Middle Schoolers Find Connection at Quest 2018

Most Christians come to know Jesus as young people - and the middle school years are so crucial! Quest is an Alliance Northwest conference for 6th through 8th graders, held at scenic Black Lake Bible Camp each October.

“Connection” was the theme for Quest 2018, using John 15 as the core text. The conference content focused on who Jesus is, who we are, and the relationship we can have with him. “Connection” speaks to the love Jesus has for us and also how we can love him back.

Below, you can find the highlight video from the weekend, as well as a selection of the session talks. Thanks to Claire Faucher and Jason Simmonds, our Quest 2018 speakers!

School Principal to Madison Community Church pastor: "You make Jesus look real good."

Madison Community Church (Everett, Washington) pastor Peter Vincent knows that effecting neighborhood change takes time and perseverance. Six years ago, Peter started a relationship at an area school by meeting with the Principal and saying that his church would like to help out, in whatever ways they could. The school seemed baffled and hesitant at first, but agreed.

So Madison got to work. The church popped popcorn in the cafeteria, helped keep up the school grounds, and even read to students during class time. Years passed, students got older, a new Principal came, and Madison became a familiar presence on campus.

Recently, Peter was contacted by the new Principal, and they had a different sort of conversation than when Madison first began there. The Principal told him: “You make Jesus look real good.” Madison’s years of steady involvement demonstrated that they cared, and the school wanted to know more. After this conversation, a busload of teachers from the school came to the church, toured the facility, and met Madison’s staff. The church’s faithful service is making a difference in their community, and through it, others can see the love of Christ.

Church of Thorne Bay buys adjacent property without the need for any loans

When God moves, we follow; even if it’s next door. Ron Youderian, Lead Pastor at Church of Thorne Bay (Thorne Bay, Alaska) shares this happy news: the church is expanding! The Church of Thorne Bay has been working on purchasing the vacant Catholic Church next to their property, and had been praying for God’s provision so they wouldn’t have to take out an ADF loan.

God provided them with the necessary funds! No loan required. The additional property is slated to be a community center for the church as well as the wider Thorne Bay community.

150 Women from 17 Churches Attend 1st Venture Conference

On September 22, women from around the Northwest came to Anchor Church in Tacoma to explore and respond to their calling in the world. The conference, called Venture, was co-sponsored by Great Commission Women and Alliance Northwest.

In all, over 150 women representing 17 Northwest churches attended. Based on the response, it’s likely that another Venture conference will be in our future. Stay tuned for more…

If you attended Venture, and have stories about your experiences there, please let us know!

7 Solutions to 7 Small Group Struggles

Healthy churches are sustained and expanded through small groups.
— Ed Stetzer, author of Transformational Change

Here are 7 common struggles that small groups face, and 7 real-world solutions for them.

Problem #1: Church leaders are often disconnected from small groups.

Pastors often want groups to focus on too many areas, while the groups themselves prefer focused objectives. 80% of group members say Bible study is important, and 64% of group members say they prefer to prioritize prayer.

Solution: Pastors and group leaders should work together to develop a strategic plan and set focused objectives that are realistic and achievable.

Problem #2: Small group timings do not work for most people.

51% of group members drop out mostly to do general busyness. 33% of group members prioritize personal responsibilities over group meetings. 22% of group members don’t join a group as it meets at an inconvenient time.

Solution: Churches should start new groups that meet at times and locations that are convenient for new people to attend.

Problem #3: Small group leaders tend to focus more on lesson plans rather than discipleship.

"Making disciples isn’t about gathering pupils to listen to your teaching. The real focus is not on teaching people at all—the focus is on loving them.

- Francis Chan

Solution: Life change happens through relationships. Small group leaders need to intentionally build relationships with members and encourage a culture of transparency and vulnerability.

Problem #4: Small groups have a tendency to become insider-focused.

Reaching out to the community takes a backseat to small group interests—45% of groups had done zero outreach projects in the previous 12 months, while only 14% had done 5 or more, according to a smallgroups.com study.

Solution: Care and outreach go together. Ask members to reach out to new people and invite them to your small group. They can start by inviting their neighbors and co-workers.

Problem #5: Many small groups are unclear about their purpose.

They’re not sure what the mandate of the group is, what the group specifically hopes to accomplish, if they’re fulfilling their purpose at all, or whether to invite the unchurched or not.

Solution: Align the group’s purpose with the church’s mission statement. Identify some key biblical principles to guide your group. Keep reminding the group members about the purpose.

Problem #6: Small groups don’t often fulfill all of the church’s purposes.

While small groups often address Fellowship and Discipleship, many do not integrate Worship, Ministry, or Evangelism.

Solution: Small groups need to adopt a holistic outlook by focusing on all the 5 purposes mentioned above. Balanced growth in each of these areas needs to be gauged at an individual and group level for accountability and effectiveness.

Problem #7: Small groups tend to jump from one model to the next.

Solution: Understand the DNA of your church first. “Base the model of your small group on the vision of your church,” suggests Chris Surratt.

[Content adapted from Leadership Network Implementation LAB materials]

National Office News Updates


become an outwardly-focused church at alliance equippingu

Alliance EquippingU is a new live streaming (online virtual conference) series directed at Alliance pastors/church workers. Are you eager to hear about values, priorities, and strategies that The Alliance believes are vital to church advancement? If so, EquippingU will be up your alley.

The first Alliance EquippingU will be held Wednesday, November 7, at 9 a.m. (PST). The theme will be “The Outward-Focused Church,” with presenter Tom Lundeen, lead pastor at Riverside Alliance Church in Big Lake, Minnesota. Under Tom’s leadership since 2003, the church has essentially tripled in size by mostly conversion growth. He will challenge and inspire Alliance pastors from all over the United States as well as provide practical ideas as to how to mobilize churches for effective outreach.

Click here to learn more and to register.

Alliance Health Plan Open Enrollment

Please mark your calendars! Plans are under way for open enrollment for the 2019 C&MA Health Plan. Curtis Farmer, director for Alliance Benefits, will provide opportunity for DSs and district staff to learn about the plan’s changes for 2019 by attending one of the follow- ing webinars:

Monday, October 15, 9–10 a.m. (MDT) Tuesday, October 16, 9–10 a.m. (MDT)

RSVP to Kathy Taubeneck at taubeneck@cmalliance.org or (719) 265-2056 with the date that you and/or your staff will join this interactive event. Attendees will receive more information later.

immigration law training in lynnwood

World Relief is pleased to offer an intensive, 40-hour basic immigration law training at the Alderwood Community Church in Lynnwood, Washington. The course will provide the necessary training component for individuals who wish to apply for accreditation from the Department of Justice (DOJ). This recognition allows non-attorneys working at non- profit organizations to practice immigration law. Attendees will receive training in all areas of immigration law and practice, focusing on topics most relevant to those serving and rep- resenting low-income immigrants.

Due to requirements of the accreditation application process, we recommend that only individuals with U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residence, or other long-term immigration presence apply for this training. Participants who pass the take-home test will receive a certificate of completion from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the authors of the training curriculum.

WHEN: October 22–26, 2018

WHERE: Alderwood Community Church, 3403 Alderwood Mall Blvd., Lynnwood, WA 98036

COST: Class—$495 if you register by October 15, 2018; textbooks—$295 + ship- ping if purchased by October 26, 2018

For questions, contact Sarah Bankard at sbankard@wr.org.

Older (but still relevant) stories from The Alliance:

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 forFreely 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.

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. 

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

 

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. 

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

How to Pastor Small Churches Well [NAE Podcast]

A majority of Alliance Northwest churches would fall into the “small church” category, so we can say with conviction: “Small churches don’t mean small pastors, or small ideas.” Pastoring a small church is not for the faint of heart.

Karl Vaters has been a small church pastor for 30 years. He’s written about pastoring small churches in books (“The Grasshopper Myth” and “Small Church Essentials”) and on Pivot, a Christianity Today blog. And, he’s the founder of NewSmallChurch.com, a blog that encourages, connects, and equips innovative small church pastors. In this podcast from the National Association of Evangelicals, he joins Leith Anderson to share his experience and offer insight into how to pastor small churches well.

In this podcast, Karl and Leith discuss:

  • How small churches should think about growth and success

  • The particular challenges, including finances, that pastors of small churches face

  • What resources are available to pastors of small churches

  • Why we need more — not fewer — small churches in the United States

Listen here.

Christ Our Healer in the Northwest

Some amazing stories coming out of Alliance Northwest churches about the healing power of Christ. These concrete examples of God working in our midst are always so fun to celebrate:

A young elder at Christ's Community Church in Granite Falls, Washington, experienced healing this summer when, after multiple car accidents and surgeries, he had been basically bed-ridden from pain. When his doctors decided not to go forward with a surgery that promised to relieve some of that pain, Dale paradoxically felt a deep contentment from the Lord. Days later, he was fully healed and working out at the gym!

Salem Alliance Church has seen a significant number of healings since December of last year. Every Sunday, many of those in attendance stand for healing prayer (physical, emotional, etc.), and every week they have a story or two to share. Praise God!

Nine Church Workers Receive Ordained/Consecrated Status

Congratulations to the following pastors and planters across the Northwest for their hard work in completing their ordination/consecration requirements:

Otis Brown (8/21 Ordained)
Ryan Doughty (8/21 Ordained-Sustained)
Isabel Miller (June Consecrated)
Cary Wood (June Consecrated)
Yuriy Murashko (June Ordained)
Evan Fowler (June Ordained)
Duane Guisinger (June Ordained)
John Blosser (June Ordained)
Colby Holloway (June Ordained)

New Faces (and Familiar Faces in New Places) around the Field

Alliance Northwest leaders and churches certainly didn't lay dormant during the summer. Multiple churches extended calls to new lead pastors, and one church in Oregon (New Hope Church) decided to become part of our tribe. Let's welcome them!

David & Kati Prantner moved from Alaska to take the Lead Pastor position at the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church in Bly, Oregon.

Dr. Stephen & Esther Chien accepted the call to the pastorate at Tri-Cities Chinese C&MA Church this summer and Stephen has jumped into the developing Columbia River Network with vigor.

Pastor Endre Norem and New Hope Church in Lebanon, Oregon became affiliated with Alliance Northwest over the summer.

Joe & Susan Donohue transitioned from East Hills in Kelso, Washington to Lead Pastor at Alliance Bible Church in Anchorage, Alaska.

Welcome to Bob & Sharon Setzer, new pastors at Sojourn Church in Lacey, Washington. Bob was formerly Worship Pastor at Arbor Heights in Seattle.

Steve & Malana Ganz are the new interims at Clover Pass Community Church in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Sylvester Jones (Bubba) has now become the new pastor at Naknek Community Bible Chapel in Alaska. Bubba was mentored by former Naknek pastor Hugh Griffiths in a very cool transition story.

East Hills Baptizes 18 at Worship Service

When East Hills (Kelso, Washington) brought their three services (spread across two separate campuses) together at Rister Stadium in late August, they knew it would be a special time of corporate worship. What they got was something they're calling "Bapstravaganza."

Lead Pastor Steve Diehl writes, "Our three services at two campuses all met together at Rister Stadium and celebrated together as 18 people confessed their faith in Jesus Christ and were baptized.  There were some powerful testimonies shared.  God is good."

A Summer Full of Good News from Our Field

East Hills Baptizes 18 at Worship Service

When East Hills (Kelso, Washington) brought their three services (spread across two separate campuses) together at Rister Stadium in late August, they knew it would be a special time of corporate worship. What they got was something they're calling "Bapstravaganza."

Lead Pastor Steve Diehl writes, "Our three services at two campuses all met together at Rister Stadium and celebrated together as 18 people confessed their faith in Jesus Christ and were baptized.  There were some powerful testimonies shared.  God is good."

Two Young Adults from Mosaic and Salem Alliance Go to the Nations

We're celebrating the work that God is doing with young people in our Field, as they are called into ministry within their neighborhoods or to the nations.

A young adult attending Mosaic North in Portland took a step in faith and has left to join the Long Beach team, which is the global partner of the Southern Oregon Network within a closed-access country (CAC). He doesn't know exactly what his role will be, but is eager to serve Jesus in the midst of the least and the lost. He has received a lot of support from the Southern Oregon Network; the churches gave him money to head out and hosted him in their churches during Sunday gatherings.

Trevor Morgan, a student at Reach Training Institute (RTI) in Salem, is headed abroad for a practicum year as part of his studies. He will spend his time in Uruguay, and is one of the first RTI students to have a year abroad like this. Very exciting!

New Faces (and Familiar Faces in New Places) around the Field

David & Kati Prantner moved from Alaska to take the Lead Pastor position at the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church in Bly, Oregon.

Dr. Stephen & Esther Chien accepted the call to the pastorate at Tri-Cities Chinese C&MA Church this summer and Stephen has jumped into the developing Columbia River Network with vigor.

Pastor Endre Norem and New Hope Church in Lebanon, Oregon became affiliated with Alliance Northwest over the summer.

Joe & Susan Donohue transitioned from East Hills in Kelso, Washington to Lead Pastor at Alliance Bible Church in Anchorage, Alaska.

Welcome to Bob & Sharon Setzer, new pastors at Sojourn Church in Lacey, Washington. Bob was formerly Worship Pastor at Arbor Heights in Seattle.

Steve & Malana Ganz are the new interims at Clover Pass Community Church in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Sylvester Jones (Bubba) has now become the new pastor at Naknek Community Bible Chapel in Alaska. Bubba was mentored by former Naknek pastor Hugh Griffiths in a very cool transition story.

Nine Church Workers Receive Ordination/Consecration Status

Congratulations to pastors and planters across the Northwest for their hard work in completing their ordination/consecration requirements:

Otis Brown (8/21 Ordained)
Ryan Doughty (8/21 Ordained (Sustained))
Isabel Miller (June Consecrated)
Cary Wood (June Consecrated)
Yuriy Murashko (June Ordained)
Evan Fowler (June Ordained)
Duane Guisinger (June Ordained)
John Blosser (June Ordained)
Colby Holloway (June Ordained)

Christ our Healer in the Northwest

Some amazing stories coming out of Alliance Northwest churches about the healing power of Christ. These concrete examples of God working in our midst are always so fun to celebrate:

Dale Tanis, an elder at Christ's Community Church in Granite Falls, Washington, experienced healing this summer when, after multiple car accidents and surgeries, he had been basically bed-ridden from pain. When his doctors decided not to go forward with a surgery that promised to relieve some of that pain, Dale paradoxically felt a deep contentment from the Lord. Days later, he was fully healed and working out at the gym!

Salem Alliance Church has seen a significant number of healings since December of last year. Every Sunday, many of those in attendance stand for healing prayer (physical, emotional, etc.), and every week they have a story or two to share. Praise God!

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.

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Update: Restore Church is now in their new building! This photo shows their cool-looking logo and welcome area:

 

 

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.