Hillsong Conference 2015

Hillsong Conference 2015While living in Australia, Mo and I have had the privilege to attend the world-renowned Hillsong church. In addition to hearing God’s word preached every weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a week long conference last week put on by Hillsong. It was a week full of amazing speakers, worship and workshops. During these 12 hour days, I took pages of notes and absorbed as much information as my brain would allow. All of the time, money and energy spent on this conference would be a loss, however, if I didn’t take the time to reflect on the things I learned.

I have picked a handful of the speakers that particularly made an impact on me during the conference. I also included links for you to watch the video of their message if you would like to hear more.

1. “When Faith Talks” by Pastor Brian Houston

Pastor Brian Houston, lead pastor of Hillsong Church.

Despite what may be going on in our lives, we can trust in the Lord and rely on Him to help us remain positive. Our words are powerful and we should seek to have “faith-filled” words. Don’t allow the season of life you are in to shape your confession of faith (your attitude/words). 

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

2. “Shake the Salt and Shine the Light” by John Maxwell

Dr. John Maxwell is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach, and speaker. He has been called America’s top leadership authority and speaks yearly to Fortune 500 companies, presidents of nations, and many of the world’s top business leaders.

“The Rule of Five” – Set a goal and choose five practical things that you can do every day until you have achieved it.

Example: If you want to share your faith more with others, what are five practical things you can do every day to help you achieve this goal?

  1. Be intentional about caring for and connecting with lost people. As Christians, we are often more concerned with correcting people, when our main focus should be to connect with them.
  2. Pray everyday for the opportunity to share your faith.
  3. Incorporate your faith into daily conversations (drop “God thoughts”). Make people thirsty to hear about God and how He has transformed your life! You don’t need to be pushy or preachy, but be people will respect you for being bold and authentic in your relationship with God.
  4. View others as more valuable than yourself. By doing so, you are adding value to people, which will gain respect and build relationships. For example, when you view your boss as valuable, you will do your job well and exceed expectations. This alone will be a witness to people.
  5.  Make a list of specific people that you feel God is calling you to show His love to. Often times people have an incorrect view of God and you can be the vessel to show them who God truly is.

3. “Hearing God’s Voice” by Rick Warren

Dr. Rick Warren is a global strategist, theologian, pastor and philanthropist. The media has often named him “America’s most influential spiritual leader” and “America’s Pastor.” He is the author of the bestselling book, The Purpose Driven Life.

Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say ‘The Lord did not appear to you.'” The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a servant, and Moses ran from it. But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail” – so Moses put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand.” Exodus 4:1-4

Moses’ staff represented who he was… a shepherd. This represents his identity, his income and his influence. The Lord told Moses to lay it on the ground. When we lay down our identity, income and influence at the feet of God, He has the ability to make it come to life. The second that we pick those things back up so they are in our hands and in our control, they will die. God calls us to give our identity, income and influence to Him. Only He has the power to make those things greater than we can ever imagine.

4. “Looking for a Loophole” by Judah Smith

Judah Smith, pastor (I would also classify him as comedian!) of The City Church in Seattle, Washington.

Judah gave an amazing message about the contradiction between the parable of the Good Samaritan and the story of Martha and Mary. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, it seems that God is calling us to go out of our way to help people who hate us, hurt us and belittle us… and then the next story is about simply sitting still at the feet of Jesus. What exactly is Jesus trying to tell us through these seemingly contradicting stories? I strongly encourage you to watch the 35 minute video and find out for yourself!

5. Is it Well (with my soul)? by Carl Lentz

Carl Lentz, pastor of Hillsong Church NYC.

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 John 1:3

One (of three) ways to know if it is “well” with your soul. “Does the environment change me, or do I change the environment?”

  • We don’t look identical to the world we are trying to reach.
  • Stop caring about things we shouldn’t be caring about.
  • Start caring about the things we should be caring about.

These highlights are just a small portion of Hillsong Conference. If a particular topic interests you, I would be happy to send you more detailed notes. I’ll end this post by saying that being surrounded by so many passionate believers, worshipping together, getting to know each other, sharing stories, insight, advice, etc. was a life-changing experience. Thus said, I have to include a bit of that worship atmosphere for you to experience. The video below is from one of the times they sang their popular song, “Oceans.” Hillsong Worship will be releasing a CD in September that was recorded at the conference. I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

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