The morning began with captivating images of golden earth, gardens and young women clad in sapphire, emerald and gold – the images and language around next year’s gathering: Irresistible.
Worship with Hillsong Young & Free had everyone up and moving. Highlighting ‘Open Doors’The Persecuted Church, delegates received one of a series of inspiring story-posters to take home as a reminder to pray.
Our Global Creative Pastor Cass Langton shared her “Kitchen Sink Confessions”, Donna Crouch encouraged us to “Steal away with Jesus”and Laura Toggs offered wise advice for how to “THRIVE BABY THRIVE”.
The hugely popular ‘gift moment’ during the Sisterhood session transformed the platform into a bathroom filled with bright yellow rubber duckies! As the gift was handed out, delegates were told the intriguing back-story, including the unprecedented logistical challenge of getting the gift they held in their hands across the line for conference. Of course, no conference can pass without the WAVE, so in true COLOUR style, with gifts in hands (and on heads!), the room ‘waved’ to the coming conferences.
Our final evening opened with a breathtaking gospel choir centre-stage singing an adaptation of the traditional hymn It is Well With My Soul, followed by Laura Toggs and team leading a time of intimate worship. Conference prayer requests included prayer for New Zealand and Christchurch in the aftermath of the previous day’s terrorist attack.
Christine Caine’s message “Pick up Your Mat”based on the story of Jesus healing the cripple at the pool of Bethesda, challenged our definition of true empathy. Using the testimony of her own life, Chris announced, “At some point, you have to make what Jesus did at Calvary bigger than the things that happen to you.”The entire theatre stood cheering as Chris finished with the personal challenge to “Pick up your mat and walk!”
Conference One closed with communion and a reflective moment to contemplate the year ahead.
Salvation is no small thing. It always begins with an invitation. The invitations are out and the wild, bright journey of awakening presses forward. The future is IRRESISTIBLE.