Jan and I are home after a wonderful week at the North American Christian Convention in Orlando. From Dr. Mark Scott's powerful opening night exposition of Isaiah 55 to Bob Russell's closing challenge to over fifty 2012 Bible college graduates who were being commissioned, it was an outstanding convention. By the way, every preacher and Christian leader in America needs to hear Russell's sermon. You can still access it for free on the NACC website or you can order the CD or DVD from Christian Audion Tapes (www.catapes.com). I also thoroughly enjoyed preaching for the River Run Christian Church in Orlando over the weekened. Mitch Todd now leads this exciting church that has gone through challenges which would have killed many congregations; and yet they are thriving.
Week by week I've introduced you to the speakers and topics for the main sessions of this year's ICOM. I now have the privilege of telling you about the final service which will be held on Sunday morning, November 18. Remember, this will be "a disturbing conference that demands a response." The Sunday service is designed to call for that response with the theme, "A Radical Obedience: Fulfill God's Mission for Your Life." By that time we will have been challenged again and again as well as exposed to all sorts of opportunities for service. We're not going to leave without a powerful challenge to respond in the specific ways God would have each one of us to respond. The Lord has led us to exactly the right person to issue that challenge.
Many of you will not know DR. ROBERT SMITH JR., but having heard him you will never forget him. Dr. Smith was pastor of a large African-American church in Cincinnati when he was introduced to the Restoration Movement through what was then Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary. After graduation from CBC&S he went on to study at Sourthern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, where he earned his Ph.D. For several years he served on the preaching faculty of that school and now serves as Professor of Christian Preaching at Beenson Divninity School. His book on preaching was selected as winner of the 2008 Preaching Book of the Year Award by Preaching Magazine and the 2009 Preaching Book of the Year by Christianity Today. He has spoken at over forty-five universities, colleges, and seminaries, including adjunct teaching at Lincoln Christian Seminary. I've heard a lot of preachers and preaching, and I'm telling you that you simply must hear Dr. Smith. He is a passionate and powerful preacher who is uniquely qualified to bering the closing message: "A Radical Obedience: Fulfill God's Mission for Your Life."
Several months ago I told you that the inspiration for this year's theme was David Platt's book, Radical. Since first reading it, I've reread it in its entirety and read some chapters over and over. If you've not yet read Radical I certainly encourage you to pick up a copy and read it in preparation for attending ICOM 2012. I'm praying that God will call at least 300 people to respond to Christ's radical call to go and represent Him among the nations vocationally, but also that multiplied thousands will be moved to get out of their comfort zones and serve Him cross-culturally in ways they never before imagined.
I'll be in Butler, Kentucky (greater Cincinnati) this weekend, preaching at the Plum Creek Christian Church.