Over the past five years, I’ve had the pleasure of being a small group leader at Ignite Conference. I’ve seen many faces and had the chance to share many people’s experiences. A few years ago, I was a small group leader for a group of year 12 guys.
There were about 13 or so and for the first few sessions conversation was slow and shallow but eventually they began to open up and share about their lives and the journey they were going on over Conference.
It was so awesome to hear about how they were encountering Jesus through the different events. They really were coming to know the Church and get into their faith in a new way. The best was seeing them grow closer to each other and supporting one another in their individual journeys. When it was time to head home, my small group decided to take some time affirming one another. They encouraged one another and made connections to maintain after Conference.
In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus corrects the disciples after they try to stop a group of young people coming to meet him. He says, “let them come to me. The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those like these”. This scripture really reminds me of the incredible opportunity high schoolers have at Ignite Conference in Small Groups.
They’re welcomed into a safe environment where they can ask questions, raise their doubts, ask for prayer and be affirmed in their faith. Being a small group leader at conference gives is an amazing place to see people change throughout the conference. It’s moments like this that are most rewarding.
25 years ago, a 17 year old girl boarded a plane from Mackay to Brisbane into a whole new world she had no idea existed. I had just spent the last 2 and a half years not living my potential. I had just discovered the saving power and love of Jesus Christ – I had thought that I had done so many bad things that I had gone beyond where God could reach me. Thankfully through a few people who hadn’t given up on me, I came to know that there was nowhere I could run from God’s love.
It’s been two weeks since summer camp, and while we can’t speak for anyone else who was there, it’s been hard coming down the mountain and trying to sustain ‘faith’ at home outside of the oasis of camp. Life seems pretty different to summer's adventures & our Summer Camp MC's Jess and Claire are here with a few tips on how to make it back into the 'real world'.
A new year has started! Woohoo! New Resolutions have been set, and hopefully this will be the year that they aren’t broken. Because – guess what - it's your choice now.
Today marks a pretty important day in Australia - the Boxing Day Test. Whether you’re a Brit or an Aussie, I can guarantee that in homes all across the country people will be emerging from their Christmas Day food coma, nabbing the best seat on the couch and settling in for a long day of watching the cricket. Of course, tea breaks are the best time to throw in a water fight, play some backyard cricket or grab some leftovers from the fridge. It’s a time-worn tradition. But it's also important for another reason.
As a kid, I was stoked to be a part of Christmas Mass. All the children got to be angels, farm animals, and shepherds adorned in their mum’s tea towels and sheets. The older kids were chosen to be the wise men, and one girl got to be Mary. If you were in Innisfail in 2006 you would have seen the nervous face of 12-year-old me in the special role. Things have changed a little since then...
Do you know where the whole ‘Christmas tree idea’ came from?
Apparently the ancient Egyptians and Romans used leaves as a symbol of worship to their Gods. Pagans would bring evergreens into their homes during the winter months and decorate them with nuts to brighten the mood. There are several stories of how this transformed into the modern Christmas tree...
Have you ever heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as a new idea?” Well, this isn’t a new idea ... Even if it is an old idea, it is a good idea, so it is worth repeating.
Do you ever wonder if you are too young to lead? Or too old? Somewhere in between? If there’s anything I’ve learned about leadership it’s that each stage and age of leadership offers a unique perspective and a unique gift.
Students crash down from mountain top experiences because we focus on the journey up, not the journey back down to everyday life.
I don’t know about you but my post-conference week has been brutal. I miss you all. I miss chilling out in the festival with you, I miss the random conversations that start in the food line, I miss the rallies with the incredible speakers and I miss worshipping our God with you.