Alliance: a Neighborhood Church
First and foremost, read Acts 2:42-47, but specifically vv. 45-47.
At Alliance, the people believe this simplistic fundamental of Christian life more than any church I've seen in my 20 years of following Christ. I have NEVER been around another group of people who would give the shirt off their back to anyone- member or not- if they thought it would help. I've been to plenty of churches who say they would- many who believe they would if given the opportunity- but these people do it, and it's organic to them. Not something they think about- just something they do.
Since moving back to Texas a couple years back, Joseph and Anita Canfield have blessed so many families by simply being who they are- beautiful, Godly, giving, warm, generous people. They make the people around them better just by being who and what they are- reflections of God's character. As their church continues to grow, I firmly believe they will shake the "over-churched" populous of the D/FW Metroplex to the core. Once they grow to a point where God blesses them with a building (they're meeting in a school while they continue to grow), there's no limit to what they'll do. I know, I know- a building shouldn't make that much a difference if they're really doing God's work. But let's be honest- going to a church in a school or a bible study in a living room can be an un-nerving thing. And in a consumer Christianity culture that's so evident in D/FW (with churches like Irving Bible Church, Gateway, Fellowship, FBC Euless, etc within a few miles) it's easy to walk away from a church that's 18 months old and still growing in favor of a 3,000-member megachurch with all the bells and whistles.
I'll tell you, though- we were regular attendees at Gateway before finding Alliance, and yes, Gateway is a great church, but the presence of the Lord at Alliance is unlike anything I've ever experienced. It's palpable.
Please don't misinterpret this review- the church isn't all about the Canfields- it's all about God, as it should be. Joe's teaching is relevant and spirit-led. As an aspiring bible scholar, I appreciate a pastor who'll say "the Bible says you should _____" but then goes one step further and says "don't take my word for it- turn with me to II Cor. 4:13" etc. The scripture is treated as the inspired word of God, relevant and accurate today as it was when it was written. Passages are quoted accurately and in context, and the meat-and-potatoes approach to preaching helps attendees leave better than they were when they came.
The only reason we're not active members of this amazing ministry is that my family was relocated by my job. If we weren't a couple thousand miles away, we'd be there every week.
If you're in the area, you owe it to yourself to try it out. You won't be disappointed.