Brian and Bobbie began Hillsong Church the year I was born, and from the outset this church they pastored had a fearless commitment to the next generation and to the new song.
That cultural keystone would be the petri dish for a musical legacy that spans three decades and actively serves the greater Church every week - it is said that 50 million people per week sing Hillsong songs in their churches.
When I am writing, I imagine them.
From house churches in India to open air churches in Africa, from churches with stained glass windows and organs to converted warehouse churches where life bursts forth from PAs and amplifiers.
From the context of post-modern “sophisticale” where to profess the Name of Jesus is considered ignorant, foolish and occasionally results in certain social deaths to the underground church in closed nations where to profess the Name of Jesus is to defy the common law and results in persecution and sometimes literal physical death.
From all these contexts weekly, we gather.
Mechanics, accountants, single parents, artists, the unemployed, the influential, the disenfranchised, the celebrated and the overlooked. We gather, and we sing.
Because at the cross of Christ, we are all equal.
Because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but through what Jesus did on the cross and the power of His Name, ALL have the opportunity to have peace with God.
This past Sunday, a song my friend Ben and I wrote for our church and the Church won a Grammy.
Honestly, I’m so moved by it.
For the greater Church - because perhaps it means the song of the people of God is rising in a new way: not a cacophony of judgment and hatred but a melody of hope for all humanity through this glorious Gospel.
And for our dear church, Hillsong Church - our congregation who sing their guts out and serve their hearts out in all areas of church life, and the countless musicians/vocalists/writers/production artistes of our creative team who over the past 34 years have served week in and week out: the harvest is your legacy. “To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.”