Better Positioned for Missional Ministry – John Stumbo Video Blog No. 97

August 12, 2021


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John explains the impact of the National Office move on our ability to fulfill the mission Jesus calls us to accomplish.


As you’ve heard, your National Office is in the middle of a reformation and a relocation. Today, I want to explain why that matters and give us some updates.

Welcome to year nine of these video blogs. 96 months ago, a much younger form of me nervously stood in front of a camera, coming from Great Britain of all places, with my first video blog announcing this crazy idea that the 12th president of The Christian & Missionary Alliance, on the 12th of the month, was attempting to do a 12 minute video blog; and deep in my heart, I hoped that I would get to do this for 12 years. Well, thank you for the privilege of the reelection, and thank you for the opportunity to stand in front of you again. Some of you have been watching these every month, time after time. Bless you for that.

I seriously reevaluated whether I should continue this for term three, but prayerfully have concluded that yes, communication is more important than ever. The Alliance family is engaging on our missional quest, and I don’t know of any better way of continuing to engage with us, so I’m going to continue these. Thank you again for your participation.

Now, you’re going to be hearing some extra noise, and you’re going to be seeing some extra activity in this video; and that’s because I am in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, in the office building that we are renovating as our temporary office. God has opened up this property for us right in the backyard of our future property; and so we’re going to be able to use this temporarily as we eventually move into our permanent facility—more on that later.

As you know, we are in this major process of taking our National Office and reforming how we go about office-ing and where we do so. All of Jesus for All the World—that’s our Alliance passion; that’s our mission. And a national office actually directly impacts the fulfillment of that mission. Every organization needs infrastructure for it to function effectively, and in The Christian & Missionary Alliance, we have 25 district offices, over 5,000 licensed workers serving in church planting and pastoring, in numerous types of chaplaincy, and our international workers in some of the least reached nations of the world.

For these teams and individuals to be served well and for the tens of thousands of donors that we have supporting this work to be served well and for us to have communication so that we’re understanding the stories and able to see and read of what’s taking place in the Alliance, we need teams, accountants, IT people, visual and graphics people, and video people. We need to have editors and people overseeing our mission and church ministries programs. And so, it’s a 100 person staff. I have worked hard to keep us lean, to not have any bloating of the infrastructure. Some of my denominational president friends have acknowledged that it’s so easy for denominations to become top-heavy in staffing, and so we’ve worked hard to stay lean in how we function and what we do.

But as you know, right now that staff is moving here to Columbus, and let me retell the story quickly. We took a step back two years ago and said, “Is it not wrong that we, as The Alliance, and really every Christian organization that we know, offices in the same way?” We build a building, bring in our staff, lock the door, and ensure that our staff doesn’t have to engage with the community the 40 hours a week that they work. We would like to disrupt that model, and while disrupting that, we asked the question of, “Are we in the right city as well?”

So, we did a search of cities with top 100 airports, greater ethnic diversity than Colorado Springs, and lower cost of living. That reduced the list of U.S. cities to 17 or so, and then we did the overlay of the U.S. Alliance map, saying, “Maybe we could get closer to a greater percentage of The Alliance family.” And that’s why we came to the list of Columbus, Cleveland, and Indianapolis. A year ago right now, we made four trips thanks to the generosity of an individual donor who provided for those who is now with Jesus in heaven. We visited 90 different properties and landed on this one right here in Reynoldsburg. I, at this moment, am standing in the temporary office that we are in the middle of a remodel of.

This building was vacated because of COVID. This business relocated, and we now have the privilege of renovating this, and we’ll be occupying it, Lord willing, shortly after the first of the year. Some of the building supplies have been back-ordered, as you can imagine. Air conditioning units and those kinds of things are difficult to acquire at this odd moment in time. But our staff is transitioning one by one to Columbus. This building is under renovation, and I am thrilled to announce that we are now the proud owners of a Kmart. It’s not really the Kmart we’re excited own, it’s the land that that Kmart sits on—nine and a half acres of prime real estate. Add to that, this property, that’s actually contiguous in the backyard of the Kmart, that’s where I’m standing. And then, we are now under contract for the corner lot, finishing out the 11-acre parcel of prime real estate that we’re looking forward to the opportunity of developing.

God has provided every step of the way. God has shown His kindness to us every step of the way by providing the willingness of the owners to sell at good prices by providing the generosity of the early adopters who have donated for this. Friends, we’ve not taken a dime from the Great Commission Fund for property purchase or building renovation, nor will we for the building completion when we actually are able to build out the full office. We’re not using GCF dollars for this, nor will we go into long-term debt. This is a faith-filled risk that we are taking, but we’ve stepped out in faith, and so these early adopters have given generously, and we’ve been able to pay cash for these properties and for this renovation.

And so we’re just . . . I’m standing kind of in awe of what God has done in such a short time, and I’m expectant for what He’s going to do. We’ve got a long way to go to actually see this dream come to completion. It’s going to be a few more years before we have a building fully up and operating, but we’re on a good pathway. Rob Chiles is leading us well, and some of you met him at Council; and we’re very grateful for what we get to do at this moment in time because of your prayers, the early adopters’ generosity, and God’s faithfulness to us.

What’s to come in upcoming months is August 28, the Kmart’s getting knocked down, and the city has asked us to throw a celebration. The whole building won’t come down in one day, but we’re going to begin the process and have kind of a fair, festive kind of atmosphere—a brief program, some music, some food trucks, some activities, and invite The Alliance family, and invite the whole community of Reynoldsburg and beyond. And so, we believe we’ll have hundreds of people here, and it’ll be a joyful morning. August 28, starting about 10:30, program at 11:00—and so this is an invitation for you to join us for that.

As the fall goes on, obviously this building’s development will continue, and we begin the design work for the future and long-term office building. Meanwhile, we are also engaging with the community. As a staff, as we get established here, figuring out our own housing and getting our own driver’s licenses and those kinds of things, we’re also beginning our process of getting to know the community that we are calling our own and seeing the ways that God might begin to use us here. Bottom line, I believe that this is going to advance the mission of The Christian & Missionary Alliance. We are one of God’s end-times families that He’s raised up to complete the Great Commission. All of Jesus for All the World is our mission, and as we office differently, and as you’re able to engage with that office in greater ways, we will be shaped, better positioned to carry out what God’s called us to do.

I’m feeling the weight of some of that—a lot of money we need to raise, a lot of decisions we need to make, a lot of families that we’ve disrupted. I’m feeling the significance of this in that this will shape who The Alliance is for decades to come and possibly be an influence for other organizations as well. So thank you, Alliance family, for the way that you continue to engage in our mission advance. Thank you for the way that you prayerfully support our work. Thank you for the way that you’re seeking to influence your own communities for Christ. Thank you for the ongoing generous financial contributions you give for the Great Commission Fund and others now for Project Reimagine.

Thank you for being the kind of family that is willing to take faith-filled risks, believing that we have more work to do in this world, that the Holy Spirit empowers us, enables us, and gives us the ability to see what He wants to do. So, we step forward in faith together. We step forward in faith knowing that our work is not done, but soon our King is going to come back and announce that it indeed is done, and we’ll celebrate for all eternity. In the meantime, we’re under construction, and we’re on a mission. Let’s carry on together.


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