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…

Could Your Witness Become An Idol?

Alvin Sanders – April 9, 2015 4 Comments

All People blog

Earlier this week, I wrote about guarding against faithfulness becoming an idol. In my hometown of Cincinnati, (see “First Glimpse: Hug Me Jesus” ) there is an ongoing saga of the ginormous statue of Jesus built by Solid Rock Church.

If you are unfamiliar with this saga, let me sum it up for you:

Solid Rock sits right off highway I-75. In 2005, they became famous after building a 62-foot-high statue of Jesus with his arms stretched out, appearing to rise up, baptism-style, out of a pond. I’m sure they meant it as a testimony to the glory of God and to be a witness to the world around them. However, a funny thing happened concerning the witness.

People haven’t taken the statue very seriously. Basically, it became the state’s biggest eyesore as the local community complained about it, and people gave it nicknames like, “Touchdown Jesus” and “Big Butter Jesus.” People would stop on the highway and take pictures ridiculing it. Comedian Heywood Banks even wrote a parody song. Just Google one of the nicknames mentioned in my previous sentence and chuckle at the array of images that come up.  Continue Reading…

Could Your Faithfulness Be An Idol?

Alvin Sanders – April 7, 2015 1 Comment

All People blog

There is a very real danger of confusing faithfulness with faith. We can have all the outward trappings of godliness (2 Tim. 3:5), while not actually having God. Such a situation would make faithfulness an idol. We need to realize that faithfulness is the process, not the product.

Regular church attendance, prayer and Bible study times, and avoiding sin in all forms are, of course, things for which we ought to strive. However, they are not the goal. The goal is to be in relationship with God regardless of life circumstance. That is called faith.

Ironically, if we are not careful, the things we do to stay in relationship can end up being substitutes for the real thing. If we measured our faith by how often we do daily devotions or how pious our behavior, we are building houses on sand, because we often fail to meet the lofty goals we set for ourselves (Matt. 7-26-27). A better measurement is commitment to our relationship with God and having our lives reflect that commitment as often as possible.  Continue Reading…

EFCA One

Alvin Sanders – April 2, 2015 Leave a comment

All People blog

EFCA One is a major, national event for our movement. All EFCA church pastors, staff and leaders are welcome to attend. There is value in gathering as a movement, while giving attendees opportunity to participate in affinity events and learning sessions. I would love to see you at the EFCA All People Initiative pre-conference session, “Discipling All People.”

Also, it will be a great celebration of retiring president Bill Hamel’s ministry at the EFCA and voting will take place for presidential nominee Kevin Kompelien.

We hope to see you there!

EFCA Urban Missions Opportunity

Alvin Sanders – March 31, 2015 Leave a comment

 

All People blog

Looking for a way to spend your summer while developing your own leadership skills?

The BUMP Internship Program was created to introduce young-adult believers to urban Christian ministry. It provides experiential learning through opportunities for growth in leadership and relationship building. The connections, between those interested in serving in urban churches and proven leaders in ministry, engage interns in a way that brings relevance to their faith and life in ministry. In some instances, college credit can be earned.

For more information on the internships, visit the BUMP web page.

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…