Ahead of Father’s Day, we'll be sharing stories of everyday Christian fathers, and how knowing God and the gospel has shaped their perspectives on children and parenting. In this reflection, Chris Thomas shares how God has been at work in his family as he parents children with special needs and chronic health issues.
1. Tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Chris Thomas, a fairly average guy who grew up in QLD but has called NSW home for over 20 years (but I still chant QLDer come State Of Origin time). I’m 45 years old, that strange age where I still forget I’m not a kid anymore, but am legitimately feeling the years starting to pile up on my body.
I often tell people that I’m the father of three and a dad to 5—a short way of saying that the Lord blessed my wife and me with three children who entered our family the old-fashioned way, and then two more who entered our family via the Foster system. Our five kids range between 20 years old and 5, so I feel like I’ve been changing dirty nappies for two decades!
When I’m not changing nappies (and can choose how to fill my time), you’ll find me either writing, sitting beside a fire somewhere near a secluded creek, or researching the ultimate property on which to live ‘off-grid’ (hey, we can all dream, can’t we?).
2. What are the joys and challenges of being a parent to a child with special needs?
We never intended to specialise our Foster Care journey in Special Needs, yet a little over 12 years ago, when Master M* entered this world, we first met him in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) — early, small, alone, and though we didn’t know it yet, profoundly broken. Miss I* entered the world five years ago, only halfway through the time she should have spent in the womb, and spent the next three months of her life in NICU, and will spend the remainder of her life with significant health challenges. Both of these children have severe brain damage caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol, which they feel the effect of every minute of every day.
The obvious challenges that come with being a dad to children with special needs are wrapped up with the particular challenges that our kids have. Every dad dreams of seeing their kids grow and thrive, but the challenges my kids face mean that thriving will look different for them, which also means that my dreams have needed to look different as well. In some ways, life becomes simpler, so many of the choices we make are dictated by the restraints that special needs bring. Yet, life is more complex as well—even simple tasks, simple errands, and simple outings, are from ‘simple’ anymore. Living in this tension can be exhausting.
But raising my children has also been the source of some of my greatest joys. There is joy in seeing the world through different eyes. There is joy in celebrating the hard-fought wins our kids have. There is joy as I see my biological kids develop insight and compassion for kids different to them, and even choose career paths that will serve the neediest of our society.
Being a dad is complex, filled with a unique blend of joy and sorrow, yet all held securely within the cup of God’s sovereign love.
*Names in this story have been changed to protect the children's privacy.
3. What does being a Christian father mean to you?
I know many great dads, some of whom don’t know Jesus yet. So being a ‘Christian’ dad isn’t just about being a ‘better’ dad—in fact, the quest to be better, or define our worth by our achievements, may, in fact, be an example of everything that stands opposed to the gospel. No, being a Christian dad has meant that I can find my value ultimately in Christ. My failures, of which I have many, don’t define my identity, instead they drive me evermore into the arms of a saviour. Being a Christian dad means that grace flavours and reshapes how I discipline and train my kids, preparing them for what God has in store for them, not to carry the burden of being my legacy to the world.
4. What do you believe to be the ultimate purpose of fatherhood?
In a sense, being a father is akin to being a Steward of Gondor; we sit on a borrowed throne for just a few years. When my kids were young, they would gaze up at me with eyes ablaze with trust and adoration. But that trust will eventually be broken, the adoration tarnished by reality. Fatherhood is holding those brief years on the throne with soft hands, with fingers willing to open and release. Fathers are shepherds, but shepherds who love the flock owned by another. A greater king will return, a greater shepherd will call our kid’s names. My job as a father is to tune my children’s hearts to recognise the ‘true and better dad’.
5. How does knowing God the Father change the way you parent your kids?
I hope it has left a fingerprint on every aspect of parenting, but the sphere I’ve been most aware of is how grace is applied to parenting. I want my parenting to demonstrate something of the grace of God. Not only that, but I want my kids to experience what it means not to have to ‘earn’ my love, or my trust, or my attention. I want, when faced with a tension or dilemma, to lean toward grace rather than law, and if I err, then I will err on the side of grace.
6. Can you share something that God has been teaching you, since you’ve become a parent?
That’s easy. There is nothing like parenthood to expose your selfishness. A day has barely passed over the last 20 years when God hasn’t gently placed his finger on some treasured corner of my heart, and little piece of me that I am reluctant to relinquish. The often read passage relegated to weddings has been a constant guide to me—love is many things, but self-centredness isn’t one of them!
Being a dad can be lonely; mums tend to have much better developed networks of support. I’ve found that being deliberate in my friendships with other dads, searching out older men who’ve walked the paths I’m navigating, as well as opening up your life to younger men just stumbling into fatherhood, are all essential relationships to invest in. You might be blessed with many friends, or maybe just one, but whatever you do, don’t isolate yourself in your role as a dad—you’ll need a band of brothers.
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On Saturday 14th August, 1052 men gathered to be challenged and encouraged from God’s Word at BASECAMP men’s conference. Though COVID-19 restrictions throughout the country once again greatly impacted the ability to gather in person, BASECAMP delegates were motivated to gather in groups virtually and enjoyed fellowship despite being in isolation. Men across Australia and other parts of the world, including the USA and Singapore, set time aside to hear God’s Word preached.
This year’s BASECAMP theme was ‘Unbound: To Love God and Love Others’. The three-session day kick-started with a talk from international plenary speaker Dr Tim Lane (Counsellor & President of The Institute for Pastoral Care), who presented on self-awareness as a critical part of the change process. He wrapped up the event with a talk on growing in Gospel awareness as an essential part of lasting change. Tim’s talks were based upon his latest book Unstuck: A Nine-Step Journey to Change That Lasts, which combined teaching based upon biblical texts and real-life illustrations. Men were provided with a concrete and practical understanding of becoming more like Jesus as they face the challenges of daily life.
Session two featured second plenary speaker Arnaldo Santiago Jr. (Lead Pastor, Anchor South West), whose talk focused on practices to get unbound and declutter the heart. Arnaldo’s talk addressed the practice of the confession of sin as God’s gracious gift to His people to be restored and re-storied (into the Gospel) and bring about His character in oneself for the sake of the world. He also discussed the prayer of examen and taught men to learn to explore what is happening inside them and prompted delegates to see that the forces that have shaped them are necessary to their spiritual growth.
Special guest Dr Jonathan Andrews (Clinical Psychologist, Heart in Mind) wrapped up session two with a practical short talk that pointed men to the need for connection. He gave three important considerations for men to reflect on as well as some practical tips, including the connection between them and God, the connection between them and others and the connection within themselves.
BASECAMP also featured two testimonials from Josh Callahan and Ashish Pawar. The testimonies brought encouragement to BASECAMP delegates as each of the men presented very honestly and vulnerably. Both men openly shared their stories of faith and how God unbound their hearts and revealed Himself to them amid the harsh circumstances they each faced in their past.
The program offered many moments of self-reflection, where men could unveil the need to guard their hearts, to uncover and unbind from the unhealthy and destructive patterns that can hinder their desire and freedom to love God and to love others. Each delegate was given either a hard copy or soft copy of Tim Lane’s book, along with the BASECAMP Local four-session program, to continue their growth and reflection beyond the one-day event.
Despite many being in isolation due to the pandemic, the program encouraged interactivity and fun with others and highlighted some of the interesting hobbies of BASECAMP delegates. Along with worship music and scheduled breaks, delegates were given ample opportunity to connect with others and share the things they learned during the day.
"The selection of talks and testimonies this year seemed to be particularly relevant to our circumstances We need encouragement and perseverance in a COVID lockdown world. There was a great balance between encouragement and challenge." – Phil
"Content was very relevant to assist men to continue to be Godly men during this extended period of trial with COVID-19." – Richard
"Love the talks. Very practical. Reminded to look for evidence of God's grace in my life and others." – Daniel
"I'm a church pastor. COVID lockdown has been very hard for me this year mentally. To be honest, I almost didn't sign up for BASECAMP. However, I wanted to be a role model for men in my church... I enjoyed Tim Lane's talks most of all. His focus on knowing and living God's grace was very helpful. I also really enjoyed the music and sang along. LT (and the younger guy) did a great job MCing and I've since downloaded Lectio 365 on his recommendation. The testimonies I heard moved me significantly. I had a very encouraging day in the midst quite a difficult week for me personally. So, thank you for all your effort putting BASECAMP together. I look forward to coming in person next year and bringing men with me." – Peter
BASECAMP will return in 2022, as two gatherings in August. BASECAMP City will be held on Saturday 6 August at the UNSW Roundhouse and BASECAMP Mountains will be held on Friday 12– Saturday 13 August at the StayKCC site in the Blue Mountains.
Re-watch until the end of September!
The BASECAMP livestream will be available on-demand until the 30th September. This means you can rewatch your favourite segments from the program any time.
To access on-demand, purchase a ticket from the BASECAMP website, where you’ll also receive a copy of Tim Lane’s book Unstuck: A Nine-Step Journey to Change That Lasts and resource pack. If you already have a ticket, just use the same link and access code to view the content.
You can also access the BASECAMP book collection here, the Spotify playlist here, and the feedback form here.
Don’t forget to also further your BASECAMP experience beyond the day by completing the BASECAMP Local program: Your exclusive four session small group study that's designed to help you work through the material in 'Unstuck'.
Stay up to date with BASECAMP
Ahead of Father’s Day, we'll be sharing stories of everyday Christian fathers, and how knowing God and the gospel has shaped their perspectives on children and parenting. In this reflection, Mikey Tai shares what God has been teaching him as a first-time dad!
1. Tell us a little about yourself!
I pastor a church called Providence in Brisbane which began as a church plant 7 years ago. I’m married to Heidi, with a newborn daughter called Talitha, a dog named Simba, and a few fish tanks. As a side ministry we host ‘The Greater Story’ podcast, as I love watching movies and thinking through how they point us to Jesus. I also love to spend time with my fish tanks, hitting the gym, and reading books over a good coffee.
2. What are the joys and challenges of being a first-time dad?
Honestly, it’s the simple joys like being able to cuddle her, being able to observe her changing week by week and seeing how she picks up new things. There’s also a sense of joy, knowing God has gifted you with this new responsibility and you get to play a part in raising and taking care of this vulnerable little human. The challenge, like most parents would feel at this stage, is the sleep deprivation!
3. What does being a Christian father mean to you?
It means I have the opportunity to model and teach the gospel to my child and raise her in God’s covenant promises.
4. What do you believe to be the ultimate purpose of fatherhood?
Like all of life, our purpose is to glorify God so even in fatherhood, God desires for me to glorify Him in the way that I love and serve my family, and bring them to a deeper knowledge and love of Him and love for others around us!
5. How does knowing God the Father change the way you parent?
Knowing God allows me to entrust my child to Him knowing He loves her more than I ever could. It gives me courage too, because I don’t have all the answers and at times will stuff up, but God is in control, and He is growing my character in the process. Knowing God also allows me to see where I fall short as a father, and in my moments of sin like impatience or frustration, I can look to Jesus as a model to lean into and follow after.
6. Can you share something that God has been teaching you, since you’ve become a parent?
I’m selfish! I’m someone who loves efficiency and trying to get a newborn baby to sleep in the middle of the night can be very inefficient! Life changes a lot as a new parent and while you want your child to fit into your schedule and do what you want them to do, it never works out that way. A baby is a baby and you can’t control them. But I can be aware and get some control over my emotions and God has been showing me how impatient and selfish I am. When I lean into Jesus though, I’m reminded that I must be so hard to deal with too (and I’m not a baby!) and have had to remember how gracious and patient Jesus has been with me time and time again.
Since 1990, NextGen’s training model has been used to raise a new generation of Christian leaders across Australia and beyond.
NextGen’s wholistic and interactive program is designed to help delegates to grow in their love and knowledge of God, while gaining key skills to read and teach the Bible to others.
In the last year, NextGen training material has been utilised across the state in the form of take-home 'Training Kits', giving local churches the opportunity to run NextGen in the way that best suits them.
We are bringing back our NextGen Training Kit in 2022 with all the things you love about NextGen!
With NextGen, you will:
Whether you are a youth leader, Sunday School teacher, Bible study group leader, or just wanting to speak about or read the Bible better, join us at NextGen in 2022.
Unpacking the NextGen 2022 Training Kit:
See the impact of NextGen in local communities.
“While travelling, we would listen to the NextGen talks and workshop material, and then discuss what we had learned in the car. Sometimes these conversations would continue over dinner, or while fishing. We were able to sit for a fair bit after each talk to think about them.” Henk.
“It's really encouraging to see the younger ones coming along to the whole thing! They really enjoyed the talks and strand materials and got into God's Word. A few of the youth leaders from strand 3 are keen to turn the topics they looked at into talks for youth group this year. The rising leaders have said yes to sharing their testimonies at youth group too!” - Cici Gu from Evangelical CrossLife Church.
Sign up to our emailing list for NextGen 2022 updates.
"Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"
Matthew 28:19 (NIV).
Wanting to grow in your faith? From podcasts and apps to videos, we’ve compiled a list of resources to spur you on your Christian walk. We hope you will find these helpful as you spend time with God.
Catch BASECAMP and OneLove on-demand
Last week, over 1,000 men gathered at BASECAMP men’s conference to be encouraged and challenged in God’s word. If you missed out, registrations and livestream viewing will be open till 30 September so you can watch it at your own pace. Our OneLove women’s conference is this Saturday! It’s not too late to register or it will also be available to watch on-demand till 30 September.
Every Moment Holy
Every Moment Holy is a book of liturgies for the ordinary events of daily life--liturgies such as 'A Liturgy for Feasting with Friends' or 'A Liturgy for Laundering' or 'A Liturgy for the First Hearthfire of the Season.' These are ways of reminding us that our lives are shot through with sacred purpose even when, especially when, we are too busy or too caught up in our busyness to notice. Purchase it from The Wandering Bookseller here.
Women of the Word - How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds
We all know it's important to study God's Word. But sometimes it's hard to know where to start. What's more, a lack of time, emotionally driven approaches, and past frustrations can erode our resolve to keep growing in our knowledge of Scripture. How can we, as Christian women, keep our focus and sustain our passion when reading the Bible? Women of the Word has helped countless women with a clear and concise plan they can use every time they open their Bible. This book will equip you to engage God's Word in a way that trains your mind and transforms your heart. Purchase it from The Wandering Bookseller here.
Lectio 365 is a daily devotional resource that helps you pray the Bible every day. Written by leaders from the 24-7 Prayer movement, this resource helps you engage with the word, fix your eyes on Jesus, and connect with God in prayer.
WordGo by Bible Study Fellowship is an app that delivers daily study plans straight to your phone, helping you connect with God through His Word. If you want something you can just open up to help guide your Bible reading time, WordGo provides a great structure with allowing for opening prayer time, the Bible reading and great practical questions to reflect on the passage with.
PrayerMate helps you to be faithful in prayer for the people and causes you care about. It works by grouping everything that needs praying for into lists such as family, sharing faith, or world mission, and you can add your own lists too! Each PrayerMate session you’ll get a selection of your subjects to pray through or you can pray through specific lists instead.
The Beatitudes – KCC One
A video devotional series by Malcolm Gill. Available exclusively on the KCC One App, ‘The Beatitudes’ takes a deep dive into Matthew 5:3–12 where Jesus points us to a thriving blessed life that is both counter-cultural and counter-intuitive.
Desiring God’s Look at the Book
Look at the Book is an ongoing series of 8–12 minute videos in which the camera is on the text, not the teacher. You will hear John Piper’s voice and watch his pen underline, circle, make connections, and scribble notes—all to help you learn to read God’s word for yourself.
Join the creators of BibleProject (Tim and Jon) as they have in-depth conversations about the Bible and theology. Listen online here or on your preferred streaming platform.
Unreached of the Day
A fast-paced, daily one minute episode, providing an opportunity to learn about and pray for the unreached ethnic people groups of the world with the fewest followers of Jesus. Listen online here or on your preferred streaming platform.
The KCC team are currently working from home under various NSW lockdown rules, and after 6 weeks we're feeling the strain! In the midst of working from home, restricted movements and all the other responsibilities juggled, we're desperately feeling the need for refreshed eyes, hearts and souls. We imagine it'd be much the same for many right now.
So here are three ways to reset, refresh and refocus this season:
1. Take the day to be refreshed at BASECAMP and OneLove
Take the day to be fed from God's Word, be refreshed, and be "in the room" with a greater fellowship of believers. There's nothing like coming together to hear the Bible preached powerfully, be blessed by the personal testimonies of fellow Christians, and to share in it with fellow Christians.
For the men at BASECAMP, Tim Lane and Arnaldo Santiago Jr will be tackling how to unravel the things that bind our hearts, so that we can stride back out into the world, free to love God and others fully.
Jackie Hill Perry and Jo Gibbs will challenge and encourage the women at OneLove that our holy God has created us for more than this world has us believe.
You won't regret the time spent being refreshed at these events. Register now - it includes on-demand access to the event for a month, and extra resources to help make the most of the day.
2. Refocus with a soul-nourishing book
Pick up a book you've meant to read, and commit to finishing it! If you need some ideas for new reads, KCC have partnered with The Wandering Bookseller to come up with a list of recommended reads for BASECAMP and OneLove. Here's a selection:
See the rest of the BASECAMP collection here: https://wanderingbookseller.com.au/collections/basecamp
See the rest of the OneLove collection here: https://wanderingbookseller.com.au/collections/onelove
(Why not share the love and send around a book to friends to read together? The Wandering Bookseller have a great range of books in bulk in their $100 book pack collection!)
3, Reset your day with a prayer walk
Get up a little earlier to go on a walk in the fresh air, and spend it in prayer for the day ahead and for the world around us. More of a sit-and-pray-er? Tune into some music to help you worship, or a sermon to listen to as you walk. Spotify and Apple Podcasts have a great selection to browse through, and of course, the KCC One app is always there with video and audio content too!
We'd love to hear what you do to de-fog in the current situation!
On the last day of Term 2, close to 300 youth gathered in churches and living rooms for the Onward conference livestream, and to hear how we as Christians can reach out to God in the midst of hard times and suffering. Youth groups tuned in from across New South Wales, Queensland, Canberra and Victoria, with the largest groups represented by St Andrew's Presbyterian Church Canberra, St Aidan's Wagga Wagga and Albury Presbyterian Churches.
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 to participate in a “This or That” poll and a competition to win KYCK2022 tickets.
The theme for Onward 2021 was “God in the Shadows: Finding God When Times Are Tough” and the official program kicked off with guest speaker, Dave Miers preaching from Habakkuk 1 & 2. Dave shared that it’s appropriate to cry out to God in times of suffering and that that Habakkuk is a good example of a man who expresses trust in God, even in pain and uncertainty.
“God is good. God is God and God can be trusted. When we ask, where is God when times are tough? We know he’s still God so we wrestle, so we wait, and regardless of the uncertainty that we, or people close to us have in the midst of tough times, we keep trusting in him.” – Dave Miers
Miers explored in his second talk how we can rejoice now even while we endure hardship. But the good news is, we don’t have to endure hardship forever.
Guest speakers, Lily Strachan, Kit Barker and Greg Coles joined the program to share more practically on the topic.
Barker shared an instructional talk that answers the question of how God wants His people to express their sorrow and grief. What do we do with suffering and pain as Christians? Why would God allow us to suffer?
Strachan is no stranger to mental illness, having been diagnosed with depression in 2003 and Bipolar Disorder in 2008. She believes that Christians are not exempt from suffering and shared where hope can be found in the midst of mental illness.
Coles shared his testimony about finding joy in his experience of attraction to the same sex. He also shared how even though faithfulness to Jesus means singleness and at times deep loss, he continues to seek to find joy.
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 2021, to find God in the midst of tough times and hardship.
Onward Youth is available to stream on-demand until the 31 August 2021.
Access to our DEEP DIVE resource which includes 3 weeks of youth group Bible talks, discussions questions, resources, interviews, Q&A with Onward speakers and more!
For tickets or more information, visit our website: www.onwardevent.com
Whether you are in a region where you’re able to meet with friends and family in person, or you’re alone and can only meet virtually, we believe that KCC’s upcoming livestream events are sure to still be an encouraging and refreshing time. Here are some ways you can still enjoy these events – even if you’re alone!
With KCC’s Onward Youth Conference still available on-demand, and BASECAMP Men’s Conference and OneLove Women’s Conference just around the corner, we’ve compiled our top tips for maximising your livestream experiences, so you don’t have to miss out!
Here are 5 ways that you and your friends can still enjoy the livestream, whether you’re together or alone:
1. Utilise technology and be creative with your gathering
Use technology to take the opportunity to connect with your friends during the day. Why not start a zoom chat on the side as you watch the livestream, so you can share your thoughts and reflections together? You can also organise for each person in your group to gift a meal to another person and share this meal virtually during the break. After the stream ends, you can continue the conversation and share with each other or have some fun and play a game to wind down the rest of the day.
“I setup our own (Zoom session), just as our little church, and it was a good opportunity to reflect on the talks, the areas that connected with us or challenged us.” – Travers, BASECAMP 2020 Delegate
2. Purchase your ticket today and start preparing and planning
Purchase your ticket sooner than later so that you can receive the latest updates and resources to help you prepare for the livestream event. Plus, you’ll get first access to opt-in to receiving limited physical copies of Tim Lane’s book ‘Unstuck: A Nine-Step Journey to Change that Lasts’ (BASECAMP) or a physical experience pack in the mail (OneLove).
Both BASECAMP and OneLove will also be available to watch on-demand until the end of September, giving you the flexibility to make plans for your group later. This means you can start planning what you can do in different scenarios. Is your church or hall available if gatherings are allowed? Who else could watch the livestream with you who lives close to you? Remember to always follow your state’s latest health advice.
3. Plan ahead for the time to soak in God’s Word
Consider the time set aside to watch the livestream as an investment in your walk with God! Make a conscious decision to remove any distractions just for the day so you can fill your tank – and be refreshed to keep running, serving and loving God and those around you, the best you can!
4. Gift a ticket to encourage a friend
If you know someone in need of some hope and strength in this season, why not gift them a day spent filling their tanks with God’s Word and encouragement from fellow Christians? Purchase a ticket for a friend or family member who has never been to a KCC event so they can also be encouraged in their spiritual journey. Or why not gift a ticket to your non-Christian friends so they can hear and respond to the gospel? Gifting a ticket is easy! You can visit the BASECAMP and OneLove websites for instructions on how to do this.
“I’ve always wanted to attend OneLove but due to chronic illness have never been able to go. A strange blessing of these COVID times meant the format changed to Livestream, which meant I could attend from my couch - what a gift from God and from my friend who generously sponsored me.” – Anthea, OneLove2020 Delegate
5. Take the conference experience beyond just a day
This year, KCC has planned for all livestream events to be more than just a one-day conference experience. Each program has been thoughtfully designed so that you can continue your growth and reflections, in small groups or by yourself, for weeks following the event. For men, we’ve introduced BASECAMP local, where you can work through the material in Tim Lane’s book ‘Unstuck: A Nine-Step Journey to Change that Lasts’. For women, we’ll be introducing a post-conference growth program to dive deeper into the topic of holiness.
You can also start listening to our Spotify playlists now to familiarise yourself with the worship music on the day, or start browsing the bookstall and buy books that will help you further in your journey.
Register for a KCC Livestream Event
BASECAMP Men’s Conference
Unbound: To Love God and Others
To guard our hearts, we need to uncover them so that we may see the unhealthy and destructive patterns that have bound them up. Unbound hearts are free to love God and others. BASECAMP will help you explore your inner world so that your heart may be ‘unbound’.
Livestream on Saturday 14th August 2021. Available on-demand until 30th September 2021. Register now.
OneLove Women’s Conference
Made for More: Created for Holiness
The Bible tells us that we are God’s handiwork, shaped and moulded by Him and for Him. (Isaiah 64:8). God has made us for more than earthly pursuits. He has made us to be holy. (1 Peter 1). Our aim for OneLove21 is to encourage one another to live full lives that are worthy of this calling.
Livestream on Saturday 21st August 2021. Available on-demand until 30th September 2021. Register now.
ONWARD Youth Conference
God in the Shadows: Finding God When Times are Tough
This year at Onward we have been thinking more about how we can better help youth and youth groups to engage with culture, apply God’s word and stand up in faith. So for 2021, Onward was made to be more than just a conference experience.
Available to watch now on-demand until 31st August 2021. Register now.
Stay up to date with KCC Events
CEO of Anglican Deaconess Ministries (ADM), Jo Gibbs, is set to return to the OneLove stage this August as a special guest. Jo will encourage women on holiness with a narrative and topical style talk and will also join us for Q&A. Get to know her here!
Due to popular demand, we are thrilled to announce that Jo Gibbs is returning to the stage as a special guest at the OneLove women’s conference on Saturday 21 August. Jo Gibbs is CEO of Anglican Deaconess Ministries (ADM) and was appointed the role in November 2020. She was previously the Care and Assistant Discipleship Minister at St Paul’s, Castle Hill and is experienced in community development and social planning.
After completing an MDiv at SMBC, she then served with her family with CMS in a South Asian megacity for 11 years. She focused on leadership development, and training and equipping women. Returning to Australia in 2015, she served first as the Families Minister at St John’s Beecroft before moving to St Paul’s Castle Hill. Throughout her work and ministry, she has focused on equipping and encouraging women for gospel ministry and making spaces for women to use their God-given gifts. Jo is married to Mike, and they have two children. On a day off she can be found listening to a podcast, going for a run, or having a walk near the water.
This year at OneLove, Jo will be encouraging women in their journey on holiness through a narrative and topical style talk. She will also provide practical application to the theme by joining us for the much-loved Q&A segment.
You can get a taste of her teaching here:
1. OneLove 2020 Q&A
OneLove delegates had the privilege of hearing from Jo Gibbs at the OneLove 2020 conference where she joined keynote speaker, Kara Martin, on the Q&A panel to talk about rest. Watch or listen to Jo’s practical wisdom on how to find true rest in Jesus through the KCC One App.
2. Interview: Cancelled?! What the Bible has to say about it.
In this interview on Sydney Anglicans, Jo shares her thoughts about today's cancel culture and the impact that it is having on how Christians speak, act and navigate situations of conflict. She shares the Biblical perspective on cancel culture, reminding Christians that when they are faced with the circumstance, to firstly turn to scripture. Read the interview here.
3. Podcast: Living Out Our Convictions
Jo appears as a special guest in this podcast by the Centre for Christian Living, discussing purposeful living and convictional intelligence. Listen to it here or read the transcript.
4. Article: People Worth Watching
Jo shares her tips and experience in growing and developing leaders in Christian ministry. She offers five specific areas that women have identified that have encouraged them to grow in their ministry and reflects on what leaders can do to help facilitate more women to serve in their church. Read the article here.
Win free tickets to OneLove 2021!
OneLove 2021 will be livestreamed on Saturday, 21 August and will feature powerful Bible teaching from female speakers, uplifting worship in song, inspiring interviews and more.
This year we’re giving away free OneLove tickets for you’re and a friend. Find out more on Facebook or Instagram to see how you can win these free tickets!
The giveaway ends Friday, 16 July at 12AM (AEST). Winners will be randomly picked and announced on Monday, 19 July at 12PM (AEST). Terms and conditions apply.
Enter the giveaway via Facebook or Instagram.
Stay up to date with OneLove
OneLove women’s conference is returning this Saturday 21 August as a high-quality livestreamed event. Here are 5 reasons to register with your family, friends and women in your church or ministry groups:
1. Hear powerful Bible preaching from Jackie Hill Perry on the topic of holiness
We are thrilled to announce that writer, poet, bible teacher and hip hop artist, Jackie Hill Perry, will be the guest speaker for OneLove women’s conference this August. Jackie will address the theme “Made for More: Created for Holiness” and encourage women to live full lives that are worthy of God’s calling to holiness.
Since becoming a Christian, Jackie has been compelled to use her speaking and teaching gifts to share the light of the gospel of God as authentically as she can. In her biography, Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was, and Who God Has Always Been, she shares her story of finding wholeness in her experience of growing up in a fatherless home and struggling with gender confusion.
Jackie grew up abusing marijuana, loving pornography and embracing both masculinity and homosexuality. At the age of 19, Jackie came face-to-face with what it meant to be made new. It didn’t happen in church or through contact with Christians, rather God broke in and turned her heart towards Him.
You can learn more about Jackie and get a taste of her teaching here.
2. Hear inspiring testimonies of seeking personal holiness from other women of faith
Every year at OneLove, we invite everyday Christian women to share their personal stories of faith and how Jesus is relevant to their lives. Last year, we invited Tace Stevens who shared how Jesus gives her confidence in anxiety, and Heidi Tai who shared how God’s mercy transformed her rebellious and hardened heart.
To see these testimonies in full, download the KCC One App.
3. Encourage one another with a full day of fantastic fellowship
In a season of isolation and social distancing, OneLove will give your group an opportunity to enjoy quality time together around God’s word. The OneLove program will include time for reflection, discussion and prayer over the things that have been learned. These deeper conversations are often springboards for new or strengthened friendships–something that can’t always be achieved on Sundays or online church. For this reason, we encourage you to plan a full day with your sisters-in-Christ and access the livestream from your church hall, home or even a holiday house during a weekend getaway!
4. Invite your unchurched friends to hear and respond to the gospel
OneLove is not just for Christian women! We strive to make the event a welcoming space for all women, regardless of where they are in their spiritual journey. Do you have a friend who has dropped off from the faith? A colleague with spiritual questions? A daughter in need of encouragement? Why not invite them to OneLove so that they can hear and respond to the gospel!
"I just couldn't ignore God's tugging on my heart anymore, so I became a Christian then and there at OneLove." - Jen
5. Be encouraged, refreshed and renewed in your faith
With Australia becoming increasingly secular, being a disciple of Jesus can be a lonely journey. For this reason, sitting under God’s word at OneLove with thousands of other believers can be an uplifting and empowering experience.
“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
Register today for OneLove!
We live in a society that celebrates earthly success and big aspirations. As women, we are encouraged to pursue the perfect ‘balance’ of happiness, health, status and success in work and love. But should this be our end goal? Is this all we were created for?
The Bible tells us that we are God’s handiwork, shaped and moulded by Him and for Him. (Isaiah 64:8). God has made us for more than earthly pursuits. He has made us to be holy. (1 Peter 1).
Our aim for OneLove21 is to encourage one another to live full lives that are worthy of this calling.
We will look closely at:
Register today at: onelovewomen.com
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