Another Visit with an Old Friend

ABy Mark A. Taylor

s I get older I’m frequently surprised by the age of some people I’ve always considered young. Young people are getting older these days!

Like Jeff Stone. I remember him well when he was a child. But now he’s the salt-and-pepper-headed president of this year’s North American Christian Convention. He said he wanted some perspectives from “younger leaders” for this special convention preview issue.

Good idea.

The only problem is that none of the writers this week is under 30, only two are under 40, and at least one of them is closer to 60. But I’ve always considered each as a trendsetter, edgy type. Young.

We all know the truism: “You’re only as old as you feel.” I’m not sure that transfers to “They’re only as old as I remember them,” but readers can decide for themselves whether this year’s convention seems young and fresh or old and more of the same.

I’ve indulged myself with other critics of the North American Christian Convention in the past. Something this big and well-known and, well, old, makes an easy target. But I’m feeling good about the NACC described in this week’s issue. I’m not sure how well that bodes for it.

I like to think my tastes are midstream—not trendy or stodgy, young or old. Just normal. Right. Appealing to everybody. But my kids (who at ages 29 and 32 aren’t getting any younger, either) regularly remind me that I might be getting a tad out of touch. It happens whenever we talk about movies or music or technology or politics. I don’t like to think about it.

I’d rather retreat to favorite experiences with old friends. And like a couple of this week’s writers, that’s how I describe the NACC. With them, I have attended it for years. Like one of them, I courted the girl who would be my wife at the NACC. I didn’t attend as a child, but both of my kids did, and one of them ended up working for the convention straight out of college. (We’re still receiving at least one newsletter I’ve never read but she requested at an NACC booth when she was 12.)

This old friend is getting older, just like the “young people” writing about it this week. And like them, it isn’t denying its age while it stays in touch with emerging generations and contemporary needs.

Some of the youngest thinkers I know are among the oldest people I know. The NACC is like them: Easy to be with but giving me something new to think about. Mature. Challenging.

Whatever your age, I hope you’ll visit this old friend with me this summer.




Related 2009 NACC Articles:

“Still Amazed!” by 2009 NACC President Jeff Stone

“Why Is the NACC Important? I Go for My Family” by Brent Storms

“Why Is the NACC Important? Let Me Count the Ways” by Ken Idleman

“NACC Women’s Conference Returns for a Second Year” by Jennifer Taylor

“CHRISTIAN STANDARD Interview: Jeff Stone” by Brad Dupray

“One of the Good Guys” by Paul S. Williams (a column about Jeff Stone)

“2009 NACC Program”

“Other 2009 NACC Events”

“The Minister & Spouse Retreat” (Aug. 11-13 in Ridgecrest, NC)

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