Editorial

What is Great Commission Sunday?

(and who really cares?)

By

The first half of the question is easy to answer: Great Commission Sunday is any Sunday this month (May) when Alliance people gather to celebrate what God has done in and through us and to renew our commitment to complete Christ’s Great Commission (Matt. 28:18–20). The U.S. Alliance family will have opportunity to hear about, pray for and give toward efforts to move the gospel closer to people in our own country and throughout the world.

But who really cares?

John and Lisa Sappia care. After having crossed “the line in the sand” at the C&MA General Council in May 2007, the Sappias solidified their call to embody Christ to the people of Paraguay. They represent a worldwide missionary family that relies on God’s provision—through the prayers and giving of Alliance people—to carry out the call.

James and Sue Mann care. As the founding pastoral couple of Northgate Community Church (an Alliance church plant in Toledo, Ohio), the Manns are devoting their lives and mobilizing their congregation to help bring healing to their troubled inner-city community. Following the tragic murder of a Toledo police detective, the church countered with tangible acts of Christ’s love—and people are responding in miraculous ways.

Dorothy Shepson cares. Every morning when she opens her Bible to pray for Alliance missionaries, Dorothy knows she’s knocking on the door of a God who takes pleasure in answering and has proven Himself trustworthy to meet every need “according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

Chris Coughlin cares. As a member of a local Alliance church, Chris delights in extending the mercy and grace of Christ to people in his community. As a member of the greater Alliance family, he has heard the cries of lost and hurting people halfway around the world. And he responds.

David DeCoste cares. As network operations manager at the C&MA National Office, David’s average day is wrought with troubleshooting, problem solving and other organizational headaches. But at the end of the day, he knows that every efficiency and cost-saving measure he implements will help to extend the gospel’s reach into the last unevangelized corners of our planet.

Matt Cook cares enough to devote his life to the training of future church leaders in West Africa (page 7).

Jeremy Bergevin cares enough to start a “Cowboy Camp” for boys and young men in Mongolia (page 10).

A volunteer cares enough to take a year out of her life to serve at a remote third-world medical center, caring for AIDS victims, malnourished mothers and suffering infants (page 14).

Through their perseverance and compassion, these workers are offering Christ. And He is being well received.

Future followers of Jesus Christ care —although they may not know it yet. Scores of people in our neighborhoods and throughout the nations have either never heard His Name or have yet to discover His relevance—let alone His radiance. Until they do, they face a meaningless existence with no hope whatsoever for the life to come. But let’s remind ourselves of the Great Hope for humankind and our responsibility to introduce Him:

[F]or, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Rom. 10:13–15)

This is the heartbeat of the Alliance: Lost people matter to God. He wants them found. We are all part of His elite search and rescue team and will stop at nothing until all have been accounted for. The pages of this publication bear witness to our commitment.

And finally, YOU care. Otherwise you wouldn’t be holding this magazine. As Alliance people, will we continue to demonstrate the pioneering, sacrificial, gritty resolve that has characterized our movement since its inception? Will we move forward courageously, trusting an all-sufficient Christ to work in and through us to accomplish the impossible? If you attend an Alliance church, ask your pastor how you can join in the Great Commission Sunday celebration. If not, see page 13 or visit www.cmalliance.org/gcsunday

Living the Call Together,

Peter Burgo, Editor

Past Alliance Life Issues

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