Harris Creek to host third annual ‘Becoming Something LIVE’ conference

Photo courtesy of Spotify

By Jackson Posey | Reporter

Harris Creek Baptist Church is ramping up to host “Becoming Something LIVE,” a multi-day live podcasting event for its flagship podcast, “Becoming Something.”

The conference, which will begin Friday night after selling out months ago, is expected to welcome attendees from 47 states and Canada — all coming to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

“At these church events, you just have some of the most random spiritual conversations that are just really fruitful,” St. Louis sophomore Jackson Lawrence, who will serve as a volunteer filmmaker, said. “So yeah, it’s probably one of my favorite parts of the whole event, is just getting to talk with people and pray over people, and obviously get prayed over as well. Overall, what I’m excited for is just to experience an event that encourages Christ’s followers to keep following Christ.”

“Becoming Something,” which is co-hosted by Harris Creek’s own Jonathan Pokluda, Nate Hilgenkamp and Kathy Davidson, is currently the No. 29 Religion & Spirituality podcast on Spotify, sandwiched a few spots between Timothy Keller and John Mark Comer. Hilgenkamp said it racked up “something like seven million listens” in 2023, continuing an incredible growth trend for a series that only began in 2019.

“When we started [in 2019], I was just talking like I was talking to a Baylor student,” Hilgenkamp said. “And [Pokluda] was like, ‘Stop the podcast.’ He’s like, ‘Let’s believe that God’s going to reach more people than just people in Waco. So don’t act like you’re just talking to them, act like people from all over the country are going to listen.’

“I was like, ‘That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Like, you just left Dallas to come to this church in the middle of nowhere. No one cares.’ And then really, really steadily — we’ve released an episode every week for five years now — it’s just grown and grown and grown. Last couple years, it’s doubled in listens each year.”

This year’s conference will mark the third annual Becoming Something LIVE, after the COVID-19 pandemic nixed plans for the would-be inaugural meeting. With sold-out tickets and a maxed-out volunteer staff, event planners are already exploring ways to expand in the future.

Joviality reigns on Friday night, with a pre-party and afterparty set to bookend the leadoff podcast recording. The following morning will feature an “’It’s Just Coffee’ Speed Dating Event,” which Hilgenkamp promised doesn’t have to be romantic — even though prior years’ speed dating events have, to his knowledge, produced three engagements or weddings.

Still, parties and coffee aside, the center of the weekend remains worship and Bible teaching. Sydney Smith, who graduated from Baylor last year and serves on the worship teams for Harris Creek and Becoming Something LIVE, said her experience at Baylor and Harris Creek deeply affected the way she leads worship.

“I think my favorite part about getting to lead worship now is truly just getting to cultivate moments that bring people into God’s presence and help them experience Him,” Smith said. “I came in and I knew how to sing and I knew how to love God, and through just getting to be a part of the worship culture of Waco, really I have just grown so much in my ability to create moments and steward moments and really tap into the Lord’s presence — and be able to invite other people in with the recognition that if I’m genuinely worshipping, then other people will follow along.”

Smith previously attended the conference as a “consumer,” and later as a jack-of-all-trades volunteer. This year, as she prepares to lead worship, she said she believes gatherings like Becoming Something LIVE can be particularly powerful.

“I am just most excited about being in that room,” Smith said. “There’s something pretty electric and exciting about a room of hundreds and hundreds of young adult people. … Our energy and excitement for the Lord is contagious and really all-consuming. And so I’m just excited to be in a place where so many people are excited about what the Lord is doing.”