In my last email to you, I shared that the independent investigation of Hillsong East Coast has concluded. Today, I want to follow up with you and provide details of the actions we will take moving forward.
As the events of last year unfolded, there was a lot we didn’t know. Now, thanks to the courage and honesty of many of you, we have a much clearer understanding of the state of Hillsong East Coast. Thank you to all of you who have enabled us to reach this place.
As the Global Senior Pastor of our church, I am heartbroken over the breaches of trust that have been revealed. A church is supposed to be a place where pain is lifted, freedom is found through Jesus, and everyone is treated with respect, kindness, and care. It should never take advantage of the valuable time invested by members and volunteers. There will always be an element of disagreement in any environment where people are gathered, but a church should be an example of how to fuse fractures. The church should be a safe place, not one that causes deep wounds.
We know that Hillsong East Coast has failed to be the kind of church it should be. On behalf of the Global Board and as Global Senior Pastor, I accept responsibility for these failings and apologize unreservedly.
Moving forward, we are committed to taking the necessary action to confront these failings. We will be making significant changes to address the serious shortcomings and empower our new East Coast Lead Pastors for the days ahead.
As part of this, we are committed to strengthening our church’s infrastructure to ensure greater accountability and stability through the implementation of a Hillsong Global Charter across all of our campuses. Hillsong Church already has strong global standards and requirements for governance, financial stewardship, and reporting that have been in place for many years. Moving forward, our Global Charter will ensure these standards and requirements are maintained, with policies and procedures that require strict adherence implemented across the whole church.
We will endeavor to be open and clear about all new policies and procedures. The changes we will be making are essential to ensuring the wellbeing of staff, volunteers, and members as our church continues to grow globally.
Finally, I want to express how hopeful I feel about our new East Coast Lead Pastors Chrishan and Danielle Jeyaratnam as the church enters this new season of restoration and change.
That said, I fully understand that new leadership is only one step in the process of rebuilding trust, and I want to assure you that we are not afraid to do the hard work of bringing our culture back into alignment with the biblical standards and Kingdom culture that has been the heart of Hillsong Church from its beginning.
Here is an outline of how we plan to move forward: hillsong.com/usa/eastcoast/online/governance
Global Senior Pastor