Last Friday, close to 900 youth gathered in churches and living rooms for the Onward conference livestream, and to hear how the Gospel of Christ challenges ‘Cancel Culture’ in the West. Youth groups tuned in from across New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria, with the largest groups represented by Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, One Family Church Granville, North Side Chinese Alliance Church and Wild Street Anglican.
Despite being livestreamed due to COVID-19, the Onward team worked hard to recreate a physical conference experience by providing an interactive Q&A panel, worship in song by Whitefield band, and encouraging camaraderie within youth groups with a Dress Up challenge.
Hosted by Katoomba Christian Convention, Onward is a convention that seeks to prepare Christian youth to see their place in the wider world. By combining short TED-style talks, personal testimonies, singing and a live Q&A, the Onward program equips and encourages youth to engage with society and culture, with a biblical worldview.
With the world becoming increasingly divided into tribes of thought, the theme for Onward 2020 was ‘Finding Your Crowd: Living in a World of Difference & Exclusion’. The official program kicked off with guest speaker, Sam Chan preaching from Matthew 15:21-28, to share what the Bible says about tribalism and the universal human desire for belonging.
Blending biblical references, news headlines and personal stories, Chan humorously highlighted both the benefits and dangers of tribalism. He then explored the development of ‘Cancel Culture’ in the West and how we are now only “one tweet away” from being shunned, shamed or expelled from even our own tribe. Furthermore, offenders of ‘Cancel Culture’ no longer bother with apologies, because there is no offer of forgiveness.
The realities of 'Cancel Culture' were further highlighted with personal testimonies sharing experiences with tribalism on social media, in high school and the workplace. These stories highlighted the extent of the problem in every sphere of life and left us wondering how Christians can engage with others in a more loving and inclusive way.
Sam Chan then offered five ways in which the Gospel challenges ‘Cancel Culture’ and reminded youth of the unity that’s possible in diversity, if our identity comes from Christ. By highlighting God’s unconditional love for sinners, Chan reminded youth that all humans are broken, and yet Jesus “cancels” no one. Therefore, the Gospel should empower Christians to create inclusive communities marked by love, prayer, blessing and forgiveness for all people – even our enemies.
“Campsie Youth had a great time and were super excited that we received the first shout out! Sam Chan shares his gift of sharing God’s Word so well, and we love how laid back and Aussie Asian he is.”
The night ended with a live Q&A panel led by Sam Chan and Onward Chair, Sam Wan. Together, they helped viewers to consider the practicalities around virtue signalling, love for enemies, demonising others, and whether Christians should be involved in social justice marches such as “Black Lives Matter”.
Although KCC has had to put a pause on physical events this year, we thank God for the gift of technology, and the ways in which it has enabled his word to be preached far and wide, so that hearts can continue being impacted and transformed for God’s glory. It is our hope and prayer that youth will walk away from Onward 2020, committed to challenging 'Cancel Culture' with the Gospel and to show a divided world the unity and reconciliation that’s possible in Christ alone.
“The work and passion that KCC puts into Onward and KYCK is really evident! I really enjoy and look forward to these events every year, and I know that they've played a big role in the Christian journeys of me and others." – Onward 2020 delegate
Missed Out on Onward?
You can still purchase tickets and view the event on-demand until 2 August 2020. Get tickets HERE.
Get 15% off Evangelism Books!
Our list of recommended reads on evangelism and apologetics are 15% off for Onward delegates. If you registered for the conference, make sure to pick up one of our recommended books from the Wandering Bookseller using the discount code that’s available in your conference booklet!
Save the Date for Onward 2021!
Since 1997, BASECAMP has been impacting the lives of men for their good and the glory of God through encountering Jesus. For over two decades, thousands of men of every generation and from hundreds of churches have been impacted by this conference experience. This year, we’ll be bringing BASECAMP to you on Saturday 8 August as a live streamed event. We are grateful to God that we’ll be joined this year by three guest speakers.
Professor John Lennox
John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, is an internationally renowned speaker on the interface of science, philosophy and religion. He regularly teaches at many academic institutions, is Senior Fellow with the Trinity Forum and has written a series of books exploring the relationship between science and Christianity. His hobbies are languages, amateur astronomy, amateur bird–watching and some walking. John is married to Sally; they have three grown up children and nine grandchildren and live near Oxford, England.
Get a taste of his teaching from Oxygen Conference 2014 here:
Jeremy is a standard issue male in his late 30s living in Sydney’s Inner West. As a result, he is predictably into craft beer and Deus. He hasn’t yet devolved to the point where his personality is just Strava but some of the early warning signs are there. Mercifully, he has a beautiful and creative wife and 3 amazing and genuinely interesting kids! He is a Pastor at City Light Church Balmain and loves to preach Christ and encourage men to follow Jesus.
Get to know Jeremy here:
Dr Mark Stephens
Dr Mark Stephens is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity, a media company dedicated to showcasing the truth, beauty and goodness of Jesus in surprising ways. He has previously been a theology lecturer and a pastor. He has a PhD from Macquarie University, where he examined cosmic eschatology in the book of Revelation. He loves the music of Patty Griffin, the taste of ricotta panzerotti, and the humour of Monty Python. Despite all evidence to the contrary, he believes the Parramatta Eels can win the title in this strange year.
Get to know Mark here:
Man Disrupted: How Jesus changes men for the better
Our three speakers will be exploring the theme “Man Disrupted: How Jesus changes men for the better”. The calling out of toxic masculinity can leave men confused and paralysed about being a man in this world. None of us even aspire to what is being opposed. However, in our honest moments we admit we are prone to live in the 'Man Box' of rules and keeping each other in check. Making sure we keep the conversations to work, weekends and the weather. And so, we continue to be held on the canvas being suffocated by this.
We all long for more than that. We are made for more than that. We long for a clear and compelling vision of what it is to be a man. We long for a disruption in the current conversation about masculinity. We long for a disruption in our own inner life and hearts so we can unlearn patterns from an old stereotype of masculinity and learn the new way of following Jesus. BASECAMP exists to give men a clear and compelling vision of a man. We find this in Jesus who embodies, teaches and calls us to follow Him.
Registrations are opening soon. Subscribe to email updates on the BASECAMP website or stay up to date on social media:
Since 2000, OneLove has existed to inspire women in their relationship with Jesus. Hosted by Katoomba Christian Convention, OneLove is a one-day event which promises to refresh and renew women’s walk with the Lord. Ahead of the livestream event this August, we’ve put together five benefits of attending OneLove with women from your church.
1. An opportunity to rest under God’s word without duties or distractions
OneLove gives women an opportunity to leave behind the busyness of life and to rest under God’s word without duties or distractions. This year, we invite women to gather in their local church hall or living room, and to livestream OneLove together! The theme for this year is ‘Come to Me: An Invitation to Find True Rest’ and will address our society’s addiction to busyness and what it means to find true and satisfying rest in God.
“OneLove gives me the opportunity to escape into the Bible for a day–an opportunity I relish. Hearing words of encouragement, words that challenge and words that refresh points me back to that narrow path (Matthew 7:14) of salvation. I leave each year energised, and telling everyone I know to come with me next year!” – Merran
2. An opportunity for fellowship and to develop lifelong friendships
OneLove has become an integral part of church calendars as it serves as a complementary platform for women’s ministry. The OneLove program will give delegates the opportunity to break off with their groups to discuss and pray over the things that they have learned. These deeper conversations are often the start of new or strengthened friendships–something that can’t always be achieved over morning tea or Bible study in the week to week.
“I organised for a group of 10 women to come from my church. It was special to spend time with them and explore our faith a bit deeper together, sing together and pray together.” – OneLove 2019 Delegate
3. Be encouraged by the faithfulness of other believers
With Australia becoming increasingly secular, being a disciple of Jesus can be a lonely journey. Being part of a ministry like OneLove with thousands of other believers is encouraging and empowering. Our delegates often leave OneLove refreshed and inspired, simply because they have witnessed thousands of other Christians who also take their faith seriously.
“I love coming to OneLove with friends. Thank you for pushing us today to keep going as Christians, with a more glorious picture of Jesus laid before us, and that any suffering is worth it!” - Katie
4. Be inspired by intergenerational and interdenominational worship
‘All One in Christ Jesus’ is the heartbeat of KCC events. At OneLove, women of all ages, life-stages, ethnicities and from across denominations gather to worship and sing to Jesus. It is always powerful to see the emerging generation singing old hymns, and likewise, it is wonderful to hear the older generation share their stories of faith and perseverance. OneLove gives women the opportunity to experience the joys of gospel unity.
“We were truly blessed by OneLove. The music, teaching and testimonies were like a little taste of heaven. I got to experience it with my sisters from church, but also with my granddaughter and my daughter.” - Sue
5. Hear the gospel preached by gifted, female preachers
Over the years, OneLove delegates have been served by a wonderful line up of gifted female preachers including Nancy Guthrie, Lizzy Smallwood, Anne-Sophie Rowcroft, Mary Willson and more. As the gospel is preached, unbelievers have found new life in Christ, while Christians have been encouraged to persevere. This year, we will be served by two guest speakers: Kara Martin (Author of Workship) and Dr. Amy Orr-Ewing (Senior VP, RZIM).
"I just couldn't ignore God's tugging on my heart anymore, so I became a Christian then and there at OneLove." - Jen
Download our devotionals on rest!
We have put together five daily devotionals which are focused on the OneLove 2020 theme of rest. Download them from the OneLove website: https://onelovewomen.com/resources/
Stay up to date with OneLove conference:
We are giving thanks to God for a very positive 2019. God has been pleased to provide for and use the KCC ministry: conventions have impacted thousands, people have become Christians, KYCK has filled and grown to a fourth weekend, our conference centre continued to excel in every area, our staff teams performed better than ever and our volunteers and supporters generosity with time and funds was near record levels. It has been immensely encouraging to see several years of hard effort in many areas ‘behind the scenes’ come to fruition in these ways.
How KCC is ‘travelling’ through the COVID-19 crisis
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, KCC had to cancel Katoomba Easter Convention and reschedule our three KYCK weekends to October, in the hope of running them then. Our other events were all put on hold while we re-evaluated. We had to close our Conference Centre to all business until further notice.
Currently, we are working hard to pull together Live Stream events for Onward, BASECAMP, OneLove, and possibly KYCK. We intend for Live Stream options to continue beyond the COVID-19 situation and are developing accordingly. We are also putting the finishing touches on our new app 'KCC One’ and fast-tracking development of new features.
At our Conference Centre, we are working through a series of upgrades, improvements and maintenance. We are thankful to have so much to do, and for the Federal Government’s JobKeeper support and other concessions. This has enabled us to keep our two small and valuable staff teams together.
Being unable to hold any face-to-face events and closing our Conference Centre has impacted our finances substantially. Funds generated from registrations, donations, on-site accommodation and resource sales have all been affected.
Our worst-case scenario is that KCC finishes 2020 with a $1.2m operational deficit. We are taking every step to avoid this but if realised, we will navigate this by liquidating some minor assets and/or borrowing. This will be a difficult, but achievable. KCC’s financial reserves, however, will be all but exhausted.
Moving forward, KCC needs to raise $750,000 to manage losses and to enter 2021 on a reasonably solid financial footing.
Double Your Donation
We thank God that a generous donor has pledged to match any donations made, dollar for dollar, for the first $250,000 raised. This means that any funds you give, are doubled in their value to KCC.
We are aware that for some people – those who have suffered job losses and other financial hardship – giving to KCC financially is simply not possible. If, however, you are in a sound financial position, then we would like to ask you to partner with the work of KCC.
Visit our donation page to help KCC recover from COVID-19: kcc.org.au/match2020
Stay up to date with KCC:
We recently had the pleasure of meeting Otto Peeters who brought a group of men from Dubbo Presbyterian Church to BASECAMP 19. In this interview, Otto shares his BASECAMP highlights, stories of transformation, and why BASECAMP ministry is both ‘significant and special’ for men in his church.
1. What has been the response from the guys that you bring to BASECAMP?
I witnessed a growing resolve amongst the men in my church to step up as leaders in their families, and to be the man God has called them to be. The event was definitely a catalyst for change! We drove to BASECMP in cars and the conversations before and after were terrific! Last year, on the way home to Dubbo, we stopped in Orange for dinner. There was a sense of excitement amongst the men as we had all been part of something significant and special. I remember one guy said to me, “This has definitely started something. I’ve been chatting with the other guys in the car and there will be a lot that comes out of this.” The look on his face said it all.
Since BASECAMP, I have seen men at church be more proactive about encouraging each other, catching up together and a growing intentionality through men’s ministry. To say BASECAMP was a turning point for many men in our church would not be an overstatement.
A few months after BASECAMP, we had a men’s breakfast where the event theme ‘portrait of a man of faith’ was revisited. We were challenged again to be fearless, tender and thankful. Country NSW was in the grips of the drought at the time, so being fearless was a real challenge to many of us affected. It was a timely message for us all!
2. Do you have any stories of how you or other individuals have been encouraged during and after BASECAMP?
At BASECAMP, I saw biblical truths connecting with men which led to the healing of past hurts and dealing with sin and past events. This in turn caused growth and change, and men left Katoomba transformed.
I was sitting next to one guy who has had a long and painful experience with his brother. I saw first-hand one of the talks really connect with him. He was clearly emotional as his situation was ‘opened up’ by Paul Tripp’s talk. He spoke to me afterwards that he was encouraged as some healing had taken place.
Both Steve’s story about donating a kidney to a friend and George’s talk about his recent diagnosis with Parkinson’s were very stirring. George calling in his three friends to help him cope was such a great example of men helping one another through life’s challenges. George summed it up well: “I knew my friends could and would help me through this."
I and others then asked ourselves, who are our ‘go to’ guys? We learned that using the support of other men is not a weakness but a strength! This can be a monumental mind shift for ‘men on the land.’
3. Why do you think men should set aside time to prioritise conferences like BASECAMP?
BASECAMP 2019 achieved for our group of men a huge range of benefits. The men who attended realised they did not have to walk alone. With other men from church, they could strive to be a man of faith with the support of others. Not only is it a difficult thing to walk alone, it’s quite foolish! It takes some work to convince a bunch of men, some of whom were tough farmers and builders, that it’s ok to open up about struggles, challenges and depression.
BASECAMP was able to offer us all an opportunity to ‘realign our compass to true north’ and feel equipped to be a man of God again. It also reminded us to do this with the support of other men who were in this together. There is something very special about doing this with a larger group of some 3,000 Christian men in ‘the shed.’
I witnessed in our group a shared experience that became a catalyst for change. There is an inertia that begins at BASECAMP that continued back at home. Men from church now encourage each other to continue in ‘what was discovered and learnt on the mountain!’ We look forward to BASECAMP 2020 however it arrives this year!
Stay up to date with BASECAMP!
Do you find it difficult to slow down?
Do you feel as though society has conditioned you to hurry from one thing to the next?
In a culture that glorifies busyness, what does it mean to experience deep and satisfying rest in God?
To help answer these questions, the OneLove team have produced a free devotional series titled "Come to Me: An Invitation to Find True Rest". Penned by Heidi Tai and Kara Martin, the devotional series aims to encourage women to consider the biblical application of true rest and how we can find it in a God who is helpful, merciful and unchanging.
The devotional titles include:
#1: True rest in the God who helps
#2: True rest in the God who is merciful
#3: True rest in the God who never changes
#4: Shabath – The Hebrew word for rest
#5: Anapauo – The Greek word for rest
From next Monday till Friday this week, we’ll be posting a devotion every day at 7AM on the OneLove Facebook and Instagram pages. Alternatively, you can download the devotionals from the OneLove website: onelovewomen.com/resources
Stay up to date with OneLove conference:
Onward exists to equip a new generation of Christians to be salt and light in the world, and to better engage the controversial themes and ideas of our society in a Christian way. Ahead of the event this June, Sam Chan (Onward 2020 Speaker) and Sam Wan (Committee Chair) have recommended ten resources which will equip you for the ministry of evangelism.
These book titles can be purchased from The Wandering Bookseller.
Sam Wan's Recommendations:
A revolutionary look at sharing Christ with unbelievers by using the probing, provocative, and penetrating method Jesus used to engage others in personal dialogue and caring interaction. A much-needed look at sharing Christ with unbelievers, based not on the techniques of guerrilla hard-sell tactics, but on engaging questions and caring interaction.
This is a book that is honest about the costs of evangelism, and yet will excite you about the effects of evangelism. Author Rico Tice will show you how you--whoever you are and however you feel--can talk about Jesus with those who don't yet know him, but need to meet him.
Jonah is famous for being a reluctant evangelist. But God had other plans! If we're honest, we are also often very reluctant when it comes to telling others about Jesus. In this book, we can learn from God's dealings with Jonah about how to be effective for the Lord, whom we love and want to serve.
All of these book titles can be purchased from The Wandering Bookseller.
Sam Chan's Recommendations:
After ministry in both Western and non-Western contexts, church planter Christine Dillon has discovered that Bible storying is far more effective than most other forms of apologetics or evangelistic presentations. In fact, non-Christians actually enjoyed storying and kept coming back for more. This book includes practical guidance on how to shape a good story, how to do evangelism through storying and how to lead Bible discussions.
Many of the principles and methods of evangelism from the twentieth century no longer work effectively today. We need new methods to communicate the timeless message of the gospel in culturally relevant ways. Combining the theological and biblical insights of classic evangelistic training with the latest insights on contextualization, cultural hermeneutics, and storytelling, author Sam Chan illuminates every chapter of Evangelism in a Skeptical World with real-world examples drawn from more than twenty years of experience in evangelistic ministry.
Most Christians know they should be trying to tell their friends and family about Jesus. But in a post-Christendom world, personal evangelism is viewed negatively--it's offensive, inappropriate, and insensitive. This book will equip everyday Christians who are reluctant and nervous to tell their friends about Jesus with practical, tested ways of sharing their faith in the least awkward ways possible.
A Doubter's Guide to the Bible is a concise account of the whole biblical narrative and the lifestyle it inspires, representing a unique and engaging framework for those observing Christianity from the outside, especially those who think there are good reasons not to believe.
In A Doubter's Guide to the Ten Commandments, bestselling author John Dickson explores how these ten words have changed our world and how they show us what the Good Life looks like. Whether or not one believes in the Bible, these ten ancient instructions open up a window to the Western world and on our own soul.
In A Doubter's Guide to Jesus, John Dickson is destined to stretch the imaginations of both believers and skeptics alike, confronting the beliefs on both sides. Dickson peels back the layers of the past to provide an eye-opening introduction to the major portraits of Jesus found in the earliest historical sources.
A book pack by The Wandering Bookseller containing John Dickson's books: A Doubter's Guide to the Bible, A Doubter's Guide to the Ten Commandments and A Doubter's Guide to Jesus.
All of these book titles can be purchased from The Wandering Bookseller.
Join us at Onward this month!
Onward is returning in 2020 as an interactive online Live Stream event. Urban Missionary, Sam Chan, will return to address the theme 'Finding Your Crowd: Living in a World of Difference & Exclusion'. As Christians, Jesus asks us to stand out in the crowd for Him, but how do we do that in a post-Christian world? Chan will give some tips on how we can stand out for Jesus for all the right reasons.
Onward 2020 will be held on Friday, 26 June at 7pm. We encourage youth to gather with us for a night of praising God, listening to what He has to say and wrestling with tough questions about life and culture today.
Tickets are $15pp and available on our website: https://www.onwardevent.com/
Stay up to date with Onward event:
Katoomba Christian Convention (KCC) has released KCC One—a brand new mobile platform which aims to make God's word accessible worldwide. For close to 120 years, KCC has gathered Christians across age groups and life-stages, denominations and regions under the banner “all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). The not-for-profit ministry hosts six annual conventions with the hope to see Australia transformed by Jesus Christ through the powerful preaching of the Bible. Now, with new technologies, they hope to see this vision unfold across the globe.
Available on iOS and Android, KCC One is a free app offering access to video, audio and transcripts of KCC’s extensive catalogue of Bible talks from the last 42 years. At a time when Christians across Australia and around the world have been forced to isolate, KCC’s rich library of over 350 expository preaching and topical talks allows users to hear from local preachers such as Peter Adam, Sam Chan, Simon Manchester and Kirk Patston as well as international preachers such as John Piper, Nancy Guthrie, Michael Ramsden, Paul Tripp, Don Carson, Helen Roseveare and Francis Chan. The app promises regular updates, including exclusive content.
Although COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of most of KCC’s 2020 live conventions, the ministry has been quick to adapt to online alternatives. KYCK Live was the premier livestreamed youth event which attracted over 10,000 high schoolers from all around Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the United States and the United Kingdom. Preacher Brett Hookham taught from Hebrews 10 on the topic of perseverance--reminding youth to cling to gospel hope and to continue spurring each other on in ‘love and good deeds’, even in the age of social distancing.
For many, KYCK Live was a timely event that provided much-needed encouragement and fellowship—including a Missionary Kid serving in Japan with CMS.
“The worship made me miss being surrounded, encouraged and growing with a bunch of believers. There is something truly special about youth in Australia. Amazing how so many have come to gather.”
The video footage from KYCK Live has already been uploaded to KCC One and can be accessed by anyone from anywhere in the world.
KCC hopes its livestream events will bring Christian community and teaching to those without access while also serving to generate income to fund the ministry.
KCC is a non-profit organisation whose vision is to see God’s Word transform the lives of Christians from all over the nation and beyond. Everything we do is to fulfill this mission, and now more than ever, we can only do this with the support and generosity of our donors and volunteers.
To find out more about the ministry of KCC or to download the new free app, visit www.kcc.org.au/kccone
Stay in touch with KCC:
We recently had the pleasure of meeting Nathan Wu who attended KYCK youth conference in 2018. Although he attended the conference doubting God’s existence, he returned home with a renewed trust in Jesus and his plans. In this testimony, Nathan shares his learnings from KYCK conference and how God’s word has continued to shape the way he sees his friendships, studies and future. We thank God for the opportunity to hear and share his story!
Hi! I'm Nathan and I recently began my first year of studies at Macquarie University. Although I grew up in a Christian family and went to church with them, I didn't believe that God existed at all. In 2018, I attended KYCK conference and my first impression was that it was a fun weekend aimed at teenagers in helping them to learn more about God, but what I learned at KYCK impacted me in many ways.
Personally, it helped me to see that even though I am sinful, God still forgives me, loves me and welcomes me with open arms into a future with him in heaven. It changed the way that I saw my studies and that putting our faith in God's plans and guidance is more important than getting good marks. It impacted the way I saw my friendships at school and that I should treat everyone as a neighbour and to forgive them as God did for me. Finally, it changed the way I see my future, as God has a plan and I can trust him. Knowing that he is putting his plan into action, and that there’s a place in heaven for me allows me to live my life as a Christian without worry.
I would like to encourage you to attend KYCK. It passes the vibe check with three days of good music, fellowship and great talks from the Bible.
We're KYCKing on this Spring!
Whether we gather in-person or via live stream, we are committed to KYCKing on later this year! KYCK will return this Spring over three weekends: 25-27 September, 9-11 October and 16-18 October.
Guest speakers Brett Hookham, Pete Tong and Danny Mitchell will be joining us to teach from the book of Joshua on theme ‘Strong & Courageous’. Make sure you register to be reminded that even in times of uncertainty, we can be strong and courageous because we belong to a God who rules over all.
Register on our website: https://www.kyck.org.au
Stay up to date with KYCK!
Onward is returning in 2020 as an online Live Stream event and we're pleased to announce that urban missionary, Sam Chan, will return to address the theme 'Finding Your Crowd: Living in a World of Difference & Exclusion'. As Christians Jesus asks us to stand out in the crowd for Him, but how do we do that in a post-Christian world? Chan will give some tips on how we can stand out for Jesus for all the right reasons.
According to Sam Wan, Onward's Committee Chair, Onward exists to equip a new generation of Christians to be salt and light in the world, and to better engage the controversial themes and ideas of our society in a Christian way.
"I love how Onward equips a new generation of Christians to be salt and light in the world and to understand how to be wise in navigating what it means to contextualise, and walk between love and truth."
According to Shaddy Hanna, a Youth Leader from Merrylands East Presbyterian, Onward has served to encourage and equip his youth to be on mission in their schools and local contexts.
"Onward is for Christian teenagers to be equipped with the gospel, equipped with skills about evangelism that they can then take back into their schools, workplaces and other environments."
Onward 2020 will be held on Friday, 26 June at 7pm as an interactive online Live Stream event. We encourage youth to gather with us for a night of praising God, listening to what He has to say and wrestling with tough questions about life and culture today.
Meet Onward20 Speaker: Sam Chan