John Stumbo Video Blog No. 71

June 12, 2019


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In this recap of Alliance Council 2019, John recalls his message from Acts, using “Perga”—where John Mark turned back on the first missionary journey—as a metaphor to challenge our Alliance family. “Let’s go inward and upward together—face our Perga and move on, because God is calling us beyond.”


Hey, Alliance family. If you can picture this setting, Orlando, Florida. We’ve been talking about it for months. Well, this was the last joyful morning of our Council number 115. We had among the top-five best attended Councils ever. It was probably one of the most joyful Councils ever. And I’m quite certain it was the most multicultural Council ever in that the Alliance family is coming together in our numerous expressions in such a beautiful way.

At the end of this video, you’ll get to see a recap of our week, so visually you’ll see— and musically and from the messages you’ll get to hear—some of the snapshots of some of our sweet moments together. But I want to say to you at the front end of this month’s video blog that my gratitude for this family has just been deepened more and more.

I’ve loved this family for a lifetime. My dad was an Alliance pastor and district superintendent. [I] went to an Alliance school. I got saved in an Alliance church. All that story . . . I’ve loved this family for a lifetime. But this week my gratitude for this family has deepened. The way that we have leaned in with each other. The way that we’ve leaned into worship, to the Word of God, to the raising up and sending of missionaries, to committee involvement, to good discussions around the business.

And so, I’m just grateful for this family in a newer and deeper way.

On the opening night of Council, I gave the message. And I did a message I’d never done before, had never even seen before in the Bible until preparation for Council. It came out of Acts—the sending of Paul and Barnabas for the first time, and they take with them John Mark. They leave Antioch, the sending church. They go to Cyprus, Barnabas’s home island, and then they head off into the entrance of Asia, the community of Perga, a port city in modern day Turkey. And it became a metaphor for the week because it was there in Perga that John Mark bought a ticket, got on a ship in that port city, and went back home, and missed out on what God was going to do in the next few years through Paul and Barnabas.

John Mark’s story would be redeemed. John Mark would eventually have a second chance. John Mark would eventually be reconciled to Paul. It wasn’t the end of John Mark’s story. He wasn’t disqualified. But he missed the moment of a lifetime. He missed a few years of a lifetime by pulling back in fear, pulling back to safety.

And what I suddenly realized in the preparation for this message was Paul and Barnabas—physically, geographically—were going inland and upward. They were entering into a mountainous region; [a] 200-kilometer trek before they even were starting to plant their first church—what we now call the churches of Galatia. A mountainous region, rugged terrain, a different culture, different people, different food, no access to a quick route out.

It was the inward and upward call of God that John Mark just couldn’t rise to. And so Perga—an inward and upward, and beyond our current safe zones—became a theme of this week. But not just for this week—this is a theme for the Alliance family, our missions emphasis, Regions Beyond, coming up this fall.

Within our own heart and spirit there is this beyond call to keep sending, to keep breaking out of that which binds us and confines us. So my simple message today to you, Alliance family, whether you were at Council or not, is just this appeal—that we would be the kind of people who don’t take the simple, the safe, the obvious—grab a ticket, there’s a ship waiting for me, I can go home to where I know I’m going to sleep, where I know I’m going to get my food. But to enter in.

Sometimes that’s occupationally, vocationally, educationally going inward and upward, taking something that we didn’t, you know, that presses us further. Often it’s the journey of the soul—going inward and upward to those hard places to address in our own experiences. And corporately together as we do as a family, following Him where He’s taking us as the Alliance family.

In the end, it just throws me all the more in dependence on God, and as you can hear in my voice I have been . . . I have little left. Well it’s what I started with at the beginning of the week. I was not physically well coming into this week. But I’ve been sustained by the kindness of God. Every moment that I needed, He provided. Every time I needed to open my mouth, there was actually a sound that came out. It’s just for me one more reminder. It’s not about how strong I am. It’s not about how wealthy the Alliance family is. It’s not about how big we are. We didn’t have big names this week. But the Spirit of God showed up. We’re not a famous anything—we don’t care. In our weakness, the power of Christ shines through.

And so I say, Alliance family, let’s go inward and upward together—face our Perga and move on, because God’s calling us beyond.

Montage: Council Week Recap

Alfredo Gutierrez, Sr.

[Hugging John Stumbo] We’ve got to hug. I can’t hug all of you. Welcome. Welcome.

Kelvin Walker

Movements were never intended to be monuments. When movements become monuments, they become edifices of brick and mortar that crumble and fade away. God has not called us to be a monument. God is continually calling us to be a movement, and this next phase of change is about movement.

Dan Boal

The young people in your church are not a problem to be solved. They are a wonder to behold.

Melissa McDonald

So the next generation is not just the next in ministry. They’re what God is doing right now.

Music Overlay

Thank Him for how great His love renewing, hey . . .

Nyack Chorale

I hear the chains falling . . .

Music Overlay

Thank Him for how great His love renewing, hey . . .

John Stumbo

I want to hand off the very best form of The Christian and Missionary Alliance possible to the next generation that’s arising.

Alfredo Gutierrez, Sr.

And that which separated us, not a culture, not a color, but an ideology has been torn down by the blood of the Lord Jesus.

Ted Kang

It is our Father’s pleasure that the name of Christ be exalted in every language, by every people group of the world. There are many bi-vocational pastors and church planters sitting here in this room tonight. You may not be seen as someone great in the eyes of the world, but Jesus says, “You are great in My Kingdom. I want you to persevere. Do not lose heart.” For if our ethnic identities and our cultural preferences are placed above our Kingdom allegiance and our Kingdom mandate, that is an idolatry.

Jen Vogel

I truly want to see all of the women, all of the women in our Alliance family to find their life in Jesus. Not in a ministry, not in an identity, not in a club, not in a group, but to find their life in Jesus and from that to be on mission together.

Tim Meier

The reason we’re doing all this is breakthrough. The reason we’re doing this is because of mission advance. We’re not doing this to make your check designations easier. We’re doing this because people have to get access to the gospel—and we must mobilize more workers.

Ivan Marti

But God is the One that is doing all the work. And remember my words—revival is coming!

Mitch Kim

And I realized that as a senior pastor, I am the number one most effective mission mobilizer in my church.

John Stumbo

Families are messy; families are loyal. So you’ll lean in during a moment like this. You don’t pull back in a moment like this. You’re engaged all the more because this family isn’t about us in the end.

Gabriel and Jeanette Salguero

The Holy Spirit does not know boundaries. And because the Holy Spirit does not know boundaries, the church knows no boundaries. Hallelujah! The Christian and Missionary Alliance has no boundaries. Because if God is with us, who can be against us? Whoo—hallelujah!

Bryan Loritts

Ethnic diversity is not a social justice issue. It is a Kingdom of God and gospel issue. Do minorities, when they walk in your church, do they feel like strangers and aliens? Do they feel at home? Because in the Church of Jesus Christ, there is to be no ethnic home team.

See, here’s the deal. If people are still coming to church out of relationships, then your sanctuary reflects dinner tables. If you want a diverse church, what does your dinner table look like?


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