Christian Leaders Refreshed, Reconnected and Refocused for Ministry at Oxygen 2023 

We praise God that in August, Christian leaders across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore gathered at Oxygen Conference to be refreshed and reinvigorated in their work for the gospel. This comes in light of the 2023 Oxygen Christian Workers Survey revealing alarming levels of loneliness, burnout and mental health issues amongst Christian workers in Australia. 

Although Christian workers dedicate their lives to teaching, encouraging and serving their churches and non-profits, survey results showed that many are in dire need of personal encouragement and refreshment. This is why Oxygen exists—to encourage Christian workers to come up for breath, and to take a break from leading, teaching and pastoring others.  

Over four unrushed days, Christian workers were served with a program designed to renew the mind and refresh the heart. Delegates were pastored by a range of renowned Bible teachers and experienced workshop presenters who planned content around the 2023 theme: “Reshaping Our Hearts for the Work We Do”
Quoting Ashley Null, Glen Scrivener reminded delegates that: “What the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies”. At a time where Christian workers face varying and complex pressures, Oxygen served as an important reminder to “guard the heart” and to continue serving with godly motivations, with hearts centered on Jesus:  

“The Holy Spirit worked through the humble and honest leadership of conference presenters and speakers, united us and called us to honour Jesus together. I have returned home with less focus on my performance and more on resting in the arms of our faithful Lord Jesus.”

“I was encouraged to consider the state of my heart and reflect deeply on my posture towards my work. I found that through great teaching and fellowship God revealed to me the selfishness of my heart and cleared the way for great joy in the job that I get to do ministering to people in His spirit.”

“The whole program was great. I loved just sitting under the wisdom and care of the speakers and being fully refreshed for ministry.”

Through Bible talks, testimonies of faith, Q&A, live-cross interviews, and practical workshops, delegates were encouraged to guard their hearts with gospel-centred courage, joy, vision, wisdom, conviction and faith.  

Oxygen speakers included international Bible teachers Paul Tripp, Zack Eswine, Miroslav Volf, John Lennox and Glen Scrivener; and local teachers Malcolm Gill, Kirk Patston and Jonathan Dykes.  

Talk titles included:

  • The Heart of a Ministry Leader (Ezekiel 14:1-8) by Paul Tripp 
  • Ministry Leadership & Spiritual Warfare (1 Peter 5:6-11) by Paul Tripp 
  • Recovering Our Humanity in Ministry (Ecclesiastes 10:5-14) by Zack Eswine 
  • Recovering Our Wisdom for Ministry (Proverbs 1:22) by Zack Eswine

Workshop presenters included experienced Christian psychologists, counsellors, and ministry supervisors who taught delegates how to maintain long-term spiritual health, and to get help for burn out and mental health issues.  

Workshop titles included:  

  • Mending the Broken Hearted: Trauma Informed Pastoral Ministry by Tim Dyer  
  • Serving Confidently Amidst Strain, Uncertainty and Change by Grant Bickerton  
  • Moving from a Reactive to Reflective Ministry: Leadership and Ministry Longevity in a Hectic and Troubled World by Valerie Ling
  • The Importance of Emotional Self Awareness for Healthy Ministry by Dave & Kathy Thurston 

While the teaching and workshops were the highlight for some, for others, it was the refreshment that came from being surrounded by like-minded people who understand the unique pressures and challenges of ministry.  

This meant that leaders and pastors had the opportunity to share their hearts and burdens with others, and to be served with wisdom shaped with empathy and prayer. With isolation and loneliness being a common struggle for many Christian leaders, Oxygen served as an important reminder to persevere, for they do not labour alone:  

“The uplifting tone to the whole event really held space for us to breathe, find grace for weakness, find common ground in tiredness and burnout without wallowing in it, find space for heart and emotion without over emotionality, and look to the Lord for His provision in all of our lives rather than just to soldier on blindly.”  

“The fellowship is great. Like-minded people gathering to encourage and support one another.” 

Is it time you Hit Pause in ministry? Oxygen livestream is now available On Demand!  

Whether you missed out on attending Oxygen full-time, or know a Christian worker who would benefit from the conference material, you can now register to access Oxygen On Demand until midnight 17 October.  

Full-time in-person delegates can add On Demand access for $39pp. 
Online and day-ticket delegates can add On Demand access for $59pp. 

Visit our website for more information:  

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