My family and I just spent the last week in Indianapolis for the North American Christian Convention. We heard great speakers, worshiped with a few thousand brothers and sisters in Christ, and reunited with friends we haven’t seen in a while. It was a good time to be refilled and redirected.

The theme for the week was “ReMission,” a call to return to our mission, the Great Commission. Throughout the week we heard speakers at Bible studies, workshops, and main sessions recast the mission from several different perspectives. We were reminded that before we can share the Good News of Jesus, we had to be able to see the people for whom Jesus died, seeing beyond their skin color, social status, political affiliation, and more. We heard a call to “lead with love” and to connect with people through simple conversations. We were encouraged to engage the culture, to stop “dating and divorcing” the church, to stop complaining about the church, and to “hang in there!” We were reminded that when we serve the world, we’re loving people, not working on projects. We were challenged by the urgency of eternity to share the Good News because it’s the right, moral thing to do; because we were commanded by Jesus to do it; because it was Jesus’ mission, too; because life is short and hell is real; and because the church is shrinking. And finally, we were recommissioned to go into the world and be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.”

Throughout the convention, we heard the testimonies of men, women, and families whose lives were transformed by God through the efforts of preachers, teachers, coworkers, students, and even duck call makers who used any means they had available to stay focused on God’s mission to seek and save the lost. If I had to summarize everything in one statement, I’d remind us that we’re on a mission to change the world with a message that hasn’t changed. I pray that what we saw and heard would spark ideas and plans here in Athens so that our friends, neighbors, families, coworkers, and classmates would also be transformed by Jesus. We’re all in this together; let’s stay focused on the mission.