One of my favorite Far Side cartoons depicts an army of knights in full armor rushing over a drawbridge to storm a castle. Amidst the furious siege, one distracted warrior looks down at the moat and excitedly exclaims, “Look! A goldfish!” Certain tasks demand freedom from distraction:

  • An angler tying a trophy-worthy fly
  • A diamond-cutter splitting an eight-carat gem
  • An Olympic swimmer on her final lap
  • An air-traffic controller guiding multiple pilots
  • A surgeon transplanting a life-saving heart
  • My wife when she’s scrapbooking

Common elements? Passion, urgency and focus. The best distraction busters.

We are a Great Commission church. We go. Preach. Teach. Make disciples.
We are an Acts 1:8 church. We serve Jerusalem. Judea. Samaria. All the earth.

When I heard that less than 15 percent of U.S. Alliance churches participated in Great Commission Sunday this year, I couldn’t help but wonder: Are we distracted?

It’s not the magnitude of the distraction that drives our behavior. Neither a goldfish nor a great white should derail us from our siege against the darkness. Passion, urgency and focus will ultimately determine our outcomes. As we take to the highways and byways in search of the lost ones God so loves, the enemy will set a thousand “world’s largest ball of twine” signs along the way. Will we exit or stay on course?

In this issue you’ll read about several U.S. Alliance churches that are fully focused and on mission. They have chosen to direct a lot of energy to a few things rather than a little energy to a lot of things. They have resolved to build Christ’s Kingdom rather than their own congregational empires. And they have moved this editor to make an honest, sobering assessment of his own passion and focus, only to conclude that—Look! A goldfish!

Past Alliance Life Issues


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