It’s time for a report so big it needed to be split into two parts. In part two I will explore the teaching we went through, but in this first part I would like to highlight the stories of conference.
Kidsong > A year at Church
This is a significant fact, a week at Kidsong is more time with our kids that a year at Church. The space we get to build friendship and connect them with a big God can not be overestimated!
Kidsong is the children’s conference for ages 0-12 years old. Think of it as three separate experiences of Hillsong Conference (hillsongconference.com). First of all is our Parenting rooms for 0-3 years old, with rooms for caregivers that help them connect with what is going on in conference through screens and beautiful suites that help them look after their little ones.
Then we have what we call Kidsong Junior which is 3-7 years old (up to grade 2 at school). Days and nights of fun and faith that connect them with characters like Max and Melody, VeggieTales, Funny Man Dan and a group leader who is their guide through conference.
At the top end we have Kidsong which is for 8-12 year olds (Grade 3-6). As the more mature of our kids we really take the time to get into real world situations and circumstance, connecting the theme with their everyday lives.
We made some changes to the location of the conference at Homebush this year and it had a profound effect on the feeling of the whole experience. When kids are relaxed and comfortable it makes a big difference.
Here are a couple of perspectives from our team about the week.
“Leading up to conference our team have been listening to every little word or catch phrase or thought that our Pastors Brian and Bobbie have spoken so that we could weave it into every thread of Kidsong. We were desperate for Revival to start with our kids from the babies to our pre-teens.
We consistently told them all week long the power of their praise & voice in silencing the enemy and the kids were pressing in since the first music note was played on Monday night.
On the last night something happened we couldn’t explain – as the praise & worship team began to play the kids started to pray & the tears started, the Holy Spirit moved. Under no instruction children started huddling in groups – praying, crying out to God & prophesying and speaking in tongues. As worship continued the kids kept singing over & over and louder & louder we couldn’t stop them we didn’t know how too we didn’t know what to do. At one stage the band stopped but the kids kept singing and we knew to just stand back & let the Holy Spirit move. In one moment of silence a boy in the front row cried out “I love you Jesus” then more kids cried out. Eventually we began to do other things as parents were coming but it didn’t stop them – groups of kids just found corners & kept weeping & praying & prophesying
One of my leaders Sonny came to me bawling because a 10 year old girl asked is she could pray for him – she prophesied over him word for word what God had spoken to him personally over the week.”
There have been a few moments since I gave my life to Jesus at age 6, when God has done something so incredible that the only explanation is Jesus showed up! Kidsong 2013 was one of these moments, a moment where I encountered Jesus!
On the final night of Kidsong I had the privilege to preach to our school aged children from years 3-6 on Gods promises. After preaching, we went into a song of worship and the idea was at the end of it I would pray, the problem was that the kids wouldn’t stop singing! In that atmosphere of praise God showed up and started moving in kids lives giving them courage and boldness in a way I have never seen before. Kids who are normally shy were on their knees before God with hands raised, 8 year olds prophesied over leaders the exact things that God had already been revealing to them, friends prayed for friends as tears streamed down their faces and the sound of kids praising God even after the worship team had stopped was a moment I will never forget.
In the midst of such tender, honest, heartfelt praise one particular boy had gathered his friends together in a huddle, he told them all that in a moment like this they needed to thank God for what he was doing, so in one voice the group of them shouted out “We love you Jesus!” and the entire room began to cheer and lift up the name that is above every name, Jesus!
Like I said, there have been a few moments in my life where Jesus has just shown up in an unexplainable way. After that night of Kidsong, I know that many kids will be saying the same thing in 5, 10, 20 years time, that they encountered Jesus!
Comments from Parents:
“I cannot even put into words how grateful I am to you and all the team! My 8year old told me he fell to his knees and wept in worship, he felt Jesus, he told me how much love he felt and received from Jesus in that moment… Forever changed…”
“My heart was bursting as I watched my 4 year old with eyes closed worshipping, and since the end of kidsong she’s been praying out loud about anything that has scared or worried her, my once timid anxious girl!! They’ve both been singing the big word, putting on Max & Melody shows with their toys & asking when we are going back to ‘big big church’.”
“Highlight of my year so far!! My kids loved it! My eldest who is 7 started chatting to a stranger today… “do you know Jesus? If you know him he will give you the best plan for your life. If you don’t it means you’re living your life your own way.” Love the impact Hillsong is having on these little wee ones! Thank you!”
“One of the amazing kids who had preached the night before (8 years old) went up to a friend and prayed for him to receive Jesus (which he did) then prayed for him to be filled with the Holy Spirit (which he was). Amazing!”
Hillsong Kids Creative Director
For more information and to register for Kidsong Hillsong Conference please visit hillsongconference.com and follow us on Twitter @Hillsong & @HillsongConf, Facebook.com/hillsongchurch and Instagram @Hillsong