Real Talk on Immigration

Alvin Sanders – March 26, 2015 Leave a comment

All People blog

As the EFCA movement seriously embraces a multiethnic focus, we encounter complex issues. Virtually everybody agrees that the subject of undocumented immigrants is a quandary in the United States. The exact problem, however, is passionately debated. It is an issue that can be described in one word: messy.

Take the story of Juan and Maria Alvarado (their real names have been removed to protect their identities). Their patchwork life in their native Mexico consisted of working long hours at whatever jobs they could find. When their first child was born, crossing the border illegally seemed the most logical move for a better life.

After all, American companies were begging for workers. But a legal work visa took years to obtain, and the baby didn’t have years to wait for food, clothing and shelter. The Alvarados chose to slip into California, find jobs and start anew.

Soon, friends in their new land invited them to church, where Juan and Maria met Christ. Salvation changed their worldview, and not having legal documentation bothered them. So they entered the process to become documented, legal workers.  Continue Reading…

All People blog

During the first week of March, three different organizations chose to hold their board meetings in the Atlanta area.

One of the organizations was The Immigration Alliance, of which I became the executive director last month in addition to my role as director of Immigrant Mission at the EFCA. The other two organizations were the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and the Evangelical Immigration Table. We each held our meetings, but for one day we all met together to collaborate of the issue of immigrants and the gospel.

During our time together, we listened to a significant presentation from LifeWay Research. The survey consisted of 1,000 evangelicals on their views of immigration relative to the law, church and what they think about immigration.

Here are some of the key findings:  Continue Reading…

Red and Yellow, Black and White

Alex Mandes – March 19, 2015 1 Comment

All People blog

When I was growing up, I would hear the song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.”

“Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow,
Black and white,
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children
Of the world.”

I would listen to that song and think about how Hispanics were, again, slighted. Where is the “Brown” love man? So, Jesus loves Indians, Asians, Africans and White Europeans, but brown colored Hispanics were left out?

The truth is that Hispanics are all of those colors. There are Afro Latinos, many of whom came from the Caribbean. There are Asian Latinos that came from the migration of Asians into Latin America after World War II. In fact, the president of Peru in 1990 was Alberto Fujimori. There are red Hispanics because of the intermarriage with the native Americans in the Southwest. Of course, there are white Hispanics who are descended of European Spaniards.

Hispanic/Latino is obviously not about color. Now, when I hear that song and I hear, “Red,” I think, that’s me and when I hear, “Black,” I say, that’s me. When I hear, “Yellow,” I think, that’s me and when I hear, “White,” I say, that’s me!  Continue Reading…

5 Leadership Quotes

Alvin Sanders – March 17, 2015 Leave a comment

All People blog

Leadership is difficult.

So, here are five helpful quotes for leaders.

“Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.” – St. Augustine

“Creative change and transformation begin and end with a sense of community.” – Walter Fluker

“Outstanding performance is inconsistent with fear of failure.” – Peter Drucker

“You get to the future faster by starting there.” – James Lukaszeweski

“When we are truly passionate about something we are contagious.” – Keith Ferrazzi

5 Ways to Draw Men to Church

Alvin Sanders – March 12, 2015 3 Comments

All People blog

A ministry colleague of mine had an excellent conversation on Facebook about how the church has become feminized and what it will take to make church a much more masculine event. His premise was that church, over time, became more feminized, and because of this, it is one of the barriers that keeps men from engaging in church, en masse. His comment thread had more than 50 replies.

The most interesting dynamic was the fluctuation between light humor, “masculine” vs. “feminine” worship service practices, and deep reflection of what exactly is considered masculine. It is a conversation anyone involved in ministry ought to be having, because one thing that seems to be constant across all ethnicities: There are more women than men in church.

I thought about posting my thoughts on the comment thread, but it morphed into a blog post. So, here is what I think about the subject. Continue Reading…

Who Else Wants to Confess?

Alvin Sanders – March 10, 2015 Leave a comment

All People blog

If you wrote a racial reconciliation confession, what would it say? Confessions contain tough subject matter, but as the saying goes, it is good for the soul. Of course, Romans 10:9 tells us it’s part of our walk with Christ. Three years ago at the annual CCDA conference, pastor Jin Kim, of Church of All Nations in Minneapolis, read this powerful confession from his ethnic point of view, which I share with you below:  Continue Reading…

EFCA Today Survey

Chris Harrell – March 5, 2015 Leave a comment

All People blog

In an effort to improve the reach and impact of EFCA Today, we created a short survey to learn how we can best do that. We’d love your input.

The survey should take 5-8 minutes to complete. It will close on Wednesday, March 11, so be sure to share your thoughts by then.

We are grateful for your time and input.

The State of Race Relations

Alvin Sanders – March 3, 2015 1 Comment

All People

A few years ago, I participated in a panel discussion with Dr. Michael Emerson, Dr Peter Cha and Pastor Peter Hong on the subject of race in the United States and the church. If interested, you can view it at The Henry Center channel on Youtube. Type in “Race in the US: The State of Race Relations.” It’s three parts and about an hour, so bring a lunch!

Are You A Stranger?

Alex Mandes – February 26, 2015 2 Comments

All People blog

Watch this short video from the Evangelical Immigration Table. It is titled, “I Was A Stranger,” and the words come from Matthew 25:31-46. It is truly amazing to see the diversity of race, theological opinions, denominational affiliation and organizational mission in the clip. Yet, all are of one opinion that we need to help the immigrants among us that are stuck in the shadows. Please watch this video and ponder the passage they read.  Continue Reading…

All People blog

When doing workshops, I’m often asked what skill set is needed to achieve success when crossing racial boundaries. Before talking about the skills of a successful racial reconciler, let me say that practicing racial reconciliation is more of an art than a science.

Here’s what I mean: Racialized circumstances are highly situational and contingent on context. Don’t believe anybody who tells you there is a one-size-fits-all solution to everything; formulas do not work. However, there are three skills needed for racial negotiation regardless of what situation and context you find yourself in.

Continue Reading…