Author: Matt Miller
When people think of ‘colour’ the first things to come to mind may be changes we are seeing lately with the season moving from summer to autumn; as the green and bright colours of the warmer months give way to gold and brown, heralding the onset of winter. Or perhaps, the vivid colours of the rainbow might come to mind.
But, just how many would recognise Colour as being a ground-breaking movement of women that has been going strong for 22 years? Along the way, this movement of Christian women, has been transforming lives of not only women right around the world and here at home, but it has been stepping-out in faith with ambitious ministry projects that are making a difference in the lives of those who cling to the margins.
Women Coming Together for Christ
The annual Colour conference is hosted by Hillsong. Women from around Australia meet, connect, stand together in the name of Jesus, worship, and encourage each other in stepping-out in faith.
New Vine Lake’s very own Kate Warner was there for Colour 2018 and gives us an impression of what this year’s conference was like. What is it about Colour that has seen it have such an impact?
Kate says that taking people out of their everyday lives to meet tends to mark the annual Colour conference as special. It is a break from the ordinary and sees like-minded Christian women meeting in a safe and empowering environment.
"Colour is just so empowering! You come away from the conference feeling empowered and charged-up to step out in faith for Christ. It kind of gives you energy to fuel you for another year, and you meet so many like-minded women. The connections women make with each other often last a lifetime."
Colour tends to leave an indelible impression on those who come. Many conference delegates have been attending Colour conference for years. Kate is no exception and 2018 marks Kate’s 11th Colour conference.
“People do keep coming back to Colour regularly. It’s an opportunity to be spiritually fed and uplifted. It’s a different experience to Church, which I love – there is just something really powerful about so many women meeting in the name of Jesus and stepping-out in faith and making a difference.”
"It's the one time I have marked on the calendar from year to year. My family knows I set this time apart and it is just something I do for me."
Colour 2018 – The Proverbs 31 Connection
This year’s conference was animated by the Proverbs 31 image we have of a striking and influential woman. This verse was mirrored by the strength in numbers that is Colour – women from all walks of life, all kinds of backgrounds, and from every direction of the compass, meet in this one place to make a powerful statement about how faith in Jesus can make such a huge difference.
Proverbs 31 has two verses in particular that Colour has taken hold of as it pushes boundaries with its ministry focus. Verses 8 and 9 read: “Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy” (NRSV). Kate gives us a very moving impression of this growing movement of Christian women who are working for God’s Kingdom.
"Jesus says, 'Where two or more are gathered in my name, there shall I be', and you really can feel the Holy Spirit's presence. There is often a tangible change in the atmosphere. "
“There was a really powerful moment a few conferences ago, where we stood up. Everyone had been given a tin - like a metal money box. Colour has been moving into ministry areas like funding specific overseas missions. In this moment, we were asked to place a single coin in the tin money box and shake it. Although, the amount we each had to give at the time may have seemed insignificant, when we each took our money boxes and shook them, the sound of thousands of women doing the same throughout the venue, was deafening. ”
“For me, it hit home how powerful that moment was. It demonstrated how we can come together in Christ's name and make a difference, no matter who we are or where we have come from, the little we had to bring, collectively can make a difference."
Powerful Worship Music Moved Delegates
People familiar with Hillsong will recognise their famed worship music. Kate said this year’s worship was some of the most powerful and moving she can remember in all the years she has been going to Colour.
“With Hillsong, as you can imagine, worship time is always very good. This year there was something else about it that seemed to make it all the more powerful."
"For me, there was a moment where I realised that all of the thousands of women are here for one thing: to worship Jesus. You can imagine standing shoulder-to-shoulder and there isn't much room. No matter where people have come from - and there are people from all over the country - it is just so powerful and moving to have everyone worshipping like that. You get a little glimpse of what Heaven must be like. ”
Kate recommends getting along to Hillsong. She says you can have this kind of transformative experience too.
"If you haven't had the chance to go to Hillsong; whether it's Colour or the main Hillsong Conference, I urge you to get there at least once. Hillsong have come in for criticism, but no matter what is said, they do a really good job of creating the atmosphere where people can connect with each other, and to God through worship experiences. There is just nothing else that matches it. I totally recommend it to anyone."