During the 26th and 27th of August, over 150 working adults gathered together in one place to attend an exciting and fruitful Elevate Conference 2016 themed Greater Influence – Beyond NINE2FIVE. The energetically inspirational and down-to-earth guest speaker Ps Ben Windle and our very own Ps Joshua Chee both shared rich insight on kingdom values in the marketplace and in the very places of influence we find ourselves in. With an engaging worship session to kick start the conference on Friday night, inspirational workshops and a scrumptious big breakfast coupled with live music as the highlight on Saturday, this year’s conference was the best yet. What’s even better – many encountered an incredible wave of God’s presence and purpose!
Throughout the conference, Ps Ben conducted 2 teaching sessions titled “Dreams” and “Having a Life Plan”. One striking notable quote from Ps Ben in his “Dreams” sermon was this, “Natural and spiritual dreams are interconnected. God uses natural dreams as a vehicle to accomplish and achieve spiritual dreams”. He also reminded us to have a life plan, and have a good one: Life is like a coin, we can spend it in any way we want according to our free will and choice – however we only get to spend it once, so we have to spend it wisely! Ps Joshua shared on “Influence” and encouraged that every one of us can be an influencer – we are all called to be the salt and light of this world (Matthew 5:13-16) – and we should all learn and strive to influence others towards God’s purpose and mission, just as the theme for the conference – our influence can truly be greater and beyond 9-5 working hours! Both Ps Ben and Ps Joshua’s sharing provided great insights and fresh perspectives for working people through all the different stages in life.
Delegates also broke out into their chosen workshops held concurrently. The workshops were very much varied, yet each were able to provide people with great insights into the unique challenges and tips of surviving as a working adult and discover how each can be influential not only in our marketplaces but also in the very place that God has uniquely positioned us in! Ps Ben Windle shared on “Beyond Dreaming” and provided insights to delegates on how to move from a dreamer to a mover in order to bring a dream that God gives to come to reality. Sue Schoonbeek, a highly influential clinical nurse manager, shared on “Radical Marketplace Outreach”, where she provided delegates a fresh perspective of being radical and relational as they reach out to the people they meet in the marketplace, just like how she does so in bringing hope to people in her hospitals that she has worked at.
Ps Russell Witham shared an interesting eye-opening topic on how he leads “Access Street Van” to bring hope to people through practical ways and bless those who are struggling in life by offering food, drink and contact for the homeless and the less advantaged in the community with God’s love. Yi Ling advised the fresh graduates on practical ways to equip themselves as they prepare to step into the marketplace; Ambrose shared with those delegates who are business owners or entrepreneurs on how to build their business with the right building blocks and a godly perspective; Peggy Tan, a nutritionist, shared on practical healthy options in a world focussed on instant satisfactions; whereas Joseph Wee empowered managers, supervisors or workplace leaders with his engaging message on how to manage their teams effectively.
Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development or behaviour of someone or something. The church can be a huge influence in the marketplace. We are also called to influence the circle of our influence. The truth of Matthew 5:13-16 about being the salt and light of the world sinks deep into every delegates’ hearts. Through this conference, it is believed that delegates hopefully have learned, understood, embraced and ready to apply God’s word into their lives so that all can be His Influencers!
Written by Grace Ngu, Hope Church Brisbane