As usual, the North American Christian Convention is packed with possibilities. You might not know where to begin. If you’ve attended for years, you might drift through this year’s event—July 8 to 11 in Indianapolis—on autopilot. Or, perhaps you want to take in as much as possible, so you’ve highlighted your program to maximize every day from sunrise to well past sunset.
Take a deep breath. The NACC isn’t just a program for you to power through.
1. Make eye contact.
Notice people around you. Stroll. Sit. Savor. Don’t rush from one session to another and miss the opportunities surrounding you. God is placing you among thousands of people. Each person comes with his or her own baggage and passions. Look around and notice people. Connect.
2. Pray through the exhibit halls.
We often visit booths to shop or connect, but remember, each booth represents a group of people who need prayer support. Visit the exhibit halls at least once to simply pray as you walk by each one. You might not know the specific needs, but God does. Later, revisit the ones where you feel a special interest or a prompting to learn more. Investigate, ask questions, and get involved.
3. Make a new friend.
It’s fun to reconnect with friends we see once a year at the NACC, but who are we missing when we close our circles of friends? Start a conversation with the person beside you in a workshop. Sit in a different place for every main session. If you don’t connect with new people, you’ll miss out on some great friendships.
4. Serve someone.
Consider how many people work at the convention center, hotels, restaurants, shops, and all those people walking along the streets of Indianapolis. Serve them. Go above and beyond what anyone would expect. Give abundantly. Love others in tangible ways. Be a vessel and let God work through you.
5. Take a break.
Put yourself in time out—and not because you’re in trouble. It’s OK to skip a session. Pace yourself. Take a nap. Go for a walk. Sip a cup of coffee. Read your Bible. Get recharged. Growing isn’t just about taking in information; it requires soaking in God’s presence. In order to step out with bold faith, you need to be still to hear God’s prompting.
Susan Lawrence is a national speaker and author of Pure Purpose, Pure Emotion, Pure Growth, and Pure Faith Bible studies. She blogs at purepurpose.org. She has coordinated women’s ministries, small groups ministry, and Christian education at Taylorville (Illinois) Christian Church.