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Welcome To Sunday

Sep 20 2012

Here at Hillsong NYC, Sunday is, for lack of a better term, the main event. Everything we do mid-week – every idea and ounce of preparation we've been pouring ourselves into, is for this day. It's when we as a church bring our very best, in order to help people find hope in Jesus.

For our creative team – it’s a big (but incredibly fulfilling) day. So I thought I'd give you a brief rundown of what my / our day looks like some weeks…

Hillsong NYC: Hillsong CollectedHillsong NYC: Hillsong Collected

5.30am (ísh). Alarm goes off and I start my day. I check for any updates on what's ahead for the day. Our lead pastor Carl Lentz is known to keep refining his messages well into the night and often has ideas or creative thoughts that we will add relatively last minute. I process and forward any relevant info to our team leaders so they have as much time to prep as possible.

5.50am – I'll dress and (hopefully) eat something while going over the teams for the day and spend a few minutes going over my notes in case I'm asked to host any part of our service. This way I’m ready if called upon.

6.11am – The subway leaves my station. It's a long wait for the next one (20 minutes is a lifetime in this city), so every minute counts. Otherwise it’s just me and the night shift workers heading home.

6.30am – Generally about the time I arrive at one of our venues for our Sunday services. We have to load in all our equipment (& I mean ALL) to our venues, so often times, the team is already there doing the heavy lifting. Our entire creative team for the day, from Worship Leaders to choir robe febreezer's, all load in because we are ONE team and we share the load together.

6.45am Once everything's in the building and we're underway, I grab our music director and technical director for the day, & we go over what's planned for the morning to make sure we're locked in & ready to go.

Hillsong NYC: Hillsong CollectedHillsong NYC: Hillsong Collected

8.00am Our gear is now (hopefully) all set up and sound restrictions at the venue means we can now turn on the PA. Church starts in 2 hours. Time to get cracking with line checks, sound checks, and a brief (15min) rehearsal.

9.45am Our creative team for the day (worship, tv, production, photographers etc.) meet before our first service to go over our the service, but most importantly pray together and make sure our attention is focussed heavenward.

10.00am Service #1. First one for the day. Since our sound checks and preparation were so abbreviated, we are like a duck on a lake – calm and composed for all to see, but paddling frantically underneath – we are pulling together mixes, entering message notes and cueing up lights for what will be coming up.

12.00pm Service #2. We have about 10 minutes in-between to make adjustments to the service, so it can be pretty frantic backstage. Quick adjustments – get everyone focussed on why we're here and keep everyone's focus on what's ahead – time for a quick rest stop then we are back into the thick of it.

2.00pm Service #3. I try to touch base after each service with our lead pastors Carl and Laura Lentz, Joel Houston, and whoever might be speaking that particular service, to make sure they're comfortable & happy with the flow of the meeting. It can last 8 seconds or 8 minutes, and I generally end up with a fair amount to remember & pass on to our team leaders for them to implement before the next service starts in 7 minutes… time is our most valuable commodity, especially on Sundays.

Hillsong NYC: Hillsong CollectedHillsong NYC: Hillsong Collected

3.00pm Our PM team meets in the venue's back stairwell to go over the PM set and any pertinent information from the AM services. They won't get a rehearsal or a sound check, so clear communication & preparedness is paramount.

3.40pm Service #3 finishes. Now for the fun part. The new team runs on stage before the first team can even get off. There's a flurry of activity as we switch mics and packs and set up instruments and make sure everyone can hear themselves. We do a 2 minute sound check for the new production team who are also prepping (often from scratch) for the service that starts in 20 minutes. We'll play a verse and a chorus of a song, stop for only essential changes or adjustments, repeat – and once we have enough to fly by the seat of our pants with, we get off stage as fast as we can. I aim for the whole changeover to last 12 -15 mins.

4.00pm Service #4 starts. Phew. We made it. This service it is critical for our platform team in particular to push through any distractions (lack of preparation, less than perfect monitoring, not being completely sure what's about to happen) and lead with confidence and clarity – we bring our very best to every service. The best of our time, energy, focus, and gifting. There's too much at stake in our services for them to not give 100%.

6.00pm Service #5 starts. With the amount of services we cram into a single day, and with the brief time we have between services, it's important for me to take every opportunity to build relationships with the team and bring our crew closer together. Chances for pastoral development are slim, & I am learning to do in 5 minutes what used to take me 30. It's the only way for me to lead my team and help them grow personally while still keeping the day running smoothly.

Hillsong NYC: Hillsong CollectedHillsong NYC: Hillsong Collected

8.00pm Service # 6 starts. By now, delirium has set in and we are running on adrenalin. Which is a wonderful thing. Everyone's jokes are funnier, atmosphere is at a 10, and the team are enjoying using their gifts for such a rewarding purpose. At the same time, with this many personalities involved in what can be such a high pressure environment, it takes a fair amount of discernment to know where people are at and how much they are capable of on any given Sunday. It's important for me to build into my team and plan for a healthy team and a great church five years from now, not just five days from now. Balancing immediate, medium, and long term goals isn't always easy in this environment, but I am always conscious of building towards that end. These people aren’t the means to our end – they ARE the end!

9.45pm Service # 7 starts. Our shortest turnaround to our final service. This service is almost like a celebration of all that's happened in the day to this point and a statement to the future of our city. Despite having been here since before sunrise, our team find another reserve of energy and give everything once again, understanding the the power of what we get to contribute to our church services. This service will go until sometime after 11pm, at which point we start bump out.

11.59pm For many of our creative team, the nights not over when we leave the building. Having been in the building since before sunrise and only getting a quick burst of vitamin D by rushing out for a coffee, some will travel 2 hours to get home, while others will be getting up before 5AM to go to work. These men and women give their all for our church each and every Sunday – because so many of them understand the cause of our church and the powerful part they can play when they give of themselves.

So sure, by the end of the day, we are all very very tired.

But we're smiling, & ready to do it all again next week.


For more information on Hillsong NYC including service times, please visit and follow us on Twitter @HillsongNYC and