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Hillsong Global Governing Principles


Hillsong Global has established a set of governing principles that each of our churches and ministries must agree to. This document outlines those governing principles.

Hillsong Church was established in Sydney Australia in August 1983 by founders and Senior Pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston. Hillsong Church now operates in 28 countries around the world and has been referred to as “one house with many rooms.” The purpose and goal of Hillsong Church is to advance the work and gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

Our churches and ministries are globally united in name, vision, oversight and purpose. They are committed to working together in mission, vision and spirit.

Hillsong Global has been formed as the overarching organization that governs all Hillsong churches and ministries. In order to ensure that Hillsong Churches around the world consistently carry forth the mission, vision and spirit of Hillsong, each individual church must agree to adhere to these governing principles.

While these governing principles have been in place in many Hillsong locations around the world, it is now being adopted across the United States.


1.1     Hillsong Global is an international church with local expressions in each country. Lead Pastors are the oversights of these local churches who work within a greater framework of mutual mission, purpose and governance.

1.2    Hillsong Global also has various ministries that provide outreach for its mandate and vision, such as College, Music, Publishing, TV and Film, to name a few.

1.3     Hillsong Global is the lead organisation internationally over each of the member churches and ministries (Member) who must be signatories to the Charter.

1.4     The Charter sets out the expectations and requirements placed upon each member organisation carrying the name ‘Hillsong’. It communicates Hillsong’s heart and doctrine and provides guidance regarding its policies



2.1     The Board will be responsible for the global vision, doctrine, governance and practices of Hillsong internationally.



3.1     The heart of Hillsong Global and its Members is to work cooperatively toward a common, united mission and vision empowering each organisation to reach its full ministry potential.

3.2     To that end, all Member organisations understand that it is important to:
(a) Acknowledge the authority and oversight of Hillsong Global internationally and its Global Senior Pastors;
(b) Abide by the decisions made by the Hillsong Global Board;
(c) Be accountable to Hillsong Global in doctrine, governance and finances;
(d) Accept that the appointment or dismissal of the Lead Pastor is at the sole discretion of the Global Senior Pastor working in consultation with the Hillsong Global Board in line with its employment processes;
(e) Obtain formal approval from Hillsong Global for the purchase or disposal of lands, buildings and other major assets;
(f) Realize that you are the local stewards of your buildings, properties, congregations and that these will always remain under the oversight of Hillsong Global unless otherwise decided by the Board of Hillsong Global;
(g) Obtain appropriate consent from the Global Board prior to making any changes to Member entity structures, constitutions or other organizational legal documentation;
(h) Provide timely reporting of operational and financial information as requested by Hillsong Global or the Global Senior Pastors;
(i) In the event of the resignation or termination of the Lead Pastor, the Member organisation will ensure a timely and organized transition of all elements of the Member church, under the direction of Hillsong Global, to the new leadership;
(j) The Member will obtain appropriate consent from the board of Hillsong Global prior to making any significant, material, commercial or strategic partnerships with any organisation outside of the Hillsong Church group of ministries.
(k) The Member will adopt all international policies and procedures of Hillsong Global to the extent permitted by domestic law in which the member operates.

3.3     Member agrees that it shall conduct its activities at all times in full compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and other legal standards that apply to it. Further, Member warrants that it shall maintain at all times all permits, licenses and other governmental approvals that may be required in connection with its performance under this Charter. Furthermore, Member warrants that it is solely responsible for making, with all applicable governmental units or agencies, all required filings, including but not limited to annual returns, that may affect its corporate or tax status. Member shall immediately inform Hillsong Global of any instances in which Member’s compliance with applicable law is subject to government investigation (e.g., official government audit, investigation for financial impropriety or fraud, etc.).

3.4     Member agrees to abide by the following record keeping procedures:
(a) Maintain copies of Member’s organizational documents, government filings regarding Member’s formation, incorporation, church status, or tax status, internal governance and policy documents (including board resolutions and board meeting minutes), and the Charter, in perpetuity;
(b) Retain Member’s financial and tax records (including documentation of income received and expenses incurred, financial audits conducted, tax filings and any other documents required by law) for at least seven years following the end of its financial year, unless a longer retention period is otherwise required by applicable law;
(c) Provide access to Hillsong Global or its third party representatives, upon reasonable request, to Member’s files and records, for the purpose of confirming Member’s compliance with the Charter and Member’s continued status as a church, as Hillsong Global deems necessary.



4.1     Each Member agrees to abide by Hillsong Global’s Statement of Beliefs and Mission Statement (refer to Appendix 1).




1.1     We believe that the Bible is God’s Word. It is accurate, authoritative and applicable to our everyday lives;

1.2.    We believe in one eternal God who is the Creator of all things. He exists in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He is totally loving and completely holy;

1.3     We believe that sin has separated each of us from God and His purpose for our lives;

1.4     We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ as both God and man is the only One who can reconcile us to God. He lived a sinless and exemplary life, died on the cross in our place, and rose again to prove His victory and empower us for life;

1.5     We believe that in order to receive forgiveness and ‘new life’ we must repent of our sins, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and submit to His will for our lives;

1.6.    We believe that in order to live the holy and fruitful lives that God intends for us, we need to be baptised in water and be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables us to use spiritual gifts, including speaking in tongues;

1.7     We believe in the power and significance of the Church and the necessity of Believers to meet regularly together for fellowship, prayer and the “breaking of bread”;

1.8     We believe that God has individually equipped us so that we can successfully achieve His purpose for our lives, which is to worship God, fulfil our role in the Church and serve the community in which we live;

1.9     We believe that God wants to heal and transform us so that we can live healthy and blessed lives in order to help others more effectively;

1.10     We believe that our eternal destination of either Heaven or hell is determined by our response to the Lord Jesus Christ;

1.11     We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming back again as He promised.



  • Building healthy church communities
  • Purpose-filled Jesus followers
  • Significant and sustainable social impact.



The church that I see is a global church. I see a global family: One house with many rooms, outworking a unified vision. I see a church apostolic in calling, and visionary in nature; committed to boldly impacting millions for Christ in significant cities and nations throughout the earth with the greatest of all causes – the Cause of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I see a church that champions the cause of local churches everywhere; encouraging them to be all that God has called them to be. A Church that refuses to be content with the triumphs of the past, but is constantly looking towards the future – filled with a vision that inspires and influences many.

Positioned in the heart of culture, in great diverse urban centres, I see buildings that struggle to contain the increase of all that God is doing; occupying land and places that are miraculous in provision and impossible to ignore.

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.

The church that I see is a worshipping church whose songs reflect such a passion for Christ that others sense His magnificence and power. A distinct sound that emanates from a healthy church, contagious in spirit – creating music that resounds from villages and tribes to great cities and nations.

I see a church that is constantly innovative: A church that leads the communication of a timeless message through media, film, and technology. A church with a message beamed to people around the globe through their television screens, bringing JESUS into homes, palaces and prisons alike.

I see a church with a world-class college that raises, equips, and empowers generations of young, anointed leaders from across the globe. Graduates who serve God in all walks of life, released to salt the earth with dynamic ministries and churches throughout the continents of the world.

I see a church graced with layers of ‘once-in-a-generation’ type leaders – who are naturally gifted, spiritually potent and genuinely humble. Leaders who will pay the price and count the cost of impacting cities and nations with great, God-glorifying churches.

I see a church whose leadership is unified in their commitment to the authenticity, credibility and quality of its heart. Leaders who dare to be themselves, yet live secure in the knowledge that “what they are part of is bigger than the part they play.”

I see a church committed to an innovative NETWORK that connects hundreds of thousands of pastors and leaders and equips them to flourish. A network committed to the apostolic anointing of leaders who are desperate to see the Church of Jesus Christ rise up to live the un-lived life within her… His glorious Church.

I see like-spirited churches in cities of influence that exemplify faithfulness manifested in bricks and mortar. Churches with supernatural provision of buildings and properties standing as beacons of light that bring glory to God and hope to humanity.

I see a church that loves God, loves people and loves life. Youthful in spirit; generous at heart; faith-filled in confession; loving in nature and inclusive in expression.

Yes, the church that I see is committed to bringing the love and hope of Christ to impossible situations through the preaching of the gospel and a mandate that drives us to do all we can to bring help and solution to a needy world. Whose head is Jesus, help is the Holy Spirit and whose focus is the Great Commission.

Brian Houston 2014



The Church that I see is a Church of influence. A Church so large in size that the city and nation cannot ignore it. A Church growing so quickly that buildings struggle to contain the increase.

I see a Church whose heartfelt praise and worship touches Heaven and changes earth; worship which influences the praises of people throughout the earth, exalting Christ with powerful songs of faith and hope.

I see a Church whose altars are constantly filled with repentant sinners responding to Christ’s call to salvation.

Yes, the Church that I see is so dependent on the Holy Spirit that nothing will stop it nor stand against it; a Church whose people are unified, praying and full of God’s Spirit.

The Church that I see has a message so clear that lives are changed forever and potential is fulfilled through the power of His Word; a message beamed to the peoples of the earth through their television screens.

I see a Church so compassionate that people are drawn from impossible situations into a loving and friendly circle of hope, where answers are found and acceptance is given.

I see a people so Kingdom-minded that they will count whatever the cost and pay whatever the price to see revival sweep this land.

The Church that I see is a Church so committed to raising, training and empowering a leadership generation to reap the end-time harvest that all its ministries are consumed with this goal.

I see a Church whose head is Jesus, whose help is the Holy Spirit and whose focus is the Great Commission.


Brian Houston 1993