We praise God that over 1,700 women from 300 churches across Australia and New Zealand gathered under God’s word at OneLove women’s conference.
Hosted by Katoomba Christian Convention, OneLove is an annual one-day event, designed to inspire women in their relationship with Jesus. Through powerful Bible preaching, inspiring testimonies, and uplifting worship in song led by CityAlight, women were invited to rest under God’s word and to consider if they truly trust the God who sees every detail of their life.
Award-winning author, Bible teacher and Hip Hop artist, Jackie Hill Perry joined the platform as the keynote speaker to preach on the theme, “Worthy of Trust: The God Who Sees Us”. In her first talk, “The Suffering Servant and The Seeing God”, Perry opened Genesis 16 to reveal a story of two suffering women, and their responses to God in the face of infertility, abuse, and the loss of status and security.
By sharing Scripture and testimonies of Christians who have faced trauma—including her own—Perry emphasised that faith in God does not make one immune to suffering, and that having “right theology” of God does not automatically lead to right worship of God in the face of suffering.
While Sarai had faith in God’s sovereignty over her womb, having the “right theology” led to discouragement, not comfort. For Sarai, the call to “wait on God” did not lead to deeper trust in God, but rather, to taking matters into her own hands through disobedience, idolatry and sinful strategies.
Sarai’s disobedience results in the abuse of Hagar—an insignificant Egyptian slave girl, who was forced to bear her a child. Yet despite Hagar’s abuse and absence of “right theology”, she was seen, sustained and redeemed by God, and responded to Him with obedience and praise—which according to Perry, is an example of suffering being redemptive:
“God seeing you doesn’t mean that your circumstances will be easy. God hearing you doesn’t mean that your tribulation won’t hurt. What it means is that the hard things won’t keep you from God unless you let them. He is a very present help in times of trouble.”Jackie Hill Perry, OneLove 2023
By contrasting Sarai’s disobedience to Hagar’s obedience to God in suffering, Perry highlighted some important questions to believers in the room:
- How is your vision of God being influenced by your suffering?
- Do you over-identify with your trauma so that you forget your new identity in Christ?
- In suffering, do we trust in God or idols; God’s promises or personal sinful strategies?
In her second talk, “Ministry to Women at Wells”, Perry opened John 4:1-42 to teach and empower women onto the mission field, for according to Perry, “if God has saved us, He’s also sent us”. Opening the familiar story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well, Perry highlighted the ways in which Jesus ministered with authenticity, humility, cultural sensitivity and curiosity. In doing so, Jesus was able to highlight the spiritual condition of her heart and reveal the God who can quench her spiritual “thirst”.
Perry emphasised that while readers are often focused on her “many husbands”, the details of her relationship history aren’t specific because the story isn’t primarily about the woman’s sin. Rather, John 4 spotlights Jesus’ divine knowledge—that “even if she doesn’t know Him, He knows her”. This is significant because when ministering to unbelievers, we need to be wary of “over-focusing on struggles and sin”, because the primary goal of mission is leading people into seeking and finding Jesus.
For many delegates, Perry’s “phenomenal” preaching was the highlight of the day, with many walking away comforted and challenged to respond to God with love, faith and obedience.
For others using OneLove as a mission and ministry opportunity, the highlight was seeing friends and family members respond to God’s word:
“OneLove gave me a renewed love for Jesus and fresh perspective of studying His Word. My best friend who is not a believer came as support for me and I saw a significant change in her heart and openness towards God in our chats later.”
“The teaching was absolutely outstanding! My 19-year-old daughter is so on fire for Jesus after the conference.”
“We had 13 teens from our church, from years 8-12 and they LOVED it. 3 of them have been up and down about Jesus and yesterday was transformative for them. These are the things as mums we have been praying for our daughters, so it was particularly significant for us.”
Jackie Hill Perry was an absolute gold mine of gospel content delivered authentically and richly and I loved how she drew out that we are seen by God. I brought two people on the fringe of church community and the conversation on the way home was amazing.
“Jackie demonstrated a wonderful model of turning to scripture for answers to our deepest questions and is a beautiful example to other women of what it looks like to take theology seriously and handle the bible joyfully, skilfully and carefully.”
OneLove conference will return on Saturday 24th August 2024. The Livestream is available On Demand until 24 September 2023.
Stream Jackie’s OneLove talks on KCC+
We have had such overwhelming demand for Jackie’s talks from OneLove that we have fast-tracked them to the KCC+ content offering for September! Subscribe to KCC+ to access Jackie’s talks PLUS many more including ‘Unbound: To Love God and Others’ talks from BASECAMP 2021, ‘Living Proof’ talks from KEC 2010, and ‘Mastering Money’ talks from KEC 2008. Subscribe today.