“We both started attending Hillsong Church in July 2019 and were blessed to be able to register for Night School and complete this marriage course last year (August–September 2020). We want to give our feedback regarding the 7 Principles of Making Marriage Work course and how it has helped us manage both our “solvable” and “perpetual” problems and improve our marriage and relationship in general.
A little bit about us—we’ve been married for 12 years and have been together for a total of 19. We met in university, fell in love, and have been together ever since. We have no children. We are currently both working full time (both working from home). We are originally from the Philippines and lived in Singapore for 11 years before moving to Sydney in 2018.
We didn’t know what to expect from the course, as it was the first we had ever attended at Hillsong Night School. It turned out to be a real blessing for us. Not only did we take away so many practical tools (like love maps questionnaires, Gottman card decks, repair attempts, and antidotes to the four horsemen), but the course also helped us understand details and nuances about our relationship that we hadn’t really understood or noticed before. By being able to differentiate between solvable and perpetual issues, we are now able to deal with conflict better. By being able to understand that certain habits and behaviour could be shaped by dreams and have a deeper meaning, we are able to yield more easily to each other without any resentment.
For a couple of months before we started the course, we faced a very serious issue and it was probably the biggest challenge our marriage has ever faced. We are very thankful to God that He helped us overcome this and used this course, along with Terry and Julie leading us in the journey, to not only overcome but also grow and mature more after many years of being together. We decided to have a renewal of marriage vows celebration last May (which was our 12th wedding anniversary) with our closest friends to help strengthen our marriage.
Since finishing the course, we have not stopped recommending it to others. We want others to be helped by the course and learn from it the way we have. We are hoping to inspire other couples—that whatever they are going through, with God’s grace and a bit (okay fine, A LOT) of work, they will get through it because our God is the God of the impossible and nothing is too hard for Him! (Jeremiah 32:27)”
“I heard about Hillsong Night School at one of our church services. Life was going good at the time. I was a business owner of a gym, had a few physiotherapy clinics, newly married as well, and had just joined Hillsong Church. However, my business partner and I were looking for ways to lead better. Instead of just going to another business seminar or conference, we thought leading how Jesus would lead should be our number one priority. I also wanted to know how I could be a great leader as a husband and father for my future family. I stepped in as a facilitator because I saw how much it equipped me and I felt like I just wanted to equip others coming through as well.
A defining moment in Night School was seeing how what I was learning was actively impacting my life—my business, marriage and finances. It was like God was speaking to me weekly to help me navigate a season where I had many questions about what to do next. I noticed many people needed leadership and I was thankful in every moment that I got the opportunity to do so in a Christ-like manner. Particularly during COVID, seeing how much my team needed me to lead myself and how I approached the situation, with faith, before leading others. And then, seeing how much God had come through during that period certainly wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the tools and wisdom shared by the amazing presenters that came through.
Our whole business is now centred on becoming the best leaders—in our industry, for our patients, for ourselves, and to empower others to do the same. I am much more attentive to my thoughts, actions and decisions as a leader and can draw upon the word to help guide me daily, as well as the practical tools to share with my team on the fly. It’s been great to see the capacity of work achievable now, versus before we started. It was clearly God’s plan from the very beginning.
For anyone on the fence regarding Hillsong Night School, I would say, do it! What you pay for and the value you get weekly is phenomenal. A small investment for an even bigger return. Not to mention the relationships you build along the way—you get to meet others who are asking the same questions as you might be in this season. It’s a great place to look forward to weekly. Dive in, make a small commitment and see what God does! Nothing to lose, everything to gain.
I have now given up the gym to focus solely on expanding the physio businesses, scaling with multiple locations in an endeavour to redefine the way people receive healthcare—leading the way to provide and deliver a more holistic approach to health in the community. I also run a connect group now and my wife and I are plugged in to serve with the 5 pm crew at church. I am also a dad now to my gorgeous daughter. A new season indeed!”
“I was down with unemployment for a very long time with discouragement and a heavy heart. The ‘How to Find the Right Job’ course has been amazing and super helpful. It helped me land more interviews and opened up job opportunities even during the current crisis.
I followed the interview preparation techniques and followed all the tips from ‘consultative interviews’ in the Switch book and landed interviews from one of Australia’s biggest FMCG firms and I got the job! I didn’t believe I had the skill set to get a job in a big firm. I thought my chances of getting a job was higher with smaller firms and I didn’t have the confidence to apply to big firms.”
“It all began in 2018 when we enrolled for the New Testament Intro course at Night School. It was such an eye-opener! Although we were not new to the Christian faith, the course was an absolute surprise and we learnt so much more than what we would ever know about the Bible from just going to church. It was one of those moments, where we knew we wanted to keep going: We wanted more!
So, we decided to study the Old Testament. As we journeyed together, we were able to learn how the Old and New Testaments are interwoven, have practical implications for the modern world, and how the story of the Bible is more than just ‘nice’ stories.
We loved the courses so much that we now facilitate them! It’s been a different experience being facilitators, especially as a couple. We have learnt so much more. We get home and discuss what we teach and want to impart, and the practical implications of the course. The Wednesdays that we are at Night School is like a 7pm date with Jesus! You really never know how and when you are going to be amazed.
As facilitators, it is encouraging when you see your students learn something new from familiar topics. There’s always new meaning in the Bible, and the Old and New Testament courses have hidden gems of information. Our aim is to ensure that those revelations are available to the students and everyone is connected to the topic.
Being a part of Night School has changed us for the better. It’s a great level of intimacy with the hosts, facilitators and students, very different to a regular college or a church setup. It is not always easy after a long day at work to enthusiastically attend Night School, but surprisingly the weeks we felt most tired or pressured for time is when we actually got the most out of Night School—we felt refreshed and lifted in our spirits!
The COVID-19 lockdown period has not diminished our excitement. In fact, we’ve enjoyed online learning and haven’t felt like anything was amiss. We have been able to interact seamlessly from the comfort of our homes. It will be good to get back and see everyone again, but we are grateful to live in times like these, where connecting with people is just a click away.”
“Since being part of Hillsong Church, I have always wanted to study or even just learn more about the Bible! So, in 2019, I enrolled for the Faithworx course. I was a mum to a 1-year old and wondered how I was going to do it all!
While attending the course, a friend of mine gave me a word from Deut 31:6. The next day, my little girl Ava picked up a bag that had a key ring on it and I looked at it. On the one side, it said “Courage” and on the other, it had a verse: Deut 31:6! I could not believe my eyes. At the time we were testing Ava for epilepsy; she was having absent seizures and her eyes would roll back. It went on for 6-8 months and very few people knew, until one day I decided I had had enough. No more tests, no more EEGs. I was done keeping quiet—my little one needed healing, prayer and faith-filled people to stand behind her. By the end of last year, God had healed my baby girl. Not one eye roll, no more absent seizures, nothing!
Faithworx has become very personal to me. It taught me to read a story and ponder on it, not just move on. There is so much more that needs to be said in context of what you read in the Bible. And the lessons are incredible. It has changed my life drastically, especially my faith!“
“I had just finished my BA Fine Arts and Visual Culture and was at a loss as to where God wanted me. My artist daughter, Sharmini, asked me if I would like to join her at Night School to keep my practice of life drawing up. When she said Melisa Rostirolla was teaching, I was very keen. Melisa was the very first person I ever met at Hills at the warehouse in 1989. We hadn’t seen each other very often, just a smile and a hello at church, but I knew she was an artist and really loved her and her
style, so I was keen for her input.
I had done night school courses before, Faithworx and Leadership back in the 90s. I have always been creative. I was part of the dance team at church and taught dance to children for many years. I have always loved art. Drawing is the basis for most artistic expression.
On my first night at Night School Drawing Class, I knew I had found my people. I just went along to participate, but I’m a trained teacher and I couldn’t help but notice a few beginners were struggling with life drawing. I suggested a class in the foundations of drawing might be helpful. Boom! Before you know it, I’m writing a program and teaching.
I love being a part of night school. Melisa and I have become very close friends and we are building an artist community along with other artists who are in our church. During COVID-19, this Christian art family has been a real blessing.”
“I gave my life to Jesus during a Sunday service at Hillsong Melbourne in May 2017. It was a momentous day for me, as I had been searching for the truth for years. I was born and raised a devout Catholic. I had always felt Jesus deeply, but my heart longed for more—something deeper and more Bible-based.
In 2014, while visiting family in Sydney, I attended Hillsong Church for the first time; I was unable to sit for the service but bought some books from the foyer. That was the beginning of my faith journey. It was also the time my marriage was failing, and I was really struggling. The books I had bought were powerful and showed me how a real, God-filled marriage should be, and mine was far from it. I was still desperate to know more, and searched far and low till I found Hillsong TV, which was another turning point in my life. I was glued to it all the time—listening, worshiping, and taking in all that God had to say! This led me to finding Hillsong Melbourne, and I gave my life to God on the first Sunday there. I have been actively involved in all aspects of church life and Hillsong Night School was an easy progression.
The Divorce Recovery course came at a point in my life when I had a lot of questions and was keen to know what the Bible taught on the subject. I had been separated for four years prior to being divorced. After several unsuccessful attempts to mend the marriage, it was time to permanently part ways. The course helped answer many questions: What does God think of divorce? How do you rebuild your life? What are some practical ways to cope? It was the best thing I’ve ever done, as the lessons I learnt were invaluable. I know that life will not always be easy, but I am now equipped with strategies and tips to deal with feelings of rejection and sense of loss and failure.
The course opened my eyes and provided the foundation to navigate through my feelings, understand my identity, and deal with life moving forward. Being a single mom can be hard at times, but the joy I have in God is unshakeable, my love for the church immense, and my hope in Christ steadfast.”
“I had no idea about Hillsong Night School until I heard fellow Hillsong College students say that they were going to serve at it on Wednesday evenings. I didn’t think it was something for me.
After I finished Hillsong College in 2019, I decided to move to Perth and plant myself in our Hillsong Church Perth community there. But when the pandemic hit in March 2020, I decided to move back home to Oslo, Norway.
Lockdown started, businesses were closing, living in isolation became the new normal, and I thought to myself, “the future is really unpredictable”. I was still connected to our Perth campus through Zoom and I remember one day Pastor Chrishan Jeyaratnam telling our community about a class that Night School was offering. It was called, ‘How to Find the Right Job in or After a Crisis’, led by Pree Sarkar. I thought, why not. I’m just at home anyways.
I hadn’t had much experience with full-time work then because I’ve been a student most of my time. After I became a Christian and after bible college, I felt like I didn’t have passion for what I had previously studied, but I was also very zealous about church. I wasn’t excited to look for new jobs, my confidence was low, and I felt like I couldn’t bring anything to the table because I also didn’t know what job I wanted to pursue. So, I committed to join the classes.
And who knew, the Night School classes were just what I needed! The whole experience was a large defining moment because I had assumed that I didn’t need that class (I thought you only needed to know how to write a CV), but Pree was very kind and shared lots of helpful information about approaching the job market. I was just so shocked about how I was okay with living with my ignorance thinking I was doing fine, but those classes really helped me gain hope in a hopeless situation. I felt so encouraged, and Pree was very approachable and helpful.
I will never forget when Pree quoted Ecclesiastes 11:6: “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” I tried this principle amongst the principles from his teachings, and suddenly God also sent the right people along my way to help me get jobs. Since March 2020, I have worked at two part-time jobs and two full-time ones. I started at a grocery store, did social work on the side, worked with customer service for vehicle repair shops, and now work with one of the largest electric vehicle and clean energy companies in the world. I am still engaged in social work on the side, helping a teen navigate a difficult season in his life.
This is far more than I could imagine. I love working with customer service and really believe that I can be a part of the Church outside of the church.
I am so incredibly grateful for everything our church is doing, and now I’ve gotten to experience a part of our vision, which is about equipping people to lead in every sphere of life.
And if you’re still reading this and wondering if you should sign up for one of these classes? I’d say, go for it! Learn from our brothers and sisters who only wants the best for us to thrive!“
“My wife and I took the The 7 Principles of Making Marriage Work (7PoMMW) course at Hillsong Night School last year. We had heard a lot about the course and as we were already comfortable with the online mode of communication, we decided to take time out for it. And, what a great decision that was! We had already undertaken a few marriage courses over the years, but this one was an enriching experience.
7PoMMW was challenging, fun and provided a great opportunity to engage in discussions. The depth of principles taught meant there always was something you could take away to improve your marriage. The course equipped us with strategies and language to support and strengthen our marriage. It helped us identify the areas that we can work on and know how to address them. Furthermore, it equipped us to support others preparing for marriage and those already along the journey. Terry and Julie Scott were amazing and very down to earth in their delivery of the course content; they shared personal stories to help us unpack and apply it.
In addition to all that you take away from the course, it also makes you stop and have important conversations with your partner/spouse—two hours of intentionally focussing on your relationship. I highly recommend this course, whether you are preparing for marriage, new to it or a fair way along the journey!“
We hope you get encouraged and inspired by her incredible testimony.
Share Your Story with Us
Has your life been impacted by Night School? Do you have a personal story or testimony that has come from being part of class that you’d like to share with others?