Leading the Way

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Alliance Missions in the last century focused primarily on harvest theology. The idea was to go where God had prepared a harvest, where the fruit was ripe and ready for picking. Resources were concentrated on responsive peoples resulting in a most encouraging harvest. These were years of dynamic growth for Alliance churches in places like Irian Jaya (now West Papua), Peru, and Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). “Not to us, not to us, O Lord, but to your name be the glory” (Psalm 115:1) for the rich harvest in these and other nations where God used the Alliance to birth strong, Great Commission churches.

In more recent years, we’ve seen these Alliance partner churches increasingly mature. God is transforming them from “the harvested” to becoming “harvesters” among their own people and cross-culturally. This is in alignment with his heart: “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8b). Over many centuries, the story of Christ has flowed primarily out of Europe and North America to the rest of the world. Now the scales are about to tip toward the global South with Christ followers in Africa, Latin America, and Asia soon becoming more numerous than those from Europe and North America. These new realities have huge implications for Alliance missions in this new century.

Taking a forward look, what does all of this mean?

  • We can celebrate vibrant families of Alliance churches in many responsive countries.
  • They can now send “harvesters” to join us in going to the remaining areas of the world with critically low access to the gospel.
  • While these more resistant areas are closed to clergy missionaries, they are often open to professionals serving with the International Fellowship of Alliance Professionals (IFAP) and Compassion and Mercy Associates (CAMA).

More and more workers from our partner Alliance churches will join with our US missionary / international worker force. And while continuing to send career church planting missionaries, the greatest growth among US international workers will be in IFAP and CAMA. As we journey forward in Alliance missions in this new century, it will be exciting to see God at work through these changes, calling out a people for himself from the remaining least-reached people groups!

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