Culture

Confessions of a conference junkie

by Lim Jun Heng // August 31, 2018, 12:10 pm

Conference

I remember when a friend brought me to my first Christian conference.

It was held in my church anyway, so I didn’t mind giving it a shot to see what these conferences were all about. But I was blown away when I saw how the sanctuary I was familiar with had been completely transformed. Worship was amazing, the sermon powerful – don’t even get me started on the altar call!
Long story short: That day was the start of my journey of conference hunting.

Along the way, we started living for the hype – not the Gospel.

This year I’ve attended 7 different conferences – with at least 3 more to go.

I’ve never failed to be amazed by the worship in each conference, or how compelling top speakers can be. But as I attended conference after conference, I began to hear more and more stories of friends who had become jaded and stagnant in their Christian walk despite having attending all these conferences like me.

I was puzzled by their stagnation … but I think I have a couple of ideas as to what happened.
Along the way, we started living for the hype – not the Gospel.

Conferences are events where we may experience the presence of God in worship, in the sermon and at the altar. They also produce a spiritual high from attending them.

These aren’t bad things, but if that’s all our faith is about – then we’re really just chasing dopamine shots. That’s living on spiritual highs for a little while before the inevitable crash that follows with inaction. Because we’re not supposed to chase one high to the next. We’re not junkies.

Authentic faith is a close and consistent walk with Jesus, whether we’re walking through valleys or on mountaintops. The hype a conference generates is temporal and fleeting. Hype never lasts – let alone sustain faith.

… we’re not supposed to chase one high to the next. We’re not junkies.

But the Gospel can! The good news of Jesus Christ dying for the sins of men and rising to life again is a solid stone worth building our faith and life upon.
It takes a team of humans to invest some money, invite some speakers and create the atmosphere for a conference. It took God Himself to be tortured, abandoned and crucified to give us the Gospel.

God paid the highest price so that we can have eternal life – a confident hope that stands on the highest mountains as well as in the lowest valleys. Those are things a mere conference can never provide!


I used to live for events … not caring enough about what should happen after them.

Conferences are great places for faith to be strengthened and lives to be equipped in reaching the world with the Gospel. But if we attend a conference merely with the mindset to be entertained, or just to get “better” worship or messages that we don’t think we get in church … we’re missing the point.

We would be misusing the opportunities and empowerment God has given us through the conference. Acts 1:8 tells us that the Holy Spirit empowers us not to keep this power to ourselves, but to be witnesses to our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria – to the very ends of the earth.

Conferences are never meant to be an end in themselves – they are catalysts! They should fire us up to live as empowered disciples reaching the world with the Gospel.

Use what you learn in conferences to live a life that’s founded in Christ, growing in faith and walking in obedience.

Use what you learn in conferences to talk to others about Jesus, encouraging fellow believers and stirring them to love and good works so they also can become more and more like Christ – realising the joy and power in following Him.

So when you next step into a conference hall, remember not to live for the high.

It’s not about you – it’s about the Gospel and God’s glory.

About the author

Lim Jun Heng

JunHeng is a 100% extrovert who loves caffeine – lots of caffeine. He also likes HTHTs, jamming and eating good food. Did he mention he loves caffeine?