The Alliance Offers Financial Health Training to Pastors

The Alliance has been chosen to receive grant-funded Financial Health online courses to better serve our pastors, leaders and congregations in the area of personal finances and church generosity. We have also been given grant funds to provide a limited number of honorarium eGift cards to pastors who complete these courses and financial assistance grants to a number of pastors in need.

Visit https://naefinancialhealth.org/cma/ for more information on how to participate.

Download Your Dream Incentive Grant Application for 2018

Church Ministries is delighted to have received funds for another year of Dream Incentive Grants designated for small to mid-size churches. Please see the attached informational pages and application for the 2018 grant. All applications must be submitted by September 15 to vincentk@cmalliance.org or to the following address: the C&MA, Attn: Kim Vincent, 8595 Explorer Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80920. 

Remember, 4 Alliance Northwest churches received grants last year, and this year may be your year!

Good News from the Field - June 2018

North Puget Network Takes Church Planting Vision Trip

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North Puget Network took a vision trip to the church plant they partner with, Hope Church in Oak Harbor (Lead Planter Matthew Erikson). The Network pastors had their vision expanded and paradigm challenged; they also toured the Naval Air Station in Oak Harbor.

As one pastor remarked: "[It was] the most memorable time we've ever had as a group."

Restore Church Begins Restoring New Facility

Restore Church (formerly known as Cornerstone) in Poulsbo, Washington, courageously led by Jim Walter, finally has a facility that they are renovating to begin holding weekly Sunday services. This is a big answer to prayer, as it comes almost a year after their search for a facility began.

23 Attend Alliance Northwest Foundations

23 Alliance Northwest church workers and pastors came to Canby, Oregon in May to learn more about Alliance mission, history, and polity. Good conversations and connections were had.

Thanks to all of the speakers and LOC team, and a big thanks to Canby Alliance for the use of their space for Foundations.

Ten types of churches that need revitalization

Originally published in Christianity Today, March 2018

I care about church revitalization. I have led churches that were successfully revitalized, and I have led churches that ultimately closed. I have researched the process with hundreds of churches, and written books and articles about it. I’m a big church planter guy as well, but most churches are plateaued or in decline, and need to experience revitalization.

There are a number of reasons churches get into a situation where they need a turnaround. Part of leading a successful turnaround is knowing how a church ended up so close to death. Most churches start out with life because there was either a person or a team that had a vision of growing the kingdom of God. They don’t start out with the idea that they will be an insignificant part of their community.

But something happens along the way. I have come up with a short list of the main reasons churches decline to a place where they need revitalization.

“Institutionalized Church” - This church continues only because people keep showing up. They keep showing up only because it is an institution in the community. Families have been handing the church-going down as a tradition for several generations. How many times can you hand a coat down to the next generation before it falls apart?

“Volunteer Association Church” – This church is more of a connection point for people to say they belong. Think of it as another form of the Elks Club or the Lion’s Club. The people who gather at this church find value in being part of a group that does good things. But the Church doesn’t exist as a social club.

“Unintentional Church” – This church exists, but it isn’t even sure why. There is no missional motivation. They just basically go through the motions year after year. It is sort of like a zombie church. No life. No intent. No plan. Barely moving. Not producing.

“Us Four And No More Church” – This church is satisfied with the people who have been members for a while and is not interested in bringing outsiders into the ‘family’. This church thinks it has found what works for the ones who are in, but ironically, they have found what doesn’t work.

“We Can’t Compete Church” – This church looks at churches that are growing and impacting their communities, and feels like they don’t have what it takes to accomplish such things. Since they don’t have the resources to measure up to the successes of others, they stop pursuing the mission to which God has assigned them. It isn’t a satisfaction with who they are that leads them toward death, but a discontent that they aren’t the same as others.

“We Can’t Have Disorder Church” – This church fears change that isn’t manageable. They need change, but they hide behind biblical principles that stress order in the church. While there is certainly order in a successful church revitalization, it is also true that God can do whatever he wants in revival. And that scares people. Change always makes people uncomfortable, and some people have found a way to use the Bible to avoid change.

“Square Peg In A Round Hole Church” – This church has the mindset that they don’t actually fit in their community anymore. When you feel like culture has passed you by, it becomes difficult to continue, much less grow. This is often a sort of time warp where the community has changed in many ways, but the church is still acting like it is the 1950s.

“Chaplaincy Church” – This church sees itself as a group to be cared for by a pastor who acts primarily as their chaplain. Any effort by the pastor to reach out to the hurting is seen as disloyal or a misuse of resources. The well-being of church members is important, but it is not the primary mission of the Church.

“Company Church” – This church sees itself more as a representative of their denomination. It is holding a place. If someone from the same denomination moves into the community from another part of the country, that is celebrated as ‘church growth’.

“Play It Safe Church” – This church avoids anything that isn’t safe. The people fear failure, so they take no risks. The problem is, there is nothing safe about withstanding or charging the gates of Hell. God promises his work is unsafe, but he also promises his presence and power. He doesn’t promise that if we shrink back from the mission.

I’m sure there are other types of churches out there, but most people who have been in church leadership for a while will recognize several of these. Many of these churches will close. I don’t like that fact, but it is true. However, some will recognize themselves in these descriptions and will not be satisfied with what they have become. They will do what it takes to change their future.

God wants the church to grow and thrive, so Lord willing, more and more churches that are not on mission for God will be renewed and restored so we can change the world for Jesus.

 

Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College, is executive director of the Billy Graham Center, and publishes church leadership resources through Mission Group.

Social Media and the Short-term Missionary

Originally published on the Envision blog, April 2018

We’ve all seen it, and some of us might not want to admit it, but we’ve been there. The perfect Instagram shot of a mission trip. It’s hard to distinguish between the purpose of the trip and the purpose of the post. Is this about “likes” or the Kingdom? There’s nothing inherently wrong with social media, but let’s dialogue a bit about the collision of social media and short-term missions.

One of the dangers of social media is creating a virtual life, separate from reality. We don’t often realize it, but we may use social media to numb or escape our boring or painful existence. The problem is, when we go on a mission trip, everything we feel in our culture (and everything we escape from) will be exaggerated because of the atmospheric change of the new culture. Social media can especially help us escape one of the scariest things in our society - silence. It’s hard to wait in general, but when we’re always connected, always hurried in the deepest parts of us, it’s really hard to stop, rest and be quiet. It’s hard to let our minds wander and be patient, but much of serving God, and much of other cultures are filled with natural places of pause. Wanting to escape will especially happen when we’re in a new place with new people, and missing faces or activities from home. Instead of the weight of figuring out what to do, it’s easier to pull out our phones. We might also be tempted because we don’t want to “miss out” on things happening while we’re away.

Social media is especially addictive because it lacks the “stop” triggers normally present at the end of a newspaper or an article. We can end up scrolling and scrolling… and spending way more time on things we actually value less. If we value being present and engaged, and if we know this is healthy, how can we set good boundaries on our screen time / social media use while on the field?

These are personal convictions, not mandates. We encourage prayerfully considering this, inviting accountability, and creating a new rhythm for your time on the field. The biggest argument against posting a bunch is not saying “no” to the “evils” of social media but a better “yes” to being aware and present. When we do this, we choose deep conversations, richer relationships, more intimacy with our team(s), and better personal tools as we learn to engage in awkward, difficult or new situations. We’ll develop longer attention spans, allowing space for creativity.  We desire most of all for you to be healthy, to use social media as a tool, but know how to connect and be present. Here are some rules as you think about using this tool to share and connect with others.

Examining motivation. 

Ask questions. “Why am I posting this?” “How does this make me look?” “Is this an accurate portrayal of the local culture or church?” “What story does this communicate about the local culture or church?” “Who does this honor?” This helps us identify unhealthy motivations for posting. If you’re still unsure, try sleeping on it or taking a few hours to consider if you really want to post.

Picking the hero. 

The more we can highlight local ministries and heroes, the better. Those are the real stories to tell. Your photos can tell stories about local church members or missionaries, who are doing long, faithful, sometimes mundane work, or who are stepping out boldly in faith in their community. This is an opportunity to not use social media as it’s often used - a platform to make much of ourselves - and instead, honor others serving the Lord, or even call for prayer for those we go to partner with. 

Use a post to teach or break stereotypes. 

Use a post as a teaching tool about missions or culture, especially when it broadens perspecive. In the DR, a post sharing about the local church leading in zeal and listening to the Holy Spirit could give better perspective of the Majority World Church. A photo of a typical after-church meal may reveal the beauty of collectivist culture blended with the church. Glimpses of “real” ministry are helpful for people – especially elevating relational ministry and listening over projects and tasks.

Call for prayer.

Social media can be a tool to unite, if we choose to use it that way! Prayer is a great uniter. We may get to see immediate impact because of prayer, or it could be an ongoing situation that we choose to stand in faith with those in the midst of it - regardless of whether we stick around to see results. Sharing a need, whether on your team or from the local church, can unite brothers and sisters around the world in prayer for God to move. Faith can be multiplied as we join together to pray. 

Don’t shame or pick a fight. 

Never use social media to shame or call out. Online conversation can easily dissolve into arguments. We forget people are behind online accounts, and hurt follows. You may be experiencing convictions or new insights, perhaps into American culture, during your time away. Creating a post intended to “jolt” everyone to your new reality may cause them to bunker down more in their way of thinking. People tend to have reactionary responses when engaging over the Internet. These conversations are best had in person. Social media is not a tool to change the opinions of others. 

If you do anything, just don’t do this.

Avoid posting pictures of [most often white] Americans with underprivileged people for the sake of a “like”. This narrative is so perpetuated online that avoiding it is most helpful. We understand you may build relationships with awesome kids during your time. You can both take and save photos for yourself, but if you’re choosing just a few photos to tell the story, these may get lost in the noise of typical missions trip photos. 

National Office News Updates

Alliance Life Magazine Receives 10 Awards for its Journalism

At its annual convention April 4–6, 2018, in Orlando, Florida, the Evangelical Press Association presented Alliance Life, the official magazine of The Alliance, with the following awards:

  • Award of Excellence (first place), Denominational Magazine category
  • Second Place, Candid Photo category for “Baptism in a Bucketloader” by Herbert Shao
  • Fourth Place, Evangelism Article category for “Everyday Evangelism” by Martha Renaud

In addition, at its annual convention April 18-20 in Chicago, Illinois, the Associated Church Press presented Alliance Life with the following awards:

  • Award of Merit (second place), Denominational Magazine category
  • Award of Excellence (first place), Magazine/Journal Design, Spread, or Story category for “My Husband Shot John Lennon” by Gloria Chapman; design by Kenny Crane
  • Award of Merit (second place), Magazine/Journal Design Entire Issue category for November/December 2017 issue, design by Kenny Crane/Stephanie Reindel
  • Award of Merit (second place), Illustration with Article or Cutline category for “My Husband Shot John Lennon”; illustration by Kenny Crane
  • Award of Merit (second place), Feature Article category for “Freely Forgiven” by Emmy Houk
  • Award of Merit (second place), Convention or Meeting Coverage category for the “Council 2017 Special Issue”; photography by Stephanie Reindel
  • Honorable Mention (third place), Biblical Interpretation category for “True Confession” by Russell Huizing

Alliance Life currently reaches 50,000 households, encouraging its readers to celebrate the joyous life that can be found in Jesus Christ and reporting the forward momentum of His Church through the worldwide ministries of The Alliance.

 

Older (but still relevant) stories from The Alliance:

Connect your kids with Alliance initiatives in 2018!

Many Alliance churches like to give children in their congregations an opportunity to contribute to a relevant Alliance project during VBS or other children’s programs. Churches are encouraged to adopt one of the following projects to promote awareness of how the Alliance is at work in 2018.

Schooling for Children of Women Prisoners in the Philippines

An Alliance team in the Philippines has developed a ministry among female prisoners in Manila. Many of the women are mothers and wives who have made poor choices. Their children often end up living with relatives who cannot afford to send the kids to school. Help give these children the education they will need to succeed in life.

A Library for Students at Alliance Academy in Jordan

Alliance Academy (AAJ) is private Christian school on the outskirts of Amman, Jordan. Muslim parents send their children to AAJ because it offers an excellent education in a loving, safe environment. But Alliance Academy does not yet have a library for its 270 students. Funds are needed to provide AAJ students with a well-equipped resource and study center.

Help for Orphaned Children in Vietnam

In several villages in Vietnam, many wives have lost their husbands because of disease or abandonment. Single mothers often have no other choice but to send their children away to find work or to attend an orphanage. Alliance workers have started several schools specifically to help orphaned children. Funds are needed to support these marginalized youngsters.

Resources Available

The following materials will be available online in mid-February for each project

  • Introductory PowerPoint
  • Informative brochure (81⁄2 x 11)
  •  Prayer postcard (4 x 6)
  • Project activity ideas
  • List of selected costs
  • Kids’ fun pages

These resources may be reviewed and downloaded at
https://apas.box.com/vbs. Printed brochures and prayer postcards may be requested from the Alliance National Office while supplies last. (Send inquiries to wicksd@cmalliance.org). If the National Office is out of supplies and you need something printed, contact Kristy and we’ll be sure you get what you need.

 

Free ChurchEXCEL subscription to Alliance Northwest churches

From Ken Baldes/Vice President for Operations/Treasurer
As a former church treasurer and leader in my local Alliance church, I know the various challenges church leaders face serving their local church, including  finances and administration.

The Alliance has been a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) since 1988, and we continue to enjoy a growing relationship with this organization. I am excited to tell you that ECFA is now providing a FREE ChurchEXCEL subscription to Alliance church leaders to help equip you in your church’s  financial administration. This resource offers eBooks, webinars-on-demand, electronic tax guides, and so much more.

Sign up for ChurchEXCEL today!

 

Free e-book resource from Envision on short-term missions

Envision is releasing their first e-book called Reimagining Short-Term Missions, exploring the role of short-term missions within the Alliance family and opportunities to do these better. Join the conversation about the changing landscape of missions and ways we can move forward together as The Alliance family. Sign up to receive this resource for free here.

 

New International Ministry Opportunities for 2019 Deployment

IM would like to announce that new postings of international ministry opportunities for 2019 deployment will be added to its website during January.  The top twenty opportunities will be viewable from January 1, with others being added during the course of the month. 

The full total of more than 60 new opportunities for service as Alliance international workers will be posted for viewing and application by January 31. 

 

Continue the Relief Effort in Puerto Rico

The devastation from Hurricane Irma is still very much being felt in Puerto Rico, and though San Juan is back on its feet, nearly half of the island is still without power.

If your church would like to partner with churches in Puerto Rico, or you're wondering how to help, visit laalianzapr.church and go to the tab Hurricane Recovery Efforts. There, you'll find relevant information that can help plan next steps. You can also contact distrito@laalianzapr.org for more information about supporting the continuing relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

A few options to consider would be:

  1. Pray for the needs of the corporate church or specific needs of a church in Puerto Rico
  2. Develop a relationship with the Pastor
  3. Send a special offering to cover some identified needs
  4. Send teams to help in the recovery phase

 

Watch the new 2017 Alliance Year-End Offering Video

 

If you had Global Staff come to your church, please fill out this survey

Below is the link for you to evaluate the Global Staff that shared at your church this year.  Please take a few minutes to fill it out; this helps improve systems and procedures for future tours. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5RJQGKG

 

Church Electronic Transfer of Funds

From Ken Baldes, vice president for Operations/treasurer

I’m pleased to let you know that your churches can now electronically remit their Great Commission Fund, CAMA, and other Alliance ministries funds to the National Office. During August and September, 27 C&MA churches beta tested the system, successfully transferring a total of $135,000 to the National Office.

Here is a user guide for churches wishing to take advantage of this new capability that eliminates checks and postage costs.

For questions, contact Tom Gannaway in our Technology Group at (719) 265-2078 or gannawayt@cmalliance.org.

 

Wireless System Frequency Change

Changes are in place to the 600MHz frequency spectrum to remove 614-698MHz frequencies from use by wireless systems. As a result, churches must plan to replace their wireless systems in this range by the end of 2017. The attached document provides helpful information.

 

Save with Alliance Purchasing Program

The National Office has negotiated special group pricing with several companies that may benefit your church—including Dell, Microsoft, Staples, T-Mobile, Xerox, and Stewardship Payroll Service. Two new partnerships with Arria Live Media and Sennheiser Electronic GmBH & Co. (Sennheiser) provide churches with low-cost, high-quality products for their audio needs. Please see the attached file for more information.

For more information on these special rates, contact Kris Rickert.

All the worship songs for Field Forum 2018 in one playlist

In anticipation of Field Forum 2018: The Call, we've put together a playlist with all of the worship music that will be featured during the General Sessions.

There are some oldies-but-goodies along with some new favorites, so we hope that this playlist will help get you excited to sing along. (A complete list of the songs is below the playlist link.)

Click the image below to play. See you on the 23rd!

Glorious Day
Ever Be
So Will I
Be Enthroned
The Lion & The Lamb
In Christ Alone
What A Beautiful Name
Reckless Love
Jesus We Love You
Great I Am
King Of My Heart
At Your Name
Faithful To The End
Fall Afresh
Great Are You Lord
This Is Amazing Grace
All The Poor & Powerless
Find Me
How He Loves
Heart Of Worship
Only King Forever
No Longer Slaves
Set a Fire

Field Forum: Leadership nominations and Business Session agenda

2018 Nominations from the Nominating Committee for the election during the business meeting of the Alliance Northwest, Tuesday April 24, 2018.

Note from the Committee Chairperson:

With thoughtful consideration, the Nominating Committee has prepared the 2018 slate of nominees for Field leadership. We sought the Holy Spirit’s guidance as we prayerfully considered candidates for the various leadership positions.

The Alliance Northwest is comprised of an amazing blend of people. The men and women nominated reflect the beauty and diversity represented in our churches. In our search, we looked for godly track records of fruitfulness, faithfulness, and commitment to the mission of Christ through the Alliance Northwest. We discovered that Jesus continues to do amazing things through ordinary people gifted and led by His Spirit.

Thank you for considering our nominations for leaders and servants in our growing family.

Tim Heffer
Lead Pastor, Hidden Creek Community Church
Nominating Committee Chair, Alliance Northwest


The Nomination Committee has nominated the following to serve on the Alliance Northwest Field Leadership Team. Terms are four years and a member can serve a maximum of three terms consecutively. The Nominating Committee members are Tim Heffer (Chairman), Rod Cosgrove, Mary Lou Sanders, Tim Barton, Steve Dangaran, and Cade Christensen. Nominations are as follows:

Field Leadership Team Nominees:

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The Nominating Committee nominates Steve Grace to a third term as a member of the Field Leadership Team.

Steve has been married to Holly for 29 years, and they have three kids: Zach 26, Tori 23, Sophie 21. He has served as Lead Pastor at Hood River Alliance Church for the last 14 years. In his spare time, he enjoys being outdoors: snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking and fishing. 

 

The Nominating Committee nominates Nick Stumbo to a third term as a member of the FLT.

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Nick and his wife, Michelle, have been married for 17 years and have four children: Alyssa (13), Madelyn (10), Carter (9) and Luke (6). He was on staff at East Hills Alliance Church in Kelso, Washington until 2016, when he took over as the Executive Director at Pure Desire Ministries in Gresham, Oregon. He enjoys running and training for marathons, playing golf, following the Minnesota Twins, and drinking strong coffee. 

 

The Nominating Committee nominates Mary Lou Sanders as a new member to the Field Leadership Team, to serve in the role of Secretary.

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In 1999, Mary Lou left her career as a nurse educator to enter pastoral ministry with her husband Mike.  She is a graduate of A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary (formerly Simpson Graduate School of Ministry).  Having been Consecrated by The Alliance in March 2002, she co-pastored two churches with Mike: Valley Alliance Church in Milford, Utah for 7 ½ years, and Friendship Alliance Church in Winthrop, Washington for 10 years, before retiring in January 2017.  She served on the Licensing, Ordination, & Consecration Council for the Central Pacific District for 4 years.  She and Mike have been married for 33 years, have one daughter, five grandchildren, and are expecting their second great-grandson in May.  She enjoys sewing, reading, and gardening.

 

The Nominating Committee nominates Rod Cosgrove as a new member of the Field Leadership Team. 

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Rod and Amy have been married for 27 years and have four girls, the oldest of which is married. They have been a part of the Garland Church community in Spokane, Washington since 1994, and he has served as Lead Pastor since 2006.  This June, he will be retiring from the Washington Air National Guard as a Lieutenant Colonel after a 28 year career as a flyer and squadron commander. He likes to climb mountains, fly fish, and ride his bicycle, as well as tend to his mini-farm, growing produce and raising chickens.

 

Nominating Committee Nominees for 2018 – 2020 term.

The Nominating Committee nominates Jason Hugeunin to the Nominating Committee.  

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Jason Huguenin has been married to Jen for 20 years and they have three kids. Jason and Jen are the founding pastors of Brookview Church in Brier, Washington, and have been there since 2003. Over the last few years, Jason has continually had the strange recurring dream that he’s a middle-relief pitcher for the Seattle Mariners.

 

The Nominating Committee nominates Tina Combs to serve on the Nominating Committee.

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Tina is native to Hood River, Oregon. Tina has navigated her way from mathematician to ministry where she now finds herself as Pastor of Youth and Missions at Hood River Alliance Church. Tina is newly married to her husband John. Recently the Lord has been directing their paths towards foster care where they are now navigating the world of becoming insta-parents to youth in need. Tina loves adventure, math, cribbage and coffee!


Field Forum Business Session Agenda Tuesday April 24, 2:45pm

It’s our hope that the session will be very brief. Please jump in on this one so we can get some important family business done. Thank you. If you have any questions prior to the meeting regarding something on the agenda please contact Julie@alliancenw.org.

Business Agenda:

  • Welcome
  • Field Director’s Report 
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Business Committee Report: No new business. 
  • Vote: 
    • Field Leadership Positions (see above)
    • Shall the Field Director be given authority to appoint 2019 Council Committee Delegates from the Alliance Northwest?
    • Should The Alliance U.S. consider removing the word “premillennial" from our Statement of Faith?
  • President’s Report – John Stumbo Video
  • Memorial
  • Adjourn

Over 30 attend West Coast Church Planting Bootcamp

Micah Dodson and Randy Shaw from the Field Office helped lead and facilitate this leadership training opportunity that took place in Temecula between March 20-23. This three day intensive event trained leaders on developing (and redeveloping) a deeper understanding of their local context, values and vision. As well, attendees spent time developing strategies to help them accomplish their vision in and through a local church.

Two unique things stood out for this event:

1) Five different regions came together from The Alliance to maximize time, resources, and facilitate relationship development.

2) A number of younger lead pastors from the Alliance Northwest attended to sharpen their strategic leadership skills.

New Field Leadership Team (FLT) Member: Anya Holcomb

Anya Holcomb was appointed by the FLT to fill the remainder of Paul Smith's term.

Anya has served in a couple of Alliance churches and in Gjilan, Kosovo with The Alliance.  Anya currently serves alongside her husband Doug as a self-funded Pastor of Refugee Ministry with Salem Alliance. The FLT is thrilled to have her onboard.

(Paul Smith accepted the role of Lead Pastor at First Alliance in Lexington, Kentucky, is currently on sabbatical, and begins his new position when the school year ends.) 

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Breakouts Announced for Field Forum 2018

In anticipation of Field Forum 2018: The Call (April 23-25 in Portland, Oregon), here are all 9 breakouts during the event. With topics ranging from engaging youth in the 21st Century to finding momentum for plateauing churches, there's sure to be something to pique everyone's interest.

Haven't registered yet? You still have time before the registration cost increases on April 1.

 

I’m called to ministry! How do I develop, expand my influence, and discover my primary contribution long term?          

There is a clear pattern God uses to develop Kingdom leaders. It is evident both in the Bible and in Christian leaders throughout history.  Knowing what that pattern is helps the emerging leader prioritize their development and rest along the way, knowing God is working His plan. This breakout can help you know where you are at in the process and intentionally participate in where God is taking you.

Dave and Elena Reynolds; 
Dave is the Western Region Team Leader for Multiplication, The Alliance US

 

Good news! There is great opportunity for the Gospel even in the midst of the tectonic changes happening in culture.

We all hear what can be discouraging, challenging – and even scary – news regarding the declining interest and engagement of younger generations in the church. But within the new realities of our context there is an exceedingly hopeful future! This breakout will unpack encouraging and simple constructs to help you understand the complex changes we face and present ideas to consider as you position your church for continued effectiveness.

Dr. Tim Osborn;                                                                                                                                                                                   Lead Pastor, Mosaic

 

Developing Leaders 101                                            

Where do I start if I want to be intentional about developing leaders in my ministry? This breakout will help frame a biblical way to think about discipling leaders, and help you develop doable steps to implement a plan to identify, develop, and deploy influencers in the mission of Jesus.

Jason Simmonds;
Leadership Development, Networks,
Alliance Northwest Field Office

                                   

Disciple your high capacity leaders by starting a teaching team

There is great wisdom in focusing on the few in order to minister to the many. Matt Hannan learned to follow that wisdom and has developed leaders using a strategy of “deeper, not wider.” One place he focused was in starting and leading a teaching team, without using elaborate or expensive resources. In this breakout, he’ll unpack what he’s learned and share the huge rewards he’s discovered for both his congregation and for him personally.

Dr. Matt Hannan;
Lead Pastor, New Heights - meeting in several locations across Clark County, WA 

 

Ways to move women forward in ministry

There are likely women in your church with a call to lead, pastor, or speak. Far too often women have ministry dreams and a God-ordained call to serve, but don’t see an open door to develop as a leader. If you are seeking to discover, draw out, develop, and deploy women as leaders in your ministry area, this breakout is a great place to gather some ideas to get started. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Anya Holcomb;
Pastor Refugee Ministries, Salem Alliance

Melissa Jackson;
Worship leader & Teaching Team, Cle Elum Alliance

Randy Shaw,
Field Director, Alliance Northwest

 

Ministry to youth in the 21st Century

Throughout the history of youth ministry much has changed and morphed in order to address the ever-changing youth culture. While there are timeless principles that serve youth ministry, effectiveness increasingly requires innovation. Through a quick assessment of today’s youth culture, we can measure what is effective, and then explore practical ways to engage a new generation of students and their families.                                                                                  

James Grout; 
Former Youth Pastor & National Director for Youth with The Alliance,
Currently with One Child Matters

 

Leadership moves for effective ministry to children

One study indicated that 83% of all Jesus followers commit their lives to him between the ages of 4 and 14, yet the American church is rapidly declining with each generation. A vibrant, effective children’s ministry is imperative for a thriving church that reaches the lost of every age. What practices, systems, and volunteers create this environment? We dream of seeing churches making bold and wise moves to reach the next generation! Come join us as we discuss how.                                                                       

Kim Harris;
Pastor for Staff & Operations, Mosaic

Connor Durr;
Pastor for Students, Mosaic

 

Finding new momentum in the plateaued church

Nearly 70% of churches are either plateaued or in decline. Leading one of these churches takes unique “know how” and courage. Jump into this breakout and you’ll hear from a couple of pastors who’ve done it, the overarching principles of a church’s lifecycle, and strategies you can use to rediscover new momentum and health in your church.

Dennis Pust;
Church Health & Pastoral Care
Alliance Northwest Field Office

 

Creating church-based ministry training in the Alliance Northwest

What could happen if together we believed God could create a regional, church-based educational model that raises up the next generation of pastors and international leaders who are debt-free and field-ready?  Salem Alliance is running Reach Training Institute (RTI) and Snoqualmie Valley Alliance runs Biblical Institute of Seattle (BIOS).  These churches have pioneered a new educational model and today it’s getting traction! At this breakout, you’ll be challenged to consider the potential of this educational model, hear from a recent graduate, and two current students, one of which is getting credit for hands-on service in a local church. Jump in and consider the possibilities of working together as the Alliance Northwest family to raise up a new generation of men and women for the coming harvest. 

Steve Fowler;
Lead Pastor, Salem Alliance

Dr. Monty Wright;
Lead Pastor, Snoqualmie Valley Alliance

Dr. Steve Dangaran;
Dean, RTI

Next Gen Leadership Change

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Hannah Cockerham (formerly Greene) rejoined the Field Staff on March 1st to oversee Next Gen.

For the last few years, Dave Oldenkamp (Yakima Alliance Church) has led the Quest team and Tina Combs (Hood River Alliance) has led Reach and provided some Next Gen oversight, after Hannah left the Field Office and assumed a pastoral position at Crosspoint in Lewiston, Idaho. 

Over the past months, both Dave and Tina have expressed the need to redirect energies because of changing life circumstances. We prayed and asked God to provide leadership for Next Gen. Around the same time, Hannah and her husband John moved to The Dalles, OR, for his new job, which took her away from her position at Crosspoint. We at the Field Office were thrilled that Hannah raised her hand to return to oversee Next Gen. And fortunately for the whole region, both Dave and Tina will continue to stay engaged with Next Gen. 

WELCOME BACK HANNAH! 

Should The Alliance consider removing the word "Premillennial" from our Statement of Faith?

This year, Licensed workers and church delegates will have the opportunity to vote to recommend (or not recommend) that The Alliance US consider a change to Article 11 of The Alliance Statement of Faith. The following information may be helpful in deciding how to vote.

There will be an opportunity to discuss the resolution in person at Field Forum, on Tuesday April 24 at 8am. The vote will be during the business session that Tuesday afternoon. Information will be included in the Field Forum materials upon registration.

The focus of the change to Article 11 is:

Should The Alliance consider removing the word "Premillennial" from our Statement of Faith:

#11: The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is imminent and will be personal, visible, and premillennial. This is the believer’s blessed hope and is a vital truth which is an incentive to holy living and faithful service.

Would become:

#11: The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is imminent and will be personal and visible. This is the believer’s blessed hope and is a vital truth which is an incentive to holy living and faithful service.

No other change is proposed.

My vote is:
YES:  I support the resolution          NO:  I do not support the resolution

 

If you would like to read the arguments for this change, please view this document written by Jon Mutchler. 
If you would like to read the arguments against, please view this document written by Ken Carlson.

If the motion passes at Field Forum, it would then travel to The Alliance Board of Directors and a potential vote at 2019 Council.

Ten Critical Trends for Churches in 2018

by Thom Rainer, thomrainer.com

Never in my lifetime have I seen local congregations at such a critical juncture. Cultural Christianity is all but dead. The “Nones,” those without any religious preference, are increasing. Many of the communities are no longer friendly to local churches; some have become adversarial.

But in the waves of these seas of negativity, are mercy drops of hope and possibilities. Look at these ten major trends carefully. See how God would have your church respond.

  1. The audio revolution. The e-book has not proved to be nearly as popular as we thought it would be. Many blog writers are reporting declines in readership. But audio books are rising in popularity. Listeners are moving to podcasts so they can learn while they jog, drive, and exercise. Outside of preaching podcasts, churches have many other opportunities to reach and disciple people through audio ministries.
  2. Boomer retirement crisis. Boomer pastors and church leaders are retiring in large numbers. But most of them don’t have succession plans. They are in churches from the small to the large. We will have many churches that are looking to fill these voids with little success.
  3. The deferred maintenance crisis in church facilities. My friend, Tim Cool of Cool Solutions Group, keeps reporting about churches that have done little to keep their church facilities in acceptable condition. For many of them, they are experiencing times of reckoning. A church with which I have familiarity had to close 4,000 square feet of space because it was deemed unsafe and uninhabitable. Like Tim says, you pay some now or you pay more later.
  4. Churches moving into retail spaces. The United States has a surplus of retail space, and that surplus will grow. The demise of many brick-and-mortar stores and chains presents an incredible opportunity for churches to find prime space for new and additional sites.
  5. Ongoing church closures. This trend shows no signs of slowing. I hope church leaders and members will be more receptive to acquisitions and mergers before its too late. Too many of these churches are expecting to be bailed out without lifting a finger.
  6. The rise of the neighborhood church. Churches that were once at the center of life in a neighborhood have declined and died. But we see them experiencing a renewal and revival both through acquisitions and re-plants.
  7. The learning revolution of the best church leaders. It is almost cliché to talk about the pace of change in our world and culture. I won’t bore you with the statistics and reality of change. But one thing is becoming glaringly obvious. Church leaders who are becoming ongoing learners are becoming the best leaders of these churches. Indeed, we created Church Answers to provide a learning platform for church leaders on a regular basis. Those church leaders who are not continually learning will not be leading well.
  8. Downsizing of worship centers/sanctuaries. This trend is one I have mentioned in recent months, but the pace of downsizing has accelerated. For certain, some of it is due to declining attendance, but that is not the only factor. A number of churches have intentionally moved to smaller worship services through multiple services, venues, and campuses.
  9. The rise of networks. More churches are aligning with both informal and formal networks with a common cause and common purpose. Those that are part of denominations typically choose to stay with their denominations for both doctrinal and legacy reasons. Acts 29 is an example of a church planting network more aligned with Reformed churches. Watch for new networks to form with different emphases and a broader evangelical doctrine.
  10. More Great Commission intentionality. When cultural Christianity was alive and well, churches could do minimal evangelistic activity and still grow by transfer growth. Such is not the case any more. Churches will have to be highly intentional evangelistically in the months ahead or they will head toward death and closure.

In future posts, I plan to offer solutions for churches for many of these issues. For now, I am sharing information about Church Answers to assist church leaders with the challenge of ongoing learning.

Many congregations are at a tipping point. Some will die. Some will thrive. My prayer is that the summary of these trends can be used of God in your churches to move your congregation toward greater health and Great Commission obedience.

Straight talk from Alliance Northwest pastor Dave Beddoe on addiction & redemption

Restore Church's Dave Beddoe (Poulsbo, Washington) recently told his story of addiction and redemption to Guideposts Magazine. Dave spent years battling opioid addiction and dealing with the personal and professional ramifications from it.

Dave, thanks for your honesty, your reliance on Christ's grace, and the way you are using your experiences to help others in similar situations.

Read the full article on Guideposts' website