Growing up in a suburban Sydney Anglican church, my first experience of Hillsong (beyond singing Shout to the Lord!) was in the era of Exo Days singing One Way and Everyday. A decade or so on and I’m a little more theologically learned, but still passionate about what Hillsong are doing. I often say: “I probably couldn’t make it my home church, but keen to see what they’re doing – because God’s doing some awesome work there!”
Anyway, I’m still processing the week; what I loved, what I disagreed with and what I’m walking away with. I’m hoping to share my reflections soon, but while I reflect I’ve decided to share 13 LOL moments.
I hope you enjoy them. Some are funny, some are just random and some are just ‘woah’ moments.
In no particular order:
1. Brian Houston before dropping and doing 20+ push-ups midway through his talk: “Let’s all make sure we’re awake and alive and ready for everything that God wants to do in Jesus’ name”
2. Joseph Prince: “You want to reason to clap? I’ll give you a reason to clap. Because when I look at this stage runway, it’s a waste not to use it. *blue steel* Now I tell you, that’s what you use it for, not for push ups.”
3. The moment Justin Bieber arrived and every teenage girl in the arena went into arm flailing, OMG-ing, take a picture even-though-he’ll-just-be-a-couple-of-pixels-big shock.
4. Pulpit exhibitor in the expo tent.
5. Jenzten Franklin: “Let’s take a praise break” Cue clapping, hallelujah’s etc.
6. Carl Lentz: “How many married people do we have at conference? Wow. Love you and praying for your marriage. And so I know who we’re working with here tonight, put your hand up real quick if you’re single? Alright, keep your eyes on Jesus for a couple more hours. Who’s believing they’ve got one more day left, and you’re gonna find that somebody? Anyone? Yep. “
7. Bobby Houston before a copy of Brian Houston’s newest book (probably to increase the circulation and get a headstart towards the best sellers list, but still a logistical effort) was given to each of the 21 000 in the arena: “Only take one, hallelujah, okay?”
8. Giving 21 000 people communion on the last night. Think individual sealed communion cups where you peel back the first layer of plastic for the cracker, then the second for the grape juice. Coming to a church near you soon.
9. Joseph Prince during his offering prayer: “I pray for the supernatural elimination of debt tonight Father God.”
10. Jentezen Franklin in a borderline prosperity message: “Who needs a church building?”
11. Conversation between Brian Houston and his son-in-law that somehow went into super awkward territory about him getting more grandchildren. “That’s my daughter you’re talking about!”
12. The arena singing “You turn me on” during the singing competition in the pre-session arena entertainment before the competitor abruptly stopped: “Woah, that’s disgusting! We’re in church!”
My favourite: 13. Carl Lentz: “Who has a bible tonight? Hold it up if you do. Look at your neighbour and say ‘My bible is so much better than yours – it’s heavier and it’s real’. And if your bible’s on your phone, I don’t want to see it because if you need a word from God and your phone’s dead, what you gonna do then? Your bible needs to have pages.”