By Mark A. Taylor
Of course, if you had attended the North American Christian Convention in Anaheim, California, July 12-15, you would have experienced many good things . . .
We enjoyed dry, warm days amid the beautiful palm-tree setting of the Anaheim Convention Center
We shared the enthusiasm of California Christians, many of whom had never experienced an NACC before. Over half the crowd at the packed opening-night assembly were Californians. A similar number said this was their first NACC.
Gene Appel, minister with Eastside Christian Church in Anaheim, praised convention President Dave Stone for the hard work he did to stir this participation. “I’m grateful for what Dave has invested of himself” to make the convention successful, Appel said, citing Stone’s more than 30 trips over three years to California and an additional $400,000 Stone raised to underwrite convention expenses. The churches in California “are better connected than ever,” Appel said.
Evidence of Stone’s work is seen in the 5,790 who registered for the convention, more than in Cincinnati last year. And Larry Collins, the convention’s managing director, reports that 55 percent of these were Californians.
But the riches of this summer’s NACC are not just for the thousands who attended. You can enjoy them too. Here’s how.
Till August 15, hear the main-session sermons and worship free online at https://www.gotonacc.org/nacc-live/. I want to hear a couple of messages I missed, and even more I want to listen again to several I heard! These are personally challenging applications of encounters with Jesus recorded in the Gospel of John, and you’re sure to find several favorites among them.
John Caldwell, posting on Facebook, said, “Dudley Rutherford’s sermon was one of the best ever at an NACC. Jeff Vines’s treatment of John 14 was the best I’ve heard on that great passage. I love African-American preaching, and Albert Tate’s message was outstanding not only in style but in substance.”
I’d add messages by Dave Stone, Gene Appel, Rick Rusaw, and Jeff Vines to my list of favorites.
Several convention speakers and workshop leaders took time to speak with us in exclusive interviews from the convention floor. All these are posted now at the Christian Standard Media channel on YouTube. You’ll enjoy some surprises, a few laughs, and help for your church and your personal Christian life as you listen while
• Stone describes the genius behind the 2016 convention theme, “A Better Story.”
• Appel, 2017 NACC president, explains why he believes the convention is valuable, why he believes our “tribe” is important, and how to lead change in a church.
• Brian Mavis also connects the spiritual with social concern in his new work, America’s Kids Belong.
• Christine Caine says shame drives too many Christian leaders today.
• Jeff Vines makes a plea for more teaching on apologetics in local churches.
• Rick Rusaw explains why “neighboring” is crucial to the spread of the gospel today.
• Mike Cope considers how Christians can recover from and live with devastating loss.
• Jeff Stone discusses one-on-one evangelism techniques any Christian can use.
• Matt Proctor shares unique and persuasive perspectives on parenting.
• Joe Grana challenges Christians of every age to keep growing spiritually and suggests methods to make this happen.
• Mel McGowan explains why he believes your church building can help show the gospel to your community.
This lineup is an indication of the depth and significance of this year’s convention. Click the links, sample the content, and receive the blessings that can be yours even if you weren’t able to attend it.