Men In Black

Alvin Sanders – May 21, 2015 3 Comments

All People Blog

With the recent civil unrest that has taken place in places like Baltimore and Ferguson, a lot of focus has been laid upon the urban black male. Take this little quiz to see how well you know what’s going on in the black male community.

Answer either true or false:

  1. Overall there are more black men in prison than in college.
  2. There are more college aged (18-24) black males in prison than college.
  3. Incarceration went up 25.3% for black males aged 18-24 from 2000-2010
  4. College enrollment is down over 30% for black males from 2000-2010
  5. The high school graduation rate has gone down 6.6% for black males from 2000-2010.
  6. Black women are leaving black men behind in gaining college degrees.
  7. In terms of percentage per group there are more white men in college than black men.
  8. In terms of percentage per group there are more Asian women in college than black women. (Ok I cheated and slipped one in for the ladies!)
  9. 50% of black boys drop out of high school.
  10. In the past decade the high school drop-out rate went up close to 40% for black males.

Continue Reading…

Modern Rules of Ethnic Ministry

Alvin Sanders – May 19, 2015 Leave a comment

This is one of the best presentations I have seen on the theological and practical reasoning behind both ethnic specific and multiethnic ministry:

Ethnicity Matters from InterVarsity twentyonehundred on Vimeo.

All People Blog

This week, a lot of ink is spilling about the recent Pew Research US Religious Landscape Study. Some are debunking it, some are screaming “run for your lives,” and others are pleading for the church to become more relevant. In my estimation, most will not engage what is probably the most significant finding that will shape the future of evangelicalism: Evangelicals are increasingly diverse.

The study points out that 33 percent of adults that identify as evangelicals are non-white. That’s more than 3 out of 10, and that number is only going to grow. Close to a quarter of the membership in American evangelical denominations are non-white, up 19 percent from only eight years ago. Already in major metros, such as New York City, most of the population classified as evangelical is non-white.  Continue Reading…

Hamtramck

Alex Mandes – May 14, 2015 Leave a comment

All People Blog

About four years ago, I was driving through Baltimore with EFCA President Bill Hamel to a meeting. As I was driving, the GPS quit working. When we got off the highway, we entered a few neighborhoods and witnessed, first hand, the devastation. Outwardly, the neighborhood was a hollow shell of itself. In this particular neighborhood, nearly half of the houses were empty shells or burned out.

On April 19, 2015, I found a neighborhood that surpassed the physical blight of Baltimore. The neighborhood was in Detroit. Today, parts of Detroit are making a comeback, but neighborhoods like the one I was in would not be at the top of the list for renewal. However, in the darkness of this neighborhood is Restore ChurchContinue Reading…

All People blog

When I read my Bible and came across words like, “Jew and Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave or free,” I responded in one of two ways:

My first inclination was to read them as irrelevant words, like names of people in an Old Testament lineage that I couldn’t pronounce and saw no specific value in paying attention to, not that I’m advocating we read names in the OT and relativize them as unimportant.  My other inclination was to attach those words the idea of Christian or non-Christian, God follower or non-God follower.

A few years ago, it struck me that these categories are incredibly significant and have relatively little, if anything, to do with discussing saved versus unsaved individuals.  Rather, the biblical authors were communicating about groups that were typically radically separated from each other as a result of their ethnicity, culture, social standing, class, and in some passages, gender. As this became clear, it had a profound impact on how I read the many passages that refer to these groups.  Continue Reading…

Good Neighborhoods

Ruth Arnold – May 7, 2015 1 Comment

All People blog

A few weeks ago, I went to pick up a friend to work out. As I was waiting for her to come down from her apartment, I pulled into the handicap parking spot, in order to turn around because the parking lot was small. She got downstairs right about the time I pulled into the spot, so I waited, she hopped in, I backed out, and we were on our way.

But as we were pulling out of the lot, another car was entering, driven by a gentleman who was visibly upset at me. In my confusion, I made a questioning gesture, “What did I do?” He proceeded to chew me out (put nicely) about how us young kids (I’m almost 40!) have no business parking in reserved spots. I tried, in my sweetest voice, to rationally explain to him that I wasn’t parking there, but he was having none of it. So, I just apologized and went on my way, somewhat thankful that he didn’t get out of his car.

As I pulled out I thought to myself, “and people think I live in a bad neighborhood?” This incident, which took place in an upscale apartment complex, has never come close to happening to me in the neighborhood I live in; a neighborhood that strangers often call the ghetto, bad, challenging, rough, dicey or fill in the blank.

Imago Dei

Of course, I am not trying to set any neighborhood against each other, but I would like to make an assertion that there are not bad neighborhoods and good neighborhoods. For the most part, there aren’t even neighborhoods with bad people and good people.  Continue Reading…

All People blog

In 2012, Michael Bloomberg, then mayor of New York, said that the federal government should have immigrants assigned to specific cities, such as Detroit, and if they can “survive seven years, we’ll make you and your family full citizens.”

He wasn’t kidding. He wasn’t mistakenly recorded on an open microphone. Was his suggestion dumb, different or dangerous?

I consider Bloomberg’s comment in the different category. It could very easily fall in the dumb category, which is getting full. Some people might categorize Bloomberg’s statement as dangerous, but we are talking about immigrants who are used to danger.  Continue Reading…

All People – Indianapolis

Alvin Sanders – April 21, 2015 Leave a comment

The EFCA exists to glorify God by multiplying transformational churches among all people.

We encourage all of our churches to live out their piece of the EFCA mission and transform communities.

Check out the latest All People story and see how Solid Word Bible Church, in Indianapolis, Indiana, is making a difference in its community. Continue Reading…

On To A New Day

Alvin Sanders – April 15, 2015 11 Comments
All People blog

Enjoying vacation in Hawaii with my family.

On April 1, I submitted my resignation as associate executive director of EFCA ReachNational to accept the positions of senior vice president of ministry mobilization and vice president of the Midwest Region at World Impact. It wasn’t an easy decision. Since I started hosting EFCA church volunteers in my first ministry assignment at an inner-city parachurch ministry in 1995, the EFCA has been nothing but a blessing to the Sanders family. It is my home. For President Hamel to take the risk and bring on a small church, urban pastor to the national directional team, in order to lead his desire for diversity, is still pretty mind-boggling to me.

Let me share, briefly, how I arrived at this decision. The picture on this post is from 2013 in Hawaii. It was part of my three-month sabbatical. During this sabbatical, I wrote a life plan for the second half of my life. I emerged from my sabbatical with the following personal mission statement: My personal mission is to be with God, love my family, and invest in those who invest in the poor.

That last line is why I am taking the World Impact leadership opportunity. World Impact is a Christian missions organization committed to facilitating church-planting movements by evangelizing, equipping and empowering the unchurched urban poor. Bob Buford, in his book Halftime, says “someday is right now or never.” I love the EFCA, but believe I cannot pass up this opportunity to align my personal and vocational mission. It is on to a new day.  Continue Reading…

Intentions Don’t Justify Impact

Ruth Arnold – April 14, 2015 1 Comment

All People blog

“Man looks at the outside, but God looks at the heart”

These words, penned hundreds of years ago, remind us that although someone looks outwardly wonderful and does great things externally, it doesn’t mean that those things are coming from a pure heart or great intentions. This is an important truth to guide our perspective, worldview and actions.

However, in my observation, I believe we have taken that concept and transposed it in such a way that does harm and does not promote reconciliation and justice in our personal relationships nor in the world. We have subtly justified ourselves by thinking, “It wasn’t my motive to cause harm or hurt someone, therefore, it doesn’t matter if my actions led to another persons hurt or harm.”  Continue Reading…