A single decision can have an amazing impact in our lives. 1 Peter 5:8-10 reminds us, “while disciples all over the world go through the same kind of sufferings, God’s grace will restore and make us strong, firm and steadfast.” In the beginning of 2007, our lead evangelist resigned and left the church. This was a difficult time because it had seemed like our ministry was making a lot of progress after the changes in 2003. During that period, it was disheartening to see many of my close friends, single and married, struggle in their faith and leave God. Many of them had the same questions I had, but many chose to still leave the faith. Some left and became atheists. Others became persecutors of the church. Despite all of this, I was committed to my purpose as a disciple. At the same time, my ministry was in turmoil. I was trying to figure out my role in God’s kingdom. I felt helpless, directionless, and honestly, a bit hopeless. Early in 2007, I had heard about the International Singles Conference (ISC) in Dallas in August 2008. This was the first international singles event I had heard of in the church. Initially, I had no intentions of attending the conference. Many of our sister congregations around the world were still struggling and recovering after the turmoil of 2003. I thought to myself, “An international conference now? It’s too soon! What would benefit me in attending the same old conference, with the same old lessons?” By June 2008, however, many of the singles in my ministry had registered and were excited about attending the conference. Personally, I was still in an uncertain place and had no desire to attend. Two weeks prior to the conference, God began to soften my heart. I made the decision to register through the encouragement of friends in my ministry. I thought, “It seems like everyone is going, so I might as well go too. What could it hurt?” The decision to attend the 2008 ISC was one of the best of my Christian life. I felt encouraged being in the Gaylord Hotel bubble with single brothers and sisters from all over the world. My early skepticism was quickly put to rest. There was such great energy from seeing over 3,000 singles attend the conference! Yes, many of us were still dealing with challenges, uncertainty, and transition in our respective ministries, but you couldn’t tell being there. There was an amazing buzz throughout the weekend. We all needed this conference. As a brief retreat, yes, but also as a reminder that God’s kingdom is bigger than our own ministries. Being able to encourage and inspire one another, knowingly and unknowingly lifting each other up, was priceless. The new friendships I made not only expanded my spiritual network across the country, but also gave me a renewed appreciation for God’s church and for the singles ministry. It was so refreshing and encouraging to meet others with challenges and experiences similar to mine, but who also wanted to do great things for God. I felt rejuvenated in a way I had not felt since my conversion. The conference inspired me to do more for the singles ministry and God’s kingdom. Quite honestly, attending the conference was a major reason I stayed committed then – and why I’m still faithful today. That said, we all have turning points and moments of decision in our lives. I believe it’s during those times where God can use an event like the ISC to give us the courage, hope and faith to persevere. It certainly did that for me. If you’re on the fence about attending “Inspire” – 2018 ISC in Phoenix in late August, I hope my story will inspire you to attend. Regardless of your personal situation, I hope you decide to attend this life-changing opportunity. About the author: Winston is part of the singles ministry in the Northern Virginia Church of Christ. He works for a government agency and has served as a leader in the singles ministry and in serving the poor for more than a decade.