From the Christian Chronicle: A Weekend with the ICOC


ST. LOUIS — In the Dome at America’s Center, where football fans once gathered to watch the St. Louis Rams, more than 18,000 souls sang praises to the Lord — including an uplifting, a cappella rendition of “On Zion’s Glorious Summit.”

The North American Discipleship Summit, REACH2016, a gathering of the International Churches of Christ, brought together “a numerous host redeemed by blood” (as the song notes) from 173 congregations and 66 nations. Other Summits are taking place this year in Asia, Africa, South America and Australia. The fellowship, known as the ICOC, has roots in Churches of Christ, though our fellowships parted ways in the late-1980s.

My wife, Joy, and I attended this year’s Summit at the gracious invitation of Roger Lamb, president and editor of Disciples Today, the online magazine of the ICOC.

We found a noticeably diverse audience — in terms of ethnicity, nationality, age and socio-economic levels. More than half of the participants were singles, college-age adults, teens and children. Attendees paid from $100 to $225 to defray expenses, depending on age group and date of registration.

You don’t do a lot of handshaking at ICOC conferences, we learned. Everybody hugs here — yes, everybody.

For two full days, we heard a wide variety of speakers in classes and large, combined sessions on the theme “Reach.” Each had a pervasive emphasis on Scripture, stressing the need to reach out to the unsaved, to live in obedience to God’s Word. Nearly every session emphasized the importance of baptism for the forgiveness of read more at the Christian Chronicle CLICK HERE