What a privilege to be apart of Extreme Conference 2014 in Mackay, QLD Australia. I had an amazing time being under the ministry of special guest speakers Leah & Alwyn Matt, David Hall and Domonic Russo. This was a power packed line-up of preachers who each brought a wealth of knowledge of the things of God and also impartation of the Holy Spirit which each of them carried in such a unique way.
After missing the 2013 conference, I was excited to be invited back to play with the Extreme Conference worship team which is currently lead by my close friends Jen & Jacques Du Toit. This year the journey began before Easter with a team retreat in Airlie Beach where we got together to pray, write songs and most importantly have time bonding as a team. That weekend concluded with some lasting memories and a heightened sense of the weight and seriousness of what we were preparing for; the lasting effect on the young people of QLD as they encounter God’s presence in such a real and undeniable way. We also couldn’t help but get a sense that there was a new sound brewing for conference this year though we hadn’t quite got a grasp on it yet.
Following that inspiring weekend, I returned home to the Gold Coast and kept serving in my local worship team being rostered on more for keyboards than ever in my life. Throughout this time I set myself a goal to create at least 2 new sounds to use every weekend to keep things fresh. This meant I got lots of practice in combining MainStage and Omnisphere. Little did I know that this was also preparing me to equip the Extreme Conference keyboardists, Jacques and Clara, programming fresh sounds that became the drive of the band. I had so much fun creating these new sounds that I didn’t even really get a chance to practice the guitar parts until only a few days before conference.
The arrangement of the song “Into Light” was birthed in the Du Toit’s lounge and from that moment we couldn’t wait to unleash it as the opening song. Connor McCallum came up from the Gold Coast to operate the lighting and brought his lasers with him. He did an amazing job from the throwing the X logo (bat signal style) up on the roof to blasting “bacon” around the room on the closing night. The intro was quite a special moment with the combination of the roaring synth, perfectly timed lasers and this ambient guitar making the foundation for Jen’s vocal to open up.
The whole week went so fast (as it usually does) but even though there were times it was such hard work, it never ceased to be fun working with the production and worship teams that were all serving so faithfully and whole-heartedly. The end result was hundreds of young people going back to their local churches that Sunday testifying about the ridiculous & miraculous things that happened in their lives over conference. And now it seems there is a reward coming for all the years of the faithful-hearted serving worship team members as the Extreme Worship teams has been asked to travel interstate and internationally. So in preparation to becoming more itinerate, discussions are now in place for a live album to be recorded and released next year!
I will try to get some of my MainStage patches that I made for Exrtreme and make them available through my website or through The Creative Network. There are so many more little things I could talk about in regards to conference, but right now I’m getting excited for this years USA tour with Andrew Ironside.
Below is the the highlights video for this years conference which was put together so well by the Luminosity team who came down from Cairns.
Looking forward to next years 15th anniversary conference featuring Sy Rogers and conference founder Ben Naitoko. Hopefully we’ll be groovin’ glory style!!