This week’s blog comes inspired by my Senior Rev’s sermon last Sunday. He was preaching about how we can help or hinder people who are telling others about God. We can also help or hinder people who are interested themselves in learning more stuff about God. It reminded me of something…
Around a year ago when I first thought about writing this blog, an email dropped into my junk mail that I very nearly deleted without a second thought. It was an email from Kikki.K which I assumed was the usual advertising email that I didn’t really need to read. However, there must have been something about it that hooked my attention: probably something along the lines of ‘living your dream life’.
It was an advertisement that was hot off the press from Kristina Karlsson, founder of Kikki.K, about her “Dream Life Masterclass” series. One of which, being an event in October 2018 in Sydney.
As I said, I almost deleted it straight away, despite the fact that it looked interesting. Reason being, that I was sure I’d never go along. However, this was a few days after the genesis of HNAC Alison. So my next thought was this:
‘You know who would go along: HNAC Alison. This is exactly the type of event she’d sign up for.’
So, I can say beyond a doubt, that the Kikki.K Dream Life Masterclass 2018 Sydney event, is actually the conference I have signed up for faster than any other, ever. Because I wanted to do something that HNAC Alison would do and that I wouldn’t. If nothing else, it would be an interesting journey into her psyche. The rewards paid off even quicker than I anticipated.
Not long after I registered for the Kikki.K event, I bizarrely found myself feeling a little nervous about it. I realised that this was because it was a total unknown. I also realised that it was exactly the experience HNAC Alison would have, should she ever take the highly unlikely step of registering herself to attend a Christian gathering of any sort.
It was great. I felt myself in her shoes already. I knew what she’d be thinking:
‘What do those Christian weirdos do when they gather together at a convention centre? What sort of bizarre rituals do they undertake?’
I actually don’t think we did anything weird at the Kikki.K Masterclass. The closest to what some people might consider weird, was that we did a mindfulness meditation for a few minutes as a whole group. I didn’t find it weird at all. Probably because I’m used to being at a large gathering of people, sitting down, with my head slightly lowered and my eyes closed. It’s called communal prayer.
If you’re OK with mindfulness meditation at large gatherings, then I think you should be OK with attending a large gathering of Christians.
Because prayer probably is the most bizarre thing we do together. Not that I find it odd (personally, I often find it an opportunity to have a little nap). And sure we do stand up and sing together at times, but if you’ve ever been to a music concert or sporting event, you shouldn’t find that too strange.
And, if you’re happy to (yet again) participate in a Mexican wave for the 5th time in a row that it’s washed itself around the entire MCG (and not feel even remotely socially awkward about it), then you should be fine joining a gathering of Christians at a conference.
That aside: there were a few other reasons I attended the Kikki.K Masterclass in Sydney last year. The main one being that it was pretty much as close as I could possibly get to a comparable event when it came to women’s Christian conferences.
As far as I am aware, not a single person on stage that Kikki.K night was a Christian and there was no preaching taking place. So, in some senses the comparison doesn’t hold true.
However, the advertising told me there were three female speakers and considering that it was the Kikki.K brand, I took a guess that the majority of people there would be females. When I turned up on the night, I wasn’t surprised to see that my prediction was correct. Not an entirely female audience, but at least 90% female (my guess).
Not that anybody ever said it on the night, but you got the sense that all the women there – having an opportunity to hear three female speakers – were given a sense of empowerment. And it was great. Three intelligent and engaging women addressed us: Kristina Karlsson, Dr Tererai Trent and Alisa Campbell-Warner, who I discovered is a total nerd (FYI: that’s a compliment).
They were supported by an equally capable and stage-savvy host in Gorgi Coghlan.
There was no hint of “women speaking to (mostly) only women” being a negative thing. Yet this is just the sort of thing that happens at women’s Christian conferences all the time. It made me wonder why this is not perceived to be empowering women.
Possibly because people don’t know about it?
Possibly because this is an area in which the Church needs to do some work?
At the same time as I registered for the Dream Life Masterclass, I put on my metaphorical HNAC Alison glasses and took a mosey on over to the website for a Christian women’s event: One Love.
As soon as I saw the home page with its scrolling video of past conferences, I knew exactly what HNAC Alison would think: “What are blokes doing at a women’s event?”
With a little more research, HNAC Alison would probably realise it was because one bloke was preaching to the women at the event. Taking a guess, I’d say this would be a deal breaker for HNAC Alison and she wouldn’t attend the event as a result of discovering that.
The reason I guess this is because for actual Alison it is a deal breaker.
I’ve never attended One Love. I bought a ticket last year only because I wanted to compare it with the Kikki.K event. However, I didn’t end up going because I unexpectedly had a Netball Final to play.
I was actually happy about that, because I find it so deeply hurtful when men are preaching at a conference for women only. Now, please don’t mishear what I’m saying.
The men who have spoken at One Love in recent years are not good speakers. They are exceptionally good speakers. And I have 120% respect for their ability to preach from The Bible.
However, when you get men to speak at a women’s event it sends a clear message:
We couldn’t find a single woman in the country who has brains enough in her head to string together a logical and cohesive 25 minute chat about (frankly) anything in The Bible.
Wow. That cuts deep.
It genuinely brings me to tears that KCC (the conference organisers) may actually have this belief about Australian women. The last few years at One Love there has been a female preacher from North America and a male preacher from Australia. Apparently, if you’re a woman from outside the country you’ll make the cut.
This year at least, there are two female speakers. One is from the UK and the other (after a quick Google trawl) appears to be a South Australian, who is currently working as a doctor in West Africa. The One Love 2019 synopsis doesn’t suggest the South Australian will be preaching though.
For the record, I have bought a ticket to One Love this year. Provided that Netball doesn’t get in the way again, I may actually go along this time. I hope I find it as empowering as the Kikki.K event.
I truly want it to be, because as a Christian I believe we’ve got a real treasure to share with others: Not just a Dream Life, a Dream Eternity.
I hope we’re not hindering any women (or men) from attending a Masterclass on that topic.
Yours in dreaming,