church with cross at top of building


Who Needs Another Church?


Editor’s Note: As The Alliance celebrates church multiplication in the month of May, questions will undoubtedly arise as to whether more churches are really needed and whether the hard work of planting churches is truly worth all the time, effort, and sacrifice. Although previously published in this magazine, the words below, excerpted from John Stumbo’s book, A Stained Beauty*, bear repeating—and answer these questions with resounding clarity.

As [the Church] is planted from region to region, she accomplishes powerful and beautiful work. Through the advancing Church, the loving message of salvation introduces the light of Christ into materialistic, pagan communities. Unknown and unheralded people find they have a divine assignment with eternal significance; and the marginalized are welcomed into a life-enriching community.

The Church has a long history of seeing those the world overlooks—the prisoner, the orphan, the deaf, the disabled, the refugee, the widowed, the unemployed. When the Church gets it right, peacemakers and reconcilers; grace-givers and mercy-grantors; justice-defenders and way-
makers all have world-bettering impact. When the Church gets it right, the imprisoned and the impoverished; the marginalized and the misunderstood; the unfriended and the unnoticed find acceptance, opportunity, and the pathway to a new life trajectory.

When the Church gets it right, those living with loneliness and loss discover that this is not the last chapter of their story. Community is available—acceptance and healing are real.

Across the globe today there are countless, tangible expressions of love and compassion through the Church living out its calling to be the Church: orphanages, women’s and children’s shelters, schools, rehab centers, hospitals, clinics, dispensaries, rescue missions, and homeless shelters. As we in the Church observe needs, we mobilize to fund disaster response and clean-up, provide crisis counseling, and rebuild homes.

Yes, when the Church gets it right, as she often does, there are fewer lonely, hungry, thirsty, sick, sex-trafficked, marginalized, forgotten people in this world. As you’ll see in the pages ahead, more of everything that makes life better becomes available—from our neighborhoods to the nations and to the nations that have come to our neighborhoods—when the Church does Church well.

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