Hillsong San Francisco

Feb 27 2016

It is quite special what is happening here in Los Angeles. I am continually amazed at seeing God do what only HE can do. Hillsong LA has been a journey rich with blessings and miracles and a whole lot of fun. And I know we are barely even scratching the surface of what God wants to do in this City. So coming into 2016 I have been filled with vision and expectation for all that is ahead.

If I am to think back to where it all started, it was late 2012 that God first stirred in my heart the idea of moving our young family to the west coast of America. I remember sitting in West Hollywood in Los Angeles dreaming and strategizing and writing about it all. And while I knew that it was LA that God was drawing us to; I also knew we would one day look to expand to other locations.

At that time we were living in Sydney where we grew up and loved what was happening there in the Church. But we knew God had something else for us. So around Easter time in 2013 when Lucille and I finally found the courage to speak to my parents, the question I asked was “Would you ever think of doing something on the west coast of the USA; somewhere like Los Angeles or San Francisco? And would you ever consider Lucille and I going?” I remember their shock when we asked the question; although it was partnered with a strong sense of belief and trust for us to chase our dream.

So I guess I say all that to say that San Francisco and the greater Bay Area have been on my heart since the first time I allowed my mind to run, and heart to break, for California.

Mid last year, knowing that Vision Sunday would come early February, I started to speak to dad about sharing the next chapter in what I believe God has for us. So at our recent Heart & Soul night I shared the exciting news that we are in the early stages of planting a campus in San Francisco!!!

San Francisco is an AMAZING city! And the surrounding areas of Oakland, San Jose and beyond all combine to create a city of millions of people FILLED with so much potential. The Bay Area is similar to LA in that you see the full breadth and diversity of humanity. People from all different backgrounds. People at every stage of life. And I believe that Jesus did not come to separate the rich, poor, famous, faceless, successful, or desperate. He came to unite us. He came to love us. He came to lead us to truth. He came to save!

As excited as I am about all that is ahead, I know that there is nothing that is going to be easy about this venture. It is up there with the most expensive cities in the world. I sense that there could be a lot of spiritual opposition to The Church. And this whole dream to start a campus here is truly another blind step of faith. Another great leap into the unknown. There is no secret formula to Hillsong Church. I don’t ever believe we have all the answers or ideas or strategies. I guess the only thing we know to do is to lift up the name of Jesus and do all that we can to truly point people to HIM. It is Jesus that saves, Jesus that heals and Jesus that restores. And I am more than confident that despite the challenges and potential opposition, if we just continue to love the city and point people to Jesus that anything is possible!

We are still in the very early stages of planning this San Francisco campus. There is no building or location or start date. It’s nothing more than a dream right now bursting with opportunity. But if you are interested to know more you can fill out the form below and we will add you to the mailing list.

Lets continue to pray. Lets continue to dream. And lets trust that the best is yet to come!

Ben Houston




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