Video Blog Highlights – Stumbo Video Blog 74

September 12, 2019

12:58

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A first this month for John’s video blog series. “We asked our newest videographer to compile my first six years of videos into a ‘highlights’ blog,” he says. “She did a great job capturing my heart and message—I trust you’ll be inspired!”

Transcript

OK team, here we go. Video blog number one: A new journey begins. I’m John Stumbo. Seven weeks ago in Tampa, Florida, I was elected as the next president of The Christian and Missionary Alliance. I’m hoping to have a conversation with you where we begin to mobilize the U.S. Alliance churches together as one. I have this significant sense that I’m not qualified. But I have this sense that it’ s my turn. It’s my turn to lead. But I also have this sense that it’s not just my turn to lead; it’s your turn.

I have a service to perform. I have a people to lead. I have an enemy to rebuke, a gospel to proclaim, a task to accomplish, a world to love—and so do you, my friend. So do you.

When you think of vision, one thing that you’re simply asking is, Does anybody care anymore? Are we still passionate about this thing called reaching the lost? Are we still passionate about the message of “Christ in you, the hope of glory”? Does anybody care? And I want to say to you: the answer is yes. I care. Many of you care deeply, and together we are going to work through who it is that God is calling us to be as we live out the calling and heritage that’s been placed upon us.

God has raised up The Christian and Missionary Alliance to be one of the key players that He is using in this world to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to every segment of human society—because His eternal plan is that there will be representatives in heaven from every tribe and tongue and language and nation.

The resurrected Christ, Church, is too holy, too loved, too significant to be lamely led by faithless leaders performing religious duties in some stale, perfunctory manner.

You didn’t call me to this to just go through some religious routines and then slap the name of Jesus over the top of it. You called me to a high and holy calling, and God, would you stir in me a holy zeal, a reflection of Your heart for Your Bride? From your churches, people are loved, prayers are prayed, worship of the Almighty God is heartfelt. The Word of God is declared. Holy marriages are formed and defended. Widows are supported. Missionaries are raised up, sent out, and supported. Souls are rescued from Satan’s clutch and baptized in the powerful name of Jesus. What we are doing is no small thing. It’s of eternal significance.

Together we have one chance at this thing called making use of our life to serve the Lord who called us. This has given me a sense, a greater sense of purpose, of destiny, of urgency.

The lostness of man alone—if that’s all that’s beating in our heart, that’s not sustainable. None of us can minister long term under that kind of weight. In a loving, joyful, life-giving kind of way, that’s sustainable, love is sustainable. Burden alone is not.

We really don’t need smaller problems. We need a bigger view of God, a God who looks into every believer’s heart and says, “I am making you more than you are in and of yourself.”

Our God is able to increase our capacity. Our God is able to make us more than we are or allow us to rise to moments that we never expected we’d be in.

There’s a much bigger story being written here. The plan that He has, very interwoven; you’re part of that plan—you have a sweet contribution to make to that plan. We live in a world of beauty, Christ follower . . . not just the beauty of creation, as powerful as that is, but a beauty that is interwoven in every fabric of our lives—if we have eyes to see.

We need to feel with those who, even if we weren’t part of the community that’s been unjustly treated, to feel some of that injustice—to mourn with those who mourn.

Isn’t this one of the greatest beauties of Jesus Himself—that He had complete power under complete control? He never operated out of fear. He never operated in a manner that was self-serving. He came to bring justice and freedom and equality and life.

There’s a stirring happening in my heart. I’m believing; I’m expectant that God will be at work as we gather because He is already at work in our planning. He is already at work in your local churches.

God has raised us up to be on the front edge of what He is doing in this world. Yes, it takes perseverance. Yes, it takes sacrifice and willingness to do the hard thing over a long period of time. But this is who we are.

If we have not love, we have nothing. We’ve accomplished nothing. If Alliance pulpits lose the authority of God’s Word, we’ve lost the heart of this movement.

Those walls enclosing our church building are to keep us warm in the winter, not isolated from society.

This is very personal to me . . . that The Alliance that I pass on to the next generation, I want it to be a movement that just throbs with passion for this world.

As a Christ-centered, Acts 1:8 family, I believe God is calling us together to love, proclaim, reach people of all ages, people lacking access, people on the move . . . and launch. Launching people, dreams, resources. It matters that we get this right.

Know that your identity comes because of who your Master is. Know that your value comes because of how much you are loved by Him and that your work, increasingly, becomes an expression of the work of God in your own heart.

For six years now, I’ve been traveling. Operating under the leadership philosophy that a desk is a poor place from which to lead a denomination.

Lord, would you help me that if fear is the only thing stopping me, may it never win again? Fear has the power to make us smaller people—where we resist change. Fear has the ability to make us less loving, narrower, less able to take risks. Stuck kind of people. You see, whenever we act out of fear, we’re going to do things that are smaller, lesser.

Please don’t see all the fruit of your labors as single-generational. One generation of impact. No, no, no, no. The fruit often is multi-generational, going on and on and on. I’m here testifying that the fruit is sweet and beautiful and ongoing. In fact, in some ways I believe the story is just beginning to be written.

I want to feel more, I want to experience more, I want to understand more of this generation, and I want to be the kind of leader who makes a way for them. Church leader, would we be the kind of leaders that are giving opportunity for the next generation to be fully engaged in the church? May we be the kind of leaders that open doors, that see potential, that create opportunities.

We really are better together. I know I say that phrase a lot, we’re better together, but in this moment, I want to acknowledge that we’ re better when our cultures mix more.

You don’t know where your story, humanly, is leading on this earth. But if only we knew that the King is still on His throne, that the Author is still writing a good story in our lives, even though there might be some dark chapter right now. If only we knew of what awaits for us in heaven, how the fabric of all of these threads, of all of these confusing and sometimes delightful stories all weave together. If only we knew.

And I wept as I stood there, trying to imagine what it would be like to have thousands of languages simultaneously sung, not in some discordant, awkward manner but in a way that the fabric of all humanity being woven together by thousands of threads of languages provided a tapestry of sound. Unimaginable. Unheard in any time in human history, until we stand before the throne of God and all sing praises to Jesus together.

Friends, we’re part of something big. We’re part of something significant.

This gospel of Jesus Christ transcends any culture, any generation, any language.

Something has to keep beating in our hearts because it beats in the heart of Christ. And if we’ve lost our passion, don’t try to regain it. Don’t try to stir it back up. Don’t guilt yourself. No, no, no, no. Just keep coming back to Jesus. Let Him restore the passion, who looked upon the crowd and was moved with compassion because He saw them for who they were.

When we all come together, the enemy trembles, the Word of God goes forward, the Kingdom advances—and it’s a story we all get to own.

Every role within the Body of Christ is essential. And some get a microphone more than others. But nobody gets access to God more than others.

We’re the people of God. With a different spirit that the world can’t ever concoct or create.

Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.” May we be the people who not only observe but are moved with compassion—respond in some manner that is appropriate.

May we become master artists at weaving the grace and truth tapestry together. Both strands are needed to be strong and continuously interwoven.

On our shores, we plant more churches and we reach more immigrants. And we reach more generations advancing the name of Jesus. From our neighborhoods to the nations and the nations that have come to our neighborhoods. And I’ve been with a lot of those people just in these last few hours. Will we invest our lives in that which outlives us? Will we give ourselves to those things that it doesn’t matter if we’re around or not?

And so, I ask us—let’s do this well because this matters

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