When I was a kid, I was forced to go to church. I sat, and I sat, and I sat- not knowing the significance of what I was hearing in service, not knowing what laid behind the “facade of the building”. I was frustrated because no one told me what was going on. No one shared with me personally what this whole Jesus thing was about. 

Then, when I was a teenager, around fourteen or fifteen, someone finally took the time to stop and see me, just see me! I had a Sunday school teacher, who spoke to me, chose to notice me and presented tangible examples of what God’s love can look like- a love that I had yet to experience in my life. 

What she stood for and what she was doing felt separate to me from the rigidity of the church she was a part of. She saw what I needed and gave it to me without an agenda. 

I accepted Jesus and made a commitment to follow him after listening to a preacher on television in my living room. I was alone, but I felt the presence of God. It was as if the room were not merely occupied, but filled to the brim. Reiterating my Sunday school teacher, the preacher assured: God’s love is reckless, all-encompassing, and available right now. This explanation has shaped my heart for Hillsong Church. 

I’ve been at Hillsong NYC for seven years. My journey to this house was wrought with leaps and trust-falls, depending solely on God’s willingness and promise to provide. One night at Irving Plaza, God answered that pull with an invitation to jump. Pastor Carl Lentz, unprompted, called out into the crowd “If you’re deciding between churches, you need to make a decision about where you want to be.” Encouraging people to find a place they could call home and be planted.

Since then, I’ve served on nearly ten teams at our church. I started in Connections, then went to Crew, then VC, Video, Photography, Drivers, and Exchange Events. 

Now I’ve been stage managing in the evening services for over four years. I love being behind the scenes. I used to be outside the walls, looking in and asking questions. Now I’m on the inside, amplifying the message out to others- answering their questions. 

God has given me the opportunity to serve this church with 100% of myself- giving to the house that has allowed me to love, to lead, and to learn in every second of the last seven years. After all these winding roads and leaps of faith, church is no longer an obligation, and love has a name.