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Has Hillsong Really Become Its Own Denomination?

Oct 4 2018

So, has Hillsong really become its own denomination? The answer is mostly no, but partly yes.

Hillsong Church is still first and foremost a local church, which we lovingly describe as “One House, with many rooms.” In other words, we are a single local church with a global footprint which finds expression in many different locations and campuses around the world (currently in twenty-four countries). We do not intend to function as a denomination in the traditional sense of the word. I do not expect the nature, DNA, or spirit of our church to change at all. We do not intend to change the culture we cherish, or the global family we are building.

We are a denomination purely for practical reasons related to having the ability to ordain our pastors in Australia to legally conduct weddings as marriage celebrants operating under the rites of Hillsong Church. Why is this necessary? Because the responsibilities of a marriage celebrant are different in Australia compared to most of the Western world: the couple to be married does not go to a courthouse to register for their marriage. Rather, the pastor/celebrant is entrusted to oversee the legal responsibilities and formalities of the marriage.

Our major affiliation in Australia will continue to be the Australian Christian Churches (ACC) who I still consider to be “our tribe” and we aim to stay closely aligned with them as we envision our future in Australia together. We have not shifted doctrinally, and our statement of beliefs [READ HERE] remain close to those of the ACC and our relationship is strong.

I have noticed some local and international Christian Magazines have focused heavily on Hillsong becoming its own denomination – however that narrative does not accurately reflect the spirit and heart behind the direction we are taking. Our heart is for Hillsong to be able to give due diligence, pastoral oversight, and duty of care to our growing global network of pastors.

Hillsong is–and always has been–passionate about the gospel. In 2014, when our church turned thirty years of age, I reimagined our global vision [SEE HERE]. We desire to be a church that is “generous at heart, loving in nature, youthful in spirit, faith-filled in confession, and inclusive in expression.” We love Jesus and remain true to our mission to reach and influence the world by building a large Christ-centered, Bible-based church, changing mindsets and empowering people to lead and impact in every sphere of life.

The future is bright,

Brian Houston

Read: Statement from Pastor Brian Houston & Wayne Alcorn: Re: Hillsong Church & ACC