Why Gather At Conferences?

30 November 2015

I wonder why you attend conferences? Have you ever really considered it?

Maybe you are inspired by the guest speakers who are anointed to bring the Word of God. Sometimes we’re so excited about the prospect of engaging in an atmosphere of worship led by one of our favourite bands. If you’re more practically minded it might even be that you’re keen to learn wisdom from other leaders further along on the journey than you, that you might be able to take innovate ideas back to your area of ministry.

For whatever reason we register for a ticket, take time off work, and sometimes travel long distances to attend a conference is because our desire is that God might bless us. I’m hoping to be built up, to receive something from God and grow in my own faith. There’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever!

In fact we surveyed over 1000 delegates from our recent Hillsong Conference in Sydney and were greatly encouraged by what the majority said “Yes Definitely” made an impact on their faith and spiritual life…

“I was able to hear God speak more clearly.”

“I was strengthened in my faith.”

“I was inspired to have a bigger vision of what God can do in my life.”

“I was equipped to be a more effective leader.”

How fantastic to know the fruit of attending a conference could be so:

Immediately felt, yet future transforming.

Deeply personal, yet externally visible.

We could stop there and be quite satisfied, but one of the things I love most about Hillsong Conference – is that it is not about a single local church, or a specific denomination or demographic of person. Hillsong Conference exists to champion the cause of local churches everywhere!

And one of the most significant areas that delegates indicated that made an impact on their faith…

“I have a greater respect for other denominations and the broader Body of Christ.”

In Ephesians 4:16 (NLT), Paul says that, “He (God) makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”

It got me thinking… while the reason you might register for a conference is because of what you personally want to get out of it; that is far surpassed by the benefits it brings to the whole Body. When you attend a conference you will be blessed, but you’ll also be a blessing.

In 2015 access to books, podcasts and online streaming have never been so accessible, but I still think that God delights in watching His Bride gather together in unity. Not behind a screen at home or with your headphones on the bus, but in person, in one place, in one accord – where you can see, hear, touch and know your brothers and sisters in Christ.

So next time you attend Hillsong Conference, not only will you be blessed in your “own special work”, but by your presence you ensure that the “other parts” of the Body will be blessed too!

Joel A’Bell