By the grace of God I am in Sydney, Australia and I have the great honor to learn from one of the most influential churches in the world. And the big question is, “What exactly makes them so successful?”. I could go on and on about all the things they are doing right from a service stand point, or a program standpoint. I could list what they are doing to promote events and engage the community. I could explain their structures and systems that keep things organized. But all of that stuff is secondary, and is merely a bi product of the heart of the church.
At the core, Hillsong highly values people, the Church, God, and the plans of God. To view people with the same lens that God looks through is such a high quality and virtue for a church to embody. Within one week I have seen more people honored, encouraged, and believed in than I have seen in some places for years. There is something inspiring about a community that has such a high level of respect and value for the individual. Out of that core standard and belief the church wants to help those in need and encourage people to fulfill their God given purpose. That sense of encouragement and honor really draws the best out of people and makes the church thrive in a whole new way.
Seeing the way pastors would publicly honor people who were serving in the church time and time again really brought me to the scriptures on creation to see where they get this sense of value from. God spoke the universe into existence, but He formed humanity with His hands. We are touched by the fingerprints of God, made in His image to do good works. God chose to use imperfect people to advance a perfect kingdom. Whats more is that we are so valuable to our creator that he would humble himself by becoming a man, bearing our sin upon himself, and dying in our place for our sins.
I am convinced that it is out of that sense of value that they have things like a welcome lounge where I sat down with two of the leaders as a guest at Hillsong and had a cup of coffee and just talked. That sense of value is probably why the have ministries that send out volunteers to serve people in the community, visit people in jail, and call every person who fills out a prayer request card to pray with them over the phone.
This has been a great start to a fantastic season of life and I can’t wait to share my experience with you.