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Hillsong Australien: Church Update

Mar 31 2023

Sorry, this entry is only available in German. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

In den letzten Wochen gab es einige Fragen und Vorwürfe bezüglich der finanziellen Struktur und den Werten von Hillsong Australien. Eine unabhängige Firma namens Grant Thornton hat ihre Ergebnisse veröffentlicht, die zeigen, dass Hillsong Australien einen hohen Standard der finanziellen Integrität erfüllt. Hillsong Australien hat diese Ergebnisse in einer Heart & Soul Night geteilt und per Email eine Zusammenfassung und verschiedene Unterlagen dazu verschickt, die wir hier zur Verfügung stellen:

Dear Church,

Thank you to those who attended our church update evening last night, and to all those who participated.

It was a long evening and we appreciated you taking the time to attend. You heard from many people, including our Australian Board Directors as we believe it was important that we provide you with as much information as possible. Not just about addressing the recent allegations, but about our way forward with our new vision, mission, structure and governance procedures.

For those who attended and those who couldn’t make it, we would like to provide you with the following:

The summary report from forensic accountants Grant Thornton.

A summary letter from legal firm Prolegis (who engaged Grant Thornton).

Our Hillsong Staff credo.

In respect of your time, we would like to highlight three key points from last night.

1) Hillsong Church has acted lawfully. The independent report found no evidence to support the allegations made by a member of parliament that Hillsong Church acted unlawfully in any way. Furthermore, it found that Hillsong has complied with its obligations as a registered charity.

The letter from Prolegis contains the following:

– The factual matters established in the summary report do not support allegations that there has been unlawful conduct by entities that use the name Hillsong or its personnel, or that there has been non-compliance with their obligations as registered charities.

– The summary report demonstrates that the matters that have been alleged reflect a misunderstanding about the factual circumstances, the detail of transactions, or the arrangements generally.

– Our initial observation is that allegations characterised as unlawful in the tabled material do not relate to unlawful conduct.

2) There have been times when financial decisions should have been stewarded in a more appropriate manner.

The letter from Prolegis contains the following:

– Most of the allegations appear to relate to a concern about whether historic expenditure was appropriate in a church context. That is a discussion that should sensibly occur in a church context.

This is an important discussion. While we have acted lawfully, we must consider whether we have been good stewards of church finances at all times. Changes in our practices to ensure we are honouring God and stewarding his finances better have been a priority of our new boards and leadership.

3) We are heading into a new era and this is emphasised by our new vision, mission and structure.

We want to remind you of the several changes we have made over the past 12 months.

– We have made changes to the constitution, including separating the role of chair and senior pastor. As well as changes to the voting structure and how we nominate new members to the boards.

– We have completed a review of the board and its operations. We’ve had a refresh of both the Australian and Global Board and a few of them spoke last night. We would like to thank Stephen Crouch, Louise Markus, Amanda Tay and Jessica Martin for their continued support and for the expertise they bring to our governance. We would also like to thank Dane Gambrill who has helped us chair our Australian nomination committee. There will be more board members joining in the coming months.

– We have also been through voluntary resignations to right size our staff numbers.

– We have a new vision, new mission, and new structure.


A healthy church changing lives through Christ

Our Mission:

– Healthy Church Communities

– Purpose-filled Jesus followers

– Significant and sustainable social impact

On that note, Carl-Hugo Ander, our Interim Head of Operational Support, shared our new Australian Structure. It is a SUPPORT structure designed to focus on our three mission objectives. each area is to support our Local Campuses and our Campus Pastors. First and foremost, we are a local church. Then we had our Interim Head of Strategy Support, Kent Medwin, share that we have engaged Corpus, a world-class consulting firm with expertise in the non-for-profit sector, to undertake an independent financial review of Hillsong Australia.
Finally, as a result of Hillsong’s first staff feedback survey undertaken in April 2022, one of the key areas was focus on improving our culture, therefore we developed a staff Credo. In essence, the Credo is a set of a statement of beliefs developed to help our staff guide their cultural behaviours and actions.
A few weeks ago, we said this was a ‘line in the sand moment’. We are grateful for what has been achieved in the past and the point it has brought us to as Hillsong Church, but we must fix our eyes on the future as we commit to a brand new season.
Stepping into God’s plan for our future, our focus and commitment moving forward is – to build a healthy church changing lives through Christ.

Lucinda and I desire God’s promise for you and collectively for our church, and we look forward to walking this pathway together.

We love you and thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

Ps Phil and Lucinda