Allow us to introduce ourselves, we are Catrina Kong and Monica Fitzpatrick – Production Managers for our Film & TV team. This blog is not about us, this blog is about Rachel Hebart, one of our film editors for Hillsong Church. She’s one of the most dedicated people you’ll ever meet and has a heart for the local church. She’s great at taking the time to teach others, while herself remaining very teachable. She loves to find ways to improve things and won’t settle for what others would consider “good enough”. We get the privilege of working closely with Rachel on a daily basis and we believe she has some brilliant insight that’s worthy of sharing with others, so we decided to interview her to hear what she has to say. Hopefully you’ll find yourself inspired by her thoughts – we know we are!
I loved growing up on a farm in rural South Australia, serving in any way I could at our local church, and being involved in the Country Fire Service. I was always happiest when I was finding practical things to do and things I could help out with!
Following High School I began studying to become a child psychologist, however during my first year of university I discovered what it meant to have a personal relationship with God and it completely changed my perspective on who God was, and what it meant to live as a Christian. I then moved to the city so I could become a part of a church there and discovered my passion for all things Film and TV! This led me to adjust my degree and I finished university 5 years later with a Bachelor of Psychology, sub-majoring in Film and TV (yes, I’m surprised the university let me do that too!).
While serving on staff at my church in Adelaide, I had the opportunity to work alongside my best friend Tristan, who in 2015 I was blessed to call my husband! He too is really passionate about live video production and had started his own business in that field of work. So, while continuing to work full-time on staff at church we pursued this dream of having a business together too!
Now, onto the interview!
Catrina: “You were originally hired to be an editor in the Film & TV team, to make short, creative videos for events throughout church life. For the past 6 months, you’ve found yourself editing and compiling elements for Church Online services. How have you navigated this drastic transition?”
Rachel: “It certainly was a drastic change jumping into the fast-paced world of Church Online, and with health regulations changing by the day, it was very much a moving target at the start! However, as crazy as the changes were on a practical level, I was actually so ready to embrace the challenge!
Many years ago I dreamt of what it would be like to have an Online Campus that could reach people the world over who would not ordinarily be able to attend a physical church service. Soon after we moved to Sydney, Pastor Brian announced the launch of an Online Campus and I thought ‘how incredible! This is the answer to the things that have been on my heart!’, and I kind of checked off this dream as being completed and moved on. Then along comes this COVID-19 season, and as crazy as it was, I was actually so excited and so full of faith for what God could do through our church in this season. Seeing the potential to reach people, and imagining what it would be like if my younger self, living in a rural area, had the opportunity to encounter God and find community through a platform like this, just drove me through the late nights, and close calls as our incredible team delivered church services week after week. For me, knowing the why, and being able to see the bigger vision, helps me to not just survive through the hard seasons, but actually embrace them and thrive in them!”
Monica: “Early January 2019, you and your husband took a huge faith-step in moving from Adelaide to Sydney to follow God’s prompting, not knowing where it would lead you. Where have you seen God’s hand throughout the journey?”
Rachel: “Honestly, we had very little idea of what we were doing, yet looking back we can certainly see that God was guiding us and making a way for us every step of the way. From providing us with incredible friends who spoke courage into us and became like family to us, to finding the perfect housing near the Hills campus (which was a miracle story in itself!), to providing both my husband and myself with employment within the church – in areas that we were so passionate about. God has certainly blessed us and exceeded anything we could have imagined for our lives in this new season!”
Catrina: “Creating community seems important to you and you’re always striving to make people feel included. What motivates that?”
Rachel: “I think it’s really God’s kindness that has been a thread throughout my whole life that continues to motivate me. God has brought so many beautiful people across my path at just the right time, through some of the hardest seasons and happiest seasons, to champion me and to speak life and courage into me. Seeing God at work in my life drives me to be the kind of person that God can use to help bring the love of God to others in whatever season of life they find themselves in. I love the verse in Luke 6 that says “Here is a simple rule of thumb for behaviour: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them!” (Luke 6:31 MSG). I want to be the kind of person that invests in others, builds others up, and loves people the way that I would want to be loved!”
Monica: “We’ve noticed that you’re someone who never seems to lose perspective of the big picture, and that in seasons where it would be easy to be frustrated, you seem to always hold on to your sense of awe. How do you do that?”
Rachel: “I love this illustration that Pastor Brian wrote in our Vision Statement “The Church I Now See”: “I see a church that is big enough to dream on a global scale, yet personal enough for every ONE to find their place. I see a church that beckons ‘WELCOME HOME’ to every man, woman and child that walks through the doors.”
Although people may not be physically walking through the doors of our buildings in this season, the same message of ‘WELCOME HOME’ remains the same.
In university, when I first committed my life to Jesus, I felt that sense of being ‘welcomed home’ into God’s family. And again, moving to Sydney I felt welcomed home by a loving church family from the day I stepped through the doors of the Hills campus. These were both pivotal days in my life, and that feeling of ‘being home’ has stayed with me ever since. I remember Pastor Bobbie saying at Colour Conference one year “do you remember the day the lights turned on?”. It’s such a beautiful reminder to live every day with awe knowing that today could be that day for someone else too. And how incredible is it that God allows us to be a part of this journey as people find home in Him.”
Catrina: “What’s been your biggest takeaway from this season so far?”
Rachel: “Honestly, there are so many takeaways, but one of the biggest things for me has been to learn not to ‘pray away’ the hard seasons, but rather to ‘pray through them’, and listen for God’s whisper in the ‘in-between’. God really does work all things together for our good, and I’m praying not just to see our church and the Church flourish on the other side of this season, but to flourish within this season too!”
We love Rachel and the perspective that she holds as she journey’s through life’s up and downs, and we hope that you’ve been inspired by her wisdom and experience.
If you ever get the opportunity to meet Rachel in person, you should ask her for some entertaining stories from her life, because it will make you ask “how do these things happen to you?” (e.g. the time she walked home from work and got chased by 2 giant geese… and that’s only half the story).