By Ben Cachiaras
Here are some of the sessions planned for this summer’s North American Christian Convention in Indianapolis, July 6-9:
“BEYOND the Great Omission” is about making more and better disciples—with Jesus-like passion for both. Instead of omitting one-half of the Great Commission, God wants to stir a passion in us for reaching those far from him—and an equal passion for growing mature disciples.
“BEYOND Racial Zones” is about moving past our sectors of separation until our churches reflect the complexion we find in Christ’s church in Acts and Revelation. It is not about affirmative action or being politically correct. It’s about biblical action and being theologically correct.
Moving beyond racism to gracism comes when we realize how close this issue is to God’s heart. Most of us are eager to see a change here, but we don’t know where or how to start. The NACC is serious about helping us all grow and move forward in this aspect of God’s vision for us. Special guest Efrem Smith will help us.
“BEYOND Words” is about being Jesus in word and deed through holistic global impact. When the Word becomes flesh, faith takes action and moves our mission beyond just talk. Wednesday night at the NACC will be a mini-missionary convention, with lots of on-ramps for churches to engage in global ways.
“BEYOND the Desert of Ministry Fatigue” is about admitting there are times when ministry is hard, and we say to the Lord, “My soul thirsts for you . . . in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1). The occupational hazards for servants of Christ seem to include burnout and unhealthy living, marital struggles and discouragement.
We need to learn the rest and rhythms of Jesus so while we’re ministering to souls we don’t lose our own. Going BEYOND means taking the yoke of Jesus, who says his burden is light. At the NACC we will drink deeply of the Living Water who is Jesus—for the next leg of the journey he has mapped out for us.
“BEYOND the Walls” is about reaching beyond our buildings into our community with uncommon love and service. There is a sense in which we need our people to stop going to church. It’s time to be the church.
The measure of a church’s greatness is never its seating capacity, but its sending capacity. Special guest Francis Chan will urge us to live out the gospel beyond the walls.
“BEYOND Me” is about realizing that following Jesus is ultimately not about me. The challenges are beyond me. The solutions are beyond my own strength. When I lay down my life to follow Jesus, he can begin to lead past the biggest obstacle in going BEYOND, which is . . . me.
Gene Appel and special guest Rick Warren will encourage, embolden, and commission us to go BEYOND as we return to our posts.
Ben Cachiaras, senior pastor with Mountain Christian Church, Joppa, Maryland, is a contributing editor for CHRISTIAN STANDARD and a member of Standard Publishing’s Publishing Committee. He is serving as president of the 2010 NACC.