Twenty years ago, our Senior Pastor, Brian Houston, sat in his office with a blank piece of paper and wrote down the words “The Church That I See”.
The amazing thing about that, quite miraculously is that 20 years on, in many ways (not in everyway, there’s still so much to do), but in many ways – those words that were wrote down are reflective of the church that he now leads, Hillsong Church. But it wasn’t always that way.
In 1983, Hillsong Church was a gathering of less than 100 people in a school hall. It was a passionate community of believers and even some non-believers – putting out chairs, sweeping the gymnasium floor and praying in a broom cupboard before beginning services each Sunday. Hillsong Church may look very different to that now, but so many of the values that we built on are the very same. Hillsong Church has always been a worshipping church. Before there was Shout to the Lord; before there was Hillsong UNITED; before there was Young and Free – there was worship. Passionate worship. It wasn’t always ‘polished’, there weren’t always lights and for many years there wasn’t even a stage…but we worshipped, we sang and we wrote songs that resounded in the hearts of the people in our community. Those were rough, raw, pioneering days and the fruit of the labour of many faithful people early on began to give way to opportunity beyond our wildest dreams.
It was on that piece of paper, over two decades ago, that these words were written:
“I see a Church whose heartfelt praise and worship touches Heaven and changes earth; worship which influences the praises of people throughout the earth, exalting Christ with powerful songs of faith and hope.” – Brian Houston
It was in 1992 that our very first album was released – The Power of Your Love. The idea of recording an album simply came from our passion to worship God in our local church, and the belief that our local church was called to resource other local churches with words and music that would glorify our worthy God. At the time we could have never imagined that our albums would be sung ‘throughout the earth’, but we had a belief that God had called us to do something with what was in our hands and that as we were faithful, He would also be faithful.
Now, over 100 albums later, God is growing and stretching and changing the story of Hillsong Worship – but it was long before that first album that the songs of God and the sound of our House were established as a priority, an arrowhead and a cornerstone of who we are.
The Bible tells us in Zechariah 4 ‘Do not despise the day of small beginnings’…
Whatever it is God has entrusted into your hand: your family, your career, your ministry… don’t count it as insignificant. In the eyes of God and with His leading, wisdom, favour and provision – if you hold fast to that which He has placed in your heart, we believe you will see it come to pass.