“Speak, We’re Listening”
That was the theme of this year’s Hillsong Conference.
More than 30,000 Christians from different churches attended the week-long event (including Justin Bieber) at the Allphone Arena, Sydney. This is my second Hillsong Conference in Australia. I’ve also been to the conference in London. I called it my “annual pilgrimage.”This year’s conference was especially meaningful to me. Almost every pastor/ speaker in different sessions spoke into various situations in my life. It is as if God is using their words to encourage, to remind me of His faithfulness and promises. I walked out of the conference last Friday with revelations
(I called them my “AHA, and AMEN moments”).
There were also several divine connections this trip. Two of my classmates from my recent Art Therapy class went to the conference too (and no, we didn’t plan for it together, infact, we hardly talked to one another in class). And I made some new friends!
Many friends from Singapore who were unable to make the trip have been asking me about the conference. So here are a couple of things I thought I’ll share, hopefully to encourage & bless someone:-
Moved to tears by Joel Houston & Pastor Rick Warren’s sessions
There were awesome speakers at the conference this year, including my pastor, Joseph Prince, Judah Smith (Pastor of Justin Bieber), Carl Lentz (the very cool Hillsong NY pastor), famous authors and pastors, Rick Warren, Brian Houston, Jentezen Franklin and John Maxwell.
While almost every session spoke into my life, I was very moved by the sharing from Pastor Rick Warren and Joel Houston.
Rick Warren is the bestselling author of the book, ‘The Purpose Driven Life.’ The part that touched me most was his sharing about the suicide of his son who battled with mental illness throughout his life.
Two quotes I absolutely loved from Warren:
“If your brain doesn’t work right and you take a pill, why are you supposed to be ashamed of that?” Warren asked. “It’s just an organ, and we have to remove that stigma.”
“Your greatest ministry will come out of your deepest hurt,” “We mistakenly think that the world is impressed by how we handle prosperity, but the fact is the world is impressed by how we handle adversity.”
Warren also shared about “How to Hear from God.” Daystar TV has made the sermon available on their website. (Skip to 51min)
Joel Houston’s session can also be found here.
My take-away from Joel’s session is:
1) Be Yourself. God wants you the way you are; the one that’s broken, the one that is in pain, the one that doesn’t have it all together, the one that is confused, the one that is sick. He doesn’t need you, He WANTS you.
2) Be Real. Peel away all the layers of covers, the inauthenticity, the pretence in order to fit in with others in the world. We live in a society that’s based on ‘impression’ but a real and authentic person draws people to them.
2016 & Other stuff
Registration for 2016 is now opened. Next year will be Hillsong Conference’s 30th anniversary. I believe there will be big celebration in the house of the Lord.
Here is a PDF document of this year’s itinerary for reference. The masterclasses are practical sessions, usually on specific topics & interest areas.
The new Hillsong United album “Empires” is also now on sale and available on Spotify. My personal favourite tracks are “Even When It Hurts” & “Closer Than You Know”