How amazing was Ignite Conference! It seems like only yesterday, but it was over two weeks ago we were getting ready to kick off an incredible four days of life-changing moments. Whether it was chilling out in the festival, the random conversations in the food line, jamming in the rallies with the incredible speakers and worshipping like there was no-one else in the room. It really was a ‘mountain top’ experience. In every year there are tonnes of highs and lows, but Ignite Conference always remains as a personal highlight every year.
Unfortunately, every highlight can often contrast the “lowlights” that appear in other points in your life. I know I’m not alone in coming home from Conference each year and instantly wishing I could go back and relive it (after a few days of sleep!).
The truth is, after any mountain top experience, we can’t stay there; we have to come back down and re-enter daily life, which can be a little rough to readjust to. The trick for me is to look at what we learned on the mountain.
Exploring the theme of Empty, Ignite Conference 2018 gave me a huge revelation of how we can live our lives fully by being empty.
“He must increase, I must decrease”
Hopefully, after you left Ignite Conference, you feel empty of some of the things you carried with you coming in, and filled those empty parts of yourself with Jesus and His plans for you. 2 short weeks out, and I’m already feeling like some of the good stuff I received during Ignite Conference is being used up so quickly. So how do we keep the flame alive? We must continue looking for ways to empty ourselves of our own desires, and look for Jesus and His way. Now is the time that our lives should become less about us, and more about Jesus.
So, if you’re like me and want a few concrete examples, here’s a few tips for you.
1. Don’t leave Jesus at Conference.
At Conference, faith is somehow tangibly in the air, accessible and easier because of the amazing people around us. But we can’t leave Jesus there. How did you experience Jesus at Conference? Was it during praise & worship in the rallies? In a powerful experience of Mass? Was it during a prayer team or adoration? Or was it through something you heard in a workshop or a small group?
These are amazing times to be with Jesus, but He doesn’t just want to be with you once a year, but to be with you every single day! It’s a huge thing to realise that God wants to journey with us, but making it a daily experience will help you to be filled throughout the year.
“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
2. Find like-minded people
On the Christian journey, you can’t do it alone. You always need people around you who get it, and can help you live your best life. Connect with some friends that went to Conference with you, find people in your parish and school who can help you with ‘life after Conference,’ or even reconnect with your small group! It doesn’t even need to be specifically “church” related; hanging out around great people is an awesome way to keep building your faith.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”
3. Pray Pray Pray!
There’s no denying it, prayer is the key element of staying connected with Jesus and making sure you are being emptied and filled. The more you talk to Him the closer you’ll become, just like with any of your friends. There are countless ways to pray; it could be reading the daily readings (super easy through our Fuel App!), listening to some amazing worship music, journalling or a tonne of other ways. Find something that works for you, and make it an essential part of your day. Doesn’t have to be long, but make it regular and you’ll feel like you never left!
“I am the vine and you are the branches… If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you will bear much fruit.”
I hope these tips help you on your Post-Conference recovery! Stick with it guys; keep emptying yourself for Jesus, and just watch him fill your life with good stuff.