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Board Summary Letter

By

Dear Co-Laborer for Christ,

The Board of Directors of The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) met at the National Office in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on February 22–23, 2017. In addition to the numerous reports to be reviewed, an invitation had been extended to all district superintendents (DSs) and association presidents (APs) to join the Board for lunch on Wednesday, continuing on through lunch on Thursday. The following summarizes the Board proceedings to the extent allowed by the duty of confidentiality owed on various issues.

The meeting started on Wednesday morning with a devotional time led by Dr. David C. Thompson. David’s words addressed the question: “What kind of a church are we?” During this time, the reality of the C&MA churches was contrasted with the Antioch church from the book of Acts. Thoughts expressed included our strong adherence to the Word of God as found in the Bible and our track record on the mission field. Challenges discussed included our spiritual lives, prayer for healing, discernment of spirits, and others. The deeper spiritual life needs to continue being a point of emphasis among our congregations.

After opening remarks from our president, John P. Stumbo, and our assistant corporate secretary, Gary D. Friesen, the Board received mainly positive reports from The Alliance Development Fund, The Orchard Foundation, and CAMA Services, Inc., all of which are subsidiaries of the C&MA.

For lunch, the Board was joined by the DSs and APs. This was the second time that the DSs and APs have been invited to participate in a Board meeting.

After welcoming expressions from our corporate vice president, Jonathan G. Schaeffer, the meeting swung into full gear. The unity and harmony enjoyed during our time together was remarkable, and the shared focus on the C&MA ministry both locally and internationally was evident and enthusiastic.

The C&MA multiplication ministry church-planting efforts and results were discussed. Several stories of church plants were shared by the DSs present. There is a sacrifice required to send out 100 of a church’s best people to plant a church, but with it comes great blessing. There is also a demonstration of commitment and obedience when a new church commits early on to give to the Great Commission Fund (GCF) and support its district, which can also bring great blessing. The Greenhouse Environment and Fresh Start Ministries have produced excellent results.

The importance of our missionary tour system as a way to connect our congregations with our international ministry efforts and encourage GCF giving was discussed. The limited number of international workers on home assignment on any given year continues to be a challenge when trying to provide our many churches with the support their missionary conferences need. John A. Corby has been assigned to make the system as efficient as possible, and he presented several ideas that will be implemented in the coming months.

The DSs shared their approaches and efforts to mobilize our churches toward GCF giving. Many ideas were presented, including terms such as: prioritizing, persistence, adherence, highlighting principle beliefs, adoption, C&MA identity, assigning personnel to the task, affinity, the importance of every small gift, participation in missions (including short-term, Converge, conferences, tours), faith-filled obedience, attending Council, and the progress that has been made. Dennis K. Whalen, vice president for Development, gave statistics of increase in giving by formerly unengaged churches. The Board continues its efforts to promote GCF giving which will allow our Kingdom work to increase its depth and breadth.

On Thursday morning, the meeting started with a devotional time led by Cuban-born Board Member Joseph D. Botana II. Moved by his recent visit and ministry in Cuba, Joe developed his devotional from an 1870s poem by Cuban poet and revolutionary José Martí, titled “The Little Pink Shoes.” Joe peeled back the layers of the story, presenting it first as just a story of a little girl taken to the beach, second as a story about social justice and the responsibilities of those who are well-off financially, and third as a story about the spiritual condition of different segments of the Cuban population almost 60 years after the revolution. It was a call to action that we may go to dangerous places to help people in dire need of the gospel.

Timothy D. Crouch, vice president for International Ministries, spoke briefly about the sudden death of Philip L. Skellie, previous president of CAMA Services, Inc., who had passed away the prior evening. Many memories of Phil were shared followed by a time of prayer for his family and friends.

John P. Stumbo spoke about his meetings with young leaders in the C&MA and shared the results of a survey taken during the meetings. Several differences between Millenials and Baby Boomers were discussed. The session closed with small groups discussing the strengths they see in the rising generation and what can be done to more fully engage those strengths in the work of the C&MA.

The Board received the report and recommendations of the Church Ministries Committee, which had received and reviewed the Church Ministries Report prepared by Daniel R. Wetzel, vice president for Church Ministries. Several recommendations were discussed and voted on.

As the participation of the DSs and APs drew near, there was a time for open forum discussion, which covered many issues and prayer requests. Among them, Ronald J. Morrison spoke about the recent death of Rockwell L. Dillaman’s daughter. Questions were asked regarding the C&MA’s health insurance plan. Kenneth E. Baldes, vice president for Operations/Finance, who has taken on the management of the health insurance plan in addition to his regular duties, gave a full explanation of the current situation and the expectation that the necessary steps taken have started to head the plan in the right direction.

At the lunch break the DS participation in the meeting concluded.

During the afternoon session, the Board received and acted upon reports from the Corporate Secretary, President, Nominations Committee, Development, Operations/Finance, a Church Ministries’ addendum, and International Ministries.
Notably, the Board approved the appointment of 11 international workers for service with the C&MA in various locations. We are all grateful for their disposition to serve and will continue working hard to provide all the support and assistance they, along with all our international workers, need and depend on us to provide.

Throughout the meeting there were multiple calls to prayer and much lively conversation and exchanges. The presence of the DSs and APs made it a busier meeting than usual, and the joint sessions overshadowed the ordinary agenda, but all was accomplished in due course in an atmosphere permeated by the brotherhood that Christ establishes among us and with a felt presence of our Lord.

In Christ’s love,

Steven C. Lausell
Corporate Secretary

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