By Allan Dunbar, NACC Executive Director
Our flight into Kansas City was late again. But the North American Christian Convention events all during that first week in July were both on time and timely. The “It’s Time” theme permeated every moment of this annual gathering.
The NACC staff works all year to meet deadlines . . . and they met all of them. About 800 volunteers from area churches showed up on time for their assignments . . . and did such a great job. Workshops started on time . . . and were extremely well attended. Worship services started and ended as planned . . . just like we sensed God wanted his timely blessings to be received with gratitude and praise. And when it was time to close the NACC, a new church had been birthed and was moving forward with vision and support to fulfill its moment in time.
Flooding in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas closed some of the main roads into Kansas City, causing many of our one-day visitors to miss out. The 4th of July falling midweek produced some conflicts for churches that take a leading role in their communities’ holiday celebrations. So, while attendance numbers didn’t meet expectations, those who came experienced blessings second to none.
Excluding Bible Bowl, 3,877 people registered. At any one time there were roughly 5,000 in attendance. For instance, 3,500 attended workshops on Wednesday. Bible Bowl had 880 competitors plus parents, family, and chaperones. The teen program had 850, and children numbered more than 200.
God through his people demonstrated amazing generosity with main session offerings totaling $105,181. That reflects a per capita giving of $27.02 from the registered attendees. That is the highest per capita giving on record; by comparison, last year’s was $20.42. A tithe of the offering was given to the new church plant in Kansas City. It’s so exciting to find such ways to honor God!
The NACC Made a Difference . . .
To a preacher—“The largest benefit from being here this week has been the personal renewal. It has been so good just to be away from the daily routine of ministry—the pressures, the tasks, the crises—and spend some time being fed. I came . . . ready to leave full-time paid ministry. However I’m hearing God’s call on my life to stay in ministry.”
To an exhibitor who has a booth every year—“Although the attendance wasn’t what we had hoped for, our meaningful contacts just may be the best we’ve ever experienced.”
To a family—“My wife and I would like to thank all of the ‘angels’ that assisted in the children’s convention. Our children made friends with other children and are exchanging e-mails. THANK YOU!”
To one who works overseas—“It was great to come back on leave and worship, be challenged, see what is going on, visit with old friends, get my toes stepped on, dream of possibilities, and think about what risks I need to take.”
To a volunteer—“Volunteering was fun. I talked with people from all over the world—literally. It was fun to help, receive smiles, and visit with fellow Christians.”
I’ll Remember . . .
“I am amazed and thrilled to see the fire and determination in our younger speakers. I am much encouraged for the future of Christ’s church.”
“The past two years of the NACC have been some of the most powerful moments I have experienced. I’m very excited about the direction we are heading.”
“Best preaching in several years!”
This Made Me Smile . . .
• A young man who collected pens from every exhibit booth and strung them in a necklace around his neck.
• Two elderly folk sound asleep with their heads on a table at a hotel restaurant.
• A teenager walking with only one sandal (she said she had lost the other one).
• Two teens with puzzled looks listening to the “vintage” Gospel Lads.
• People on Thursday evening still confused by the numbering system for rooms in the Convention Center.
It is such a privilege for our NACC to serve our fellowship each year. It is also nice to hear appreciative comments.
We’re already preparing for Cincinnati next year. Plan now to attend and make it a timely moment for you.
Allan Dunbar is executive director of the North American Christian Convention.