We got the new Hillsongs live album today, and i thought it might be good to use that as an excuse to blog about Hillsongs and the Australian church.
For those who may not know, Hillsongs is a big church in Sydney with something like 20,000 people who belong to it across many congregations, including satellite churches in London, Paris and Kiev. They are reknowned throughout the worldwide church for their worship songs. Every year for the last 15 years or so, they have put out a live cd from their church, or more recently their conference. They also put out albums from Hillsong United, their youth programme, as well as childrens cds and special cds for things like Christmas.
For a large majority of modern Christians, including us, Hillsongs form part of the soundtrack of our life. The style has changed over the years, the early albums sound like Abba crossed with the Blues Brothers, although recent years have seen them move to a more U2-ish stadium rock style sound.
The hillsongs template is highly influential for uk churches, and especially in pentecostal churches, we look to Australia for leadership before america. The combination of passionate worship, down to earth Biblical teaching, a passion for hospitality and social action all presented in a contemporary way with a high standard of excellence are hall marks of the best Australian churches. Hillsongs, and churches like them, inspire us.