The first full day of Hillsong Conference 2016 started with a bang, from early morning band rehearsals to volunteer prayer meetings the session was in full swing and aroma of coffee and mellow morning tunes is what delegates were able to walk into.
When asked what makes this year's conference fresh, Pastor Cass Langton (Hillsong Global Creative Director) said "it's always the same, but with a twist". She summed up that creatively this conference has always started with the foundation truths of the gospel and ensuring that her team are having their own personal devotionals and for that to be always be the source of all the creative presentations, melodies and lyrics.
Cass mentioned she was reminded that the best way to describe Hillsong Conference each year was recently told by Joel Houston (Hillsong Lead Pastor NYC, Songwriter and Worship Pastor) who said "It's necessary about always going bigger and better, but rather going deeper and wider"
...And the rest of the day did not disappoint.
The morning session kicked off with Pastor Steven Furtick (Elevation Church, Charlotte, North Carolina USA) reminding us perhaps it is not the thing that makes us impressive that God wants us to use, but rather our weaknesses that God will use as a gift to the world, taking notes from Paul's letters.
The next session, after the mid-morning break, began with the Let's Talk Church session with Pastor Brian Houston (Hillsong Global Senior Pastor) on a Contagious Spirit; followed with informal interview segments with key leaders and pastors with giftings of evangelism, prophesy, apostolic leadership, pastoring and teaching.
The afternoon session kicked off with a bang with the lovely Dami Im (The X Factor Australia fifth season winner, Australian Eurovision 2016 representative and runner up and Compassion Australia advocate) belting out an impressive performance to launch the Spheres.life segment. Spheres.life comes from the mission statement of Hillsong Church which finishes saying, "empowering people to lead and impact in every sphere of life".
As part of this segment Guest speaker Erwin McManus (Mosaic, LA, California) brought a passionate message about the arts and creativity whilst other spheres representatives spoke about the way business has always had to flow out of a trust with God in their foundations or the way education has provided them with a platform to share the gospel, 'using words if necessary'.
Finally, after an afternoon break, delegates came back into the main arena for the incredible evening session led into worship with the Hillsong Team and hearing from Guest Speaker, Pastor Steven Furtick one last night. His message focused on the story of Paul and Silas in Jail from Acts 16, reminding us all that you cannot "allow your chains to break your praise, yet allow your praise to break your chains!"
From a faith filled and inspiring day all the delegates in true Hillsong Conference form were sung into the night with worship led by key members such as Ben Fielding and Brooke Fraser (Lingertwood) – ready for another day on Thursday.
For more details on Hillsong Conference 2016 visit: http://hillsong.com/conference/sydney
Note: All Night sessions are free and open to the public.
Meenal Chandra is one of the Sydney based writer's who will be covering Hillsong Conference 2016.
Meenal Chandra's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/meenal-chandra.html