Dr. Scott R. Rainey, NDI Global Director
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15
As I write this article, there are only 129 days until the 30th General Assembly and Conventions begin in Indianapolis on 9 June 2023. Planning for this global church event has been going on behind the scenes for a year and a half. For those involved in the planning, life is a bit hectic these days. I have been told that it will only get worse over the next four and a half months. What I know about life is that we will blink our eyes and this anticipated gathering will be behind us. Soon, all will be back to “normal.”
It begs the question, what should we be doing with our time that will last beyond the event? The Apostle Peter had something to say about this question. He admonished believers to always be ready to give, with gentleness and respect, the reason for your hope in Christ. Your witness can make an eternal difference, if you will only take Peter’s challenge!
Over Christmas, due to frigid temperature, our home had a burst pipe. We were 600 miles away at the time water began to pour into our basement. The weeks that followed involved conversations with our insurance company, a mitigation company, and a construction company. One day, I sat in my living room with Andy as he sold us on the service our home needed. At the end of the conversation, Andy said to me, “I see you have two teenage daughters. I have one daughter who is only 18 months old. What advice do you have for me as a young father?”
Prompted by the Holy Spirit, I looked at Andy and said, “Are you serious about your question?” To my surprise, Andy leaned back in his chair and said, “I have nowhere to go today.” For the next 45 minutes, God led me through a gentle and respectful conversation of sharing the hope I have in Jesus. As Andy left our home, he turned to me and said, “Scott, I am so glad I came to your house today.” I am prayerful that my conversation with Andy will continue over time. On that early January day, I took a challenge presented by the Apostle Peter two thousand years earlier.
The NDI Challenge
I would like for you to consider taking what we will be calling “the NDI challenge.” The NDI challenge will begin as you visit the Local Church Ministries exhibit in Indianapolis, Indiana, staring 9 June. One portion of this exhibit is dedicated to Nazarene Discipleship International (NDI). At the NDI exhibit, you will be invited to take the NDI challenge.
The challenge recognizes that NDI is not all about you. The Journey of Grace, the new global Nazarene framework for discipleship, is not just about your journey. In fact, your spiritual formation is not an end in itself. Everything that God does in you is intended to bless others! The NDI challenge will call you daily (9-12 June 2023) to live out your spiritual life for others during the NDI general convention. You will be invited to accept a challenge each day to live out the five core principles of disciple-making as you participate in the conventions and assembly.
Imagine for a moment what would happen if 20,000 Nazarenes would live out the NDI challenge each day while we gather in Indianapolis? Will you take the NDI challenge? Will you be ready to share the reason for the hope you possess? THIS is something that will truly last!