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…

The Secret of a Successful Racial Reconciler

Alvin Sanders – February 19, 2015 1 Comment

All People blog

It happens far too often for my liking. Three to four times a year, I get phone calls, texts or some other communication bringing me the bad news: “Leader (blank) was caught doing (insert power, money, or sex sin here).”

Just like that, someone who was leading toward God’s diverse kingdom has destroyed years of ministry and left behind a trail of tears.

Frequently, I am asked, especially by up-and-coming leaders, about the most important element to become more effective in the reconciliation movement. They are almost always surprised by my answer.  Continue Reading…

Announcing The Immigration Alliance

Alex Mandes – February 17, 2015 5 Comments

All People blog

On February 12, I asked the question, “Why care about immigrants?” I am not a communications guru, but it ignited a robust conversation off line and on my Facebook account. There were many comments, “likes” and some dislikes I’m sure. Actually, it was a great discussion, but it took a predictable direction.

The time must come for the church to take the lead in identifying this generational script of afflicting the immigrants. God has always used migration as a tool to draw people to Him (see Acts 17:26-27). It is our time to step back and see that something bigger than all of us is going on in our day. This is our time to see it and be the watchmen on the wall calling the church to action; to get on mission with God.  Continue Reading…

Why Focus on Immigrants?

Alex Mandes – February 12, 2015 1 Comment

All People blog

Why is the EFCA and Immigrant Hope focusing on immigrants and “illegal aliens?”

There are a lot of organizations focused on the politics of immigration, but we are in it for biblical reasons.

  1. The great commission says to make disciples among all peoples. This is not denying that they are breaking the rule of law. In fact, everything Immigrant Hope attempts to do is to help them meet the law. We serve as a bridge, but at the same time, we earn the right to speak into their lives.
  2. The mission of the EFCA is for “all people” not just our people. The vision of the EFCA is to see God raise up millions of disciplemakers that will transform regions and communities. Of the people we attempt to reach, many will have issues. They will need Christ and the local church as His hands to help them receive eternal life and then be empowered to “observe all things that Jesus commanded.”
  3. We were all at one time, “aliens and strangers.” In a way, the immigrants in our country are an object lesson of what it means to be aliens and strangers:

Continue Reading…

The History of Humankind

Alvin Sanders – February 10, 2015 Leave a comment

All People blog

The history of humanity is pretty brutal. Basically, the cycle goes: One ethnic group finds out about the resources of the land that another ethnic group lives on; then, the group with the superior weapons overpowers the others for those resources. Ugly, unforgivable atrocities are committed, and life goes on.

What this creates is a global context for historical ethnic distrust. It doesn’t matter how long ago the atrocities happened, we live with the implications for centuries. As William Faulkner once said, “the past is not dead – it is not even the past.”

Let me explain with a small personal story. Often, I use this story when I train leaders for multiethnic ministry.  Continue Reading…

Ministerial Training Retreat/Boot Camp in Spanish

Ricardo Palmerín – February 5, 2015 Leave a comment

All People blog

I had my first, and only, experience with the military when I was an 18-year-old, only a few months removed from becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In Mexico, at that time, I was required, by law, to receive military training for a half-day, once per week, for an entire year. People at church would observe me coming in after my military service, wearing those noisy black boots, fully dressed in military uniform, and with a very trim haircut. This military training experience was very formative in my youth and similar to a boot camp experience in the U.S. military.

So, what is a Ministerial Training Retreat/Boot Camp in Spanish?

In the EFCA, we use the term boot camp in reference to our church planting basic training. However, the literal translation of those two words to the Spanish language does not connect with the concept of ministry training. In its place, we use the words, Retiro de Entrenamiento Ministerial (Ministerial Training Retreat), alongside boot camp. It is a three-day retreat with intensive learning experience where biblical principals, proven practices and applications are provided to plant a church in the Hispanic context, with the mission to make disciplemakers and multiply churches among our EFCA multiethnic communities.

The basic dynamic of a military boot camp is reflected in our Ministerial Training Retreat’s goals, methodology and content, and it demands the same sense of discipline and intense learning from the attendees committed to the mission of multiplying transformational churches among all people.

In the Ministerial Training Retreat (MTR)/Boot Camp in Spanish, participants:  Continue Reading…

My Dance with Doomsday

Alvin Sanders – February 3, 2015 2 Comments

All People blog

When I was 18, I came out of a movie theater with my date and saw a pamphlet on my car windshield entitled, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture is in 1988, by Edgar Whisenant. Whisenant, a former NASA engineer, took to calculating the end of the world. According to him, it would happen sometime during the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, September 11-13, 1988. I don’t know how many people he convinced with that little booklet, but I know he succeeded with at least one 18-year-old!

I watched TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) and they said Whisenant was credible. I stepped up my prayers, made amends with any enemies and said my goodbyes to the people I loved. Then, I went to a local park with my Bible every day around 6:00 p.m., because that’s when Jesus would show, according to Whisenant. I was waiting for the skies to open; I was ready.

When September 14 came, I felt like an idiot. I called my mentor at the time, Joe Young, and we did an autopsy of the whole affair. He laughed at my naivety, of course, but we had a great discussion about what I would soon learn was the field of eschatology.  Continue Reading…