By Guest Columnist Dick Alexander
Military leaders talk of “mission creep”—military action launched with a clear objective that, over time, loses focus and morphs into a protracted, watered-down, costly effort, draining resources without producing worthwhile impact. Can mission creep also afflict Jesus’ church?
Jesus launched the church to bring a lost world back to the heavenly Father. But can local congregations and even entire movements become social gatherings, social service agencies, educational and fraternal organizations, or athletic clubs, rather than the living, breathing, dynamic, world-changing body of Christ designed to bring the only really Good News to an empty and broken world?
Refocus on the Mission
The 2014 North American Christian Convention is named Re:Mission. It’s a call for God’s people to refocus on our mission of reaching and discipling lost people—not allowing ourselves to be distracted by good things yet miss the one critical thing that is in the center of God’s heart.
I know I need this reminder to re-mission, and I feel safe in saying you do as well. It could seem strange that we would sidetrack from what matters most to God, but it’s completely understandable. Human nature turns us inward. We shy away from hard things.
Reaching lost people is costly. Evangelism is risky. Crossing social barriers is intimidating. But loving people through us is God’s primary means of reconnecting people to himself. By noon on Friday, July 11, everyone who has shared together four vibrant days of the 2014 NACC will be more ready to live as Jesus for our world.
Every NACC guarantees:
• inspiration • challenge
• fresh ideas • useful skills
• enjoyable connecting
This year’s NACC will be those things and more—the 2014 convention is URGENT!
Take the Mission Home
This year also has a powerful bonus—a helpful way to take the convention home. For decades, audio and video recordings by the thousands have gone home from the NACC to be enjoyed and discussed in church groups. This year’s convention theme is being packaged by convention president Tim Harlow into a book and six-week church campaign through Pastors.com.
Structured like the 40 Days of Purpose, 40 Days of Community, and other high-impact campaigns, it will be filled with useful resources to help churches of all sizes re-mission their congregations. Don’t just come to the NACC and go home inspired, only to be frustrated by others who don’t share the passion—take home a powerful tool to infuse the same passion into your whole church!
If you are a Christian, you know this matters. You may feel guilt or disappointment that you and your church haven’t been more effective in reaching lost people. But the 2014 NACC isn’t about the past—it’s about encouragement for the future. It will be four inspiring, fun-filled days of stoking the fires in our souls.
Register now for the 2014 NACC (www.gotonacc.org). And if you want to begin stoking the fire early, sign up at the NACC website for RE:Connect. Each week you’ll receive an emailed link to a free 2-4 minute video on leading through change, vision, outreach, endurance, and many other topics from excellent leaders—a gift to you from the 2014 NACC.
Dick Alexander is the prayer chairperson for the 2014 NACC and lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.