome them as brothers and sisters? What if their worship style and culture are distinctly different? Do we simply assume that ethnic churches prefer to “stay among their own”?
Not Your Ordinary Coffeehouse
Before he was President John Stumbo, leader of the C&MA, he was Pastor John Stumbo, at one time a leader of Salem Alliance Church in Salem, Oregon. And before he sought God’s vision for the national church, he sought it for the local one.
Reaching the Nations Right Next Door
One Halloween night a few years ago, a small inner-city church intended to kick off a Bible study on the Holy Spirit. The building was decorated. Activities were planned. You could bob for apples while learning about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, or eat pie while considering the fruit of the Spirit. It was designed to be a fun “in-reach,” a fellowship event for the congregation. But the turnout was far less than they had hoped. Were the young men teaching the class discouraged? Perhaps, but not for long.
Growing Disciples in the Valley
Snoqualmie Valley Alliance Church (SVA) in Fall City, Washington, is making a difference for the sake of Jesus Christ. Although not the largest church in the valley, it may just be the most impacting. As a means to completing its evangelistic and disciplemaking mission, the church has become a valuable resource to the city. SVA supplies sleeping bags to the homeless living under nearby bridges. It operates a clothing bank in the city administration building. It partners with the Red Cross to be a flood relief center. And with CarePoint Clinic staffed by 20 medical volunteers, SVA cares for those without insurance. Senior Associate Pastor Marty Benedict serves as chaplain for the fire and police departments and the public high school. When there’s a need, the Snoqualmie Valley calls Snoqualmie Valley Alliance Church.
Whirlwind of Opportunities
“Life is not an endless number of experiences to get it right; life is a limited amount of opportunities to glorify God.” When Mike Dryburgh became senior pastor in 2009, he wanted to make the most of the opportunities given to King of Kings Community Church in Manahawkin, New Jersey. He would tell you the church’s focus is missional, and to him that means getting your hands dirty. He believes there are serious implications if a church claims to be missional, and he has experienced first-hand how God just may give you big opportunities to prove it.
Crossroads Bible Church
LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico is notable for the presence of our nation’s atomic research operations. A high concentration of scientists has resulted in significant atheism in this area, making evangelism a long and difficult process, but Crossroads Bible Church is up to the challenge.