Soul Survivor Conference 2019

2019 04 23 soul survivorBetween Tuesday 23rd – Saturday 27th March, Pacific Hills was ‘home’ for 24 youth groups from across New South Wales who came to take part in the annual Soul Survivor Conference.

More than seven denominations were represented and a third of the 320 attendees came from places like Wagga Wagga, Gundagai, Dubbo, Bathurst, Blaney and Gloucester.

This year’s theme was ‘Shaped by Jesus’ and focused on the life of Daniel and how to stand up for God in an upside down world. The group met in the Performing Arts Centre every morning and night for worship, preaching and prayer. Lower middle school oval was a sea of colourful tents and featured a café, arcade, games room, prayer room and seminar room.

During two of the afternoons the group went out and served seven different organisations. They included gardening and cleaning activities at St Judes Anglican Church in Dural and planting over 400 trees for Hornsby Council at Fagan Park. They also painted 240 toy trucks for inclusion in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, an initiative run by Samaritans Purse.

Students (including the boys!) used sewing machines to make re-usable sanitary packs for girls in Third World nations. This is part of a larger global initiative called Days for Girls International. In countries such as India, girls are not allowed to attend school if they don’t have sanitary packs.

“While we’re growing to read the Bible and talk about it and grow in Christ, we’re also going to get our hands dirty. You're literally going to get paint on them!” is what Soul Survivor’s CEO Matt Gelding had told the attendees.

“1 Peter 4:11-15 talks about speaking the very words of God and serving with the strength that God provides and that’s exactly what Soul Survivor does. In the very beginning, community service acts included raking peoples yards and now today it’s finding things that help kids feel useful as well as activities that are meaningful” explained Matt who has been directing the non-denominational program since 2001, after first hearing about it in England 27 years ago.

“I didn't realise just how tough it was for the kids to stand up for Christ. When we come from Christian homes or regularly attend church, it can be easy to forget that others don’t have the same opportunities.”

“It was heart-warming to see so many kids want God to shape their lives. It was also touching to see the strength of kids from rural New South Wales who made the effort to be there, especially when many are suffering the effects of the drought”.

Soul Survivor aims to encourage and equip young people to make disciples of Jesus in Word, Spirit and Action. To put faith into action and go out into the world and be the hands and feet of Jesus.

This was the first time Pacific Hills had been the venue for the conference and Soul Survivor is looking forward to continuing their partnership with the school.

If you’re keen to get your youth group involved in next year’s Soul Survivor or want to find out more, head to

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