Happy to be an Irregular

By Gary Benedict

general-Council-2013-insetThe picture on my wall has 10 faces. Alliance presidents—from Simpson to Nanfelt—constantly remind me that I stand on their shoulders, one of many, not an individual. I share their vision—the gospel of Jesus Christ changing lives, families, communities, and our world; looking for the return of our King.

When he founded the Missionary Training Institute (now Nyack College), Simpson wrote: “We claim to be raising up a band of irregular soldiers for the vast unoccupied fields to supplement the armies of the Lord in the regions they cannot reach and work they cannot overtake.” I’m one of those irregulars—redeemed from a life far from God, called out of the marketplace, commissioned to represent Jesus to the world and empowered to live by the power of the Holy Spirit. It has been my joy to serve with this unique band of workers and see firsthand what God is doing through them.

God is on the move.

During the last eight years, U.S. Alliance work has concluded in countries where healthy, missionary-sending churches have been established, allowing people and resources to be re-deployed to some of the least-reached parts of the world. I am amazed at our multifaceted teams, comprising traditional clergy and relief and development, business men and women, medical, educational and other kinds of workers.

Some of these dedicated workers are 20-somethings called by God right out of college. Others are 50-, 60- or 70-somethings dedicated to serving God in second or third careers! Still others come from the next generation of the Church and are discerning God’s call on their lives while being discipled to serve wherever He may lead.

If there is one thing I find most encouraging, it is our renewed awareness and commitment to discipleship. As a young “irregular” I learned the importance of prayer, the Scriptures, evangelism, and fellowship. It didn’t take long to understand that the filling of the Holy Spirit is essential to accomplish anything eternal.

This discipleship hunger is much more than one president’s desire. It is rising up from the grass roots and will be our strength in years to come. Changed lives, families, communities, and nations will be the platform from which the gospel will be proclaimed as we await our Coming King.

Return to the City

Nyack College has returned to its roots in Manhattan. The new campus in Battery Park, with 60 classrooms, state-of-the-art labs, and a library with specialized collections, will double the capacity for student enrollment. Read the full article in the June 1 issue of Alliance Life.


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