Christian conferences throughout 2020 are going on-line and moreover some have already. The Covid 19 restrictions have created a grand opening for evangelism in any case. One Pastor two weeks ago said his on-line service had 364 log-in where those who attended church was only 160. Something special is happening.
Thus Christian Conferences are making this same transition as are the church services. One of our Well-Being Australia network supporters in their 80s sent an Email they engaged in their devotions on-line yet disappointed they could not attend Church on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Another if our long term supporters of 40 years passed into Glory and we were sent the live-link for the funeral service. We watched on the lap top screen the grieving family member mourners, the grieving widower a dear friend, the Minister who gave the eulogy followed by the message.
This is being done as if it were the normal and regular outcomes of daily life of which it is.
This is a statement of great truth – there are those in the Christian evangelical and Pentecostal traditions of the Christian church who are, for want of a better phrase – Christian Conference Junkies.
This is a formidable reality – if there is a Christian conference in any city – these wonderful folks will be there – no doubt sharing the latest tid bit on the previous conference they attended.
Seriously, these Christian Conferences are major milestones in the annual calendar of the Christian community. I can 50-60 of them off the cuff, and they all get their people attending. Some are internationally recognised, such as Hillsong. Our young writers (media recognised for Hillsong) send in their nightly article reports for the following day’s Christian Today publication.
Every State denomination holds conference along with their generic Youth conferences. There are famous Christian conferences such as the Katoomba Convention (Sydney) and the Belgrave Heights Christian Convention (Melbourne). There are associated ministry conference such as when hospital, SES, Ambulance, Fire Brigade, Industrial, Sport chaplains get together, I could do on and on and on.
Now, with all these going on-line there is little wonder IT Government authorities are wondering about the bandwidth of land lines and wifi.
But there are many other smaller conferences, boutique gatherings of ‘member only’ very specific.
Our young writer conferences fall into category. Last year in Melbourne we had 66 young writers. The year before 2018 in Christchurch there were 43. A similar number the year before in 2017 on the Sunshine Coast.
These are one day conferences, highly specialised. Start at 9.45am and finish after the annual awards at 5.00pm. This way the young writers were able to either fly home that evening or make a weekend of it. It has been a good formula since our conferences began in 2010.
This year 2020 the annual Awards will be presented on video. Cartia Moore one of our regular video-ologists and Russell Modlin our perennial wonderful MC will make the presentations in September.
It has all changed for Christian conferences, now on-line but in some way it has not changed at all …. The Lord’s Name be praised.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at