Tuesday, September 30, 2008

church on the hills

One of the few reasons I chose Sydney over Melbourne, other than the distance, was the opportunity to attend the Hillsongs Church. For years, friends in the worship and dance ministry have been going Down Under to attend Hillsongs' music conferences and for some reason, I did not join them even though I was actively serving with them that time.

This time, I made sure it would be on the itinerary since I would be flying all the way from Japan and wanted to make sure I maximised my trip! With Cindy's help, I managed to contact a former GTPJ'er who's since migrated to Australia with her family, and who was most willing to bring me there. I was surprised to hear that she was a member of that church, what a coincidence! Well, not surprising really, since Hillsongs is a pretty big church, and that area around it is known as the Bible Belt.

True to its location, Hills Campus really felt like being on a university campus. With modern buildings sprawled on acres of greenery, walking from the parking lot itself to any of the chapel or hall took some time. Even the main hall felt like being in an auditorium. I could immediately feel the energy as soon as I stepped in and saw all the happy faces that Sunday morning.

I had this conception that Hillsongs got so big and famous because of its songs. That's true to a certain extent, judging from their albums and concerts. However, as I joined the congregation in their 9am service, I learnt the other reason why people choose to come back week after week. I was only there 1 weekend, and it was a guest speaker then, but friends shared that it's the solid preaching of the Word that attracted them. I can understand when there are churches which focus unhealthily on prosperity gospel or fluffy interpretations of the Bible hoping to win a certain target audience.

Anyways, since I've been overdosed playing lots of Hillsongs back in GTPJ, I was curious naturally about their worship session. It was, well, very Hillsongs both lyrically and musically. My only disappointment was that it was too short, or maybe I was just expecting the worship leader to flow more in the Spirit. Later after the service did I find out that it was actually Reuben Morgan who led the worship! He certainly looked different from the album cover of his World Through Your Eyes CD. Darn, should've asked him for an autograph or something!

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