Dr. David Faust has ministered with churches in New York, Ohio, and Indiana. He is president of Cincinnati Christian University and is serving as the president of this year’s North American Christian Convention. “Together in Christ” is the theme for this year’s NACC, taking place in Louisville, Kentucky, June 27-30.
What are your earliest memories of the NACC?
My first North American was in 1972 in Cincinnati, Ohio. I was in a choir and we sang while standing on the field at Riverfront Stadium. I loved baseball, so being down on the field was an exciting thing for me.
Why should someone attend the NACC this year?
There are too many reasons to even count: biblical preaching and teaching, the fellowship, our exhibitors, and information you can get about ministry that’s taking place around the world. It’s also an historic time in our movement as we reach across boundaries with the churches of Christ. We know this convention isn’t going to solve everything, but it’s one that people aren’t going to want to miss.
There has been a lot of talk about unity surrounding the 100th anniversary of the formal split between the independent Christian churches and the a cappella churches of Christ. What do you see as the future of unity within the Restoration Movement?
I hope that 2006 is more than just a blip on the radar screen. If we just get together and pat each other on the back and then everything returns to the way it has been, that’s not enough. In fact in our planning for the 2006 NACC we’ve been discussing practical ways we can continue the positive momentum, and we’ll share some of those at the convention. At minimum we want to foster better relationships with leaders—sharing speakers and resources, inviting each other to conferences. I pray the Lord will be honored and that more people will be won to Christ because of what we’re doing.
Folks have talked about unity for years. How are things different today? Has the climate changed?
I’m no expert on this—people like Victor Knowles and others have been at this for decades, and they could answer this better. It appears to me that this is a broader grassroots effort. There is breadth to this that seems to me to be the work of the Spirit of God. It has affected academic institutions, publishing houses, established churches, new churches, missionaries, benevolent efforts, and more. People are coming together, focusing on what we have in common, and realizing that it’s a lot!
Have there been detractors who are less than happy with the direction of this year’s convention?
I’m an optimist. If things are conceived out of a pure motivation and communicated well, usually people will respect them. I know this has been conceived with pure motives. We’ve tried our best to communicate what it is and what it isn’t. It isn’t a merger or a takeover or a means of compelling anyone to violate his or her conscience or commitment to Scripture.
So you’ve seen broad acceptance?
I haven’t had to push this. All I’ve had to do is get on board and articulate it. I’ve been amazed at how widely it has been embraced. I worried it might be too narrow and that only people who are interested in the unity movement would care about it. “Together” says what we are. It’s not that we have it all figured out, but we’re coming together around our common task, our common heritage.
Brad Dupray is director of public relations and advertising with Provision Ministry Group, Irvine, California.