There's something pretty unique about Thursday nights at Hillsong Church. It's the night that our creative community gathers, first in Australia and then slowly as the clock moves, right across the globe. It's one of my favourite nights of the week, and I look forward to it with great anticipation and excitement.
Our creative team has an incredible responsibility within our church to help create a picture of who God is through using the gifts and talents that we have been given. Within our church, the creative department encompasses many areas, not only worship music and singers, but spans production, TV, filmmakers, artists, writers, costumer designers, youth and kids worship teams, stage managers, designers, and regular people who choose to belong to this beautiful melding pot of people.
Often I get emails about why our team gather weekly from people outside of our context, and so I thought that I would share just a few of these reasons with you.
1. We gather to rehearse and prepare for the weekends.
It is our firm belief that God deserves our very best. We have a responsibility to lead the church in worship as best as we are able. As a result, there is a need to practice, to hone our crafts, to steward our gifts and to learn how to better work together in a team. Rehearsals allow us that opportunity. We make mistakes, modifications and then continue to rehearse until we know that what we will bring on Sunday, as people gather to seek God, is the best we are able to. Our aim is that we want to play a small part in helping people to encounter God, and by getting better hopefully people are helped by what we bring, not hindered by it. That's what excellence is, a commitment to bringing your personal best to the table, and a commitment to ongoing improvement.
2. We gather because we love hanging out.
The truth is that our creative community actually likes each other. We find a sense of commonality in our quest to worship God with our gifts and talents. We find a commonality in our love for The Church, in our love for Jesus and in our love for the people of God. On Thursdays we are seeking to build a community that makes a big church seem smaller. That places value on each person who calls Hillsong Church their home, and that allows everyone to find a place to belong.
3. We gather to inspire each other and instil courage.
On Thursday nights we "have a go". Sometimes we bring new songs, we try new ways of worshipping, watch our dancers let loose, or hear from artists endeavouring to capture beauty on canvas. We are inspired by pieces our writers craft, or moved by photos or music that our team is creating. Thursdays create a place where we can try things and fail, or try things and succeed, whatever way, we watch each other take steps toward becoming more and more creative. We find each other looking for words and ways to describe God differently to inspire worship and adoration from others. We want to find ways to help people see God is working amongst us and on the earth.
4. Gathering together shapes our culture.
On Thursdays we come together to worship. We are not performers on a platform, but people transformed by the love of God and living in response to this love. We listen to people within our team encourage us from the Bible and their own lives, which is causing leaders to rise up from within the ranks of our own team. We give to see the Kingdom of God advance, which is creating generous people. We serve so that others may encounter Jesus, which is allowing people to realise that life is bigger than themselves, and one of the greatest blessings in life is to give our lives away for the sake of others.
We attend master classes, coaching groups to refine our talents, unearth new gifts, and practice in preparation for what may be required of us. We laugh, we cry (some more than others), we share life and hopefully little by little become more Christ like. When we gather together we find ourselves united around a common goal, we are able to articulate why we do what we do and who we do it for.
If you ever find yourself at Hillsong Church, our creative community is open to you. Join us in Australia at our Hills, City, Southwest, Brisbane and Melbourne campuses at 7pm Thursdays. You'd be welcome!
Hillsong Collected is a blog. It is an ongoing collection of thoughts and stories from the leadership and key team of Hillsong Church around the world, conveniently packaged in three different streams.
We want to inspire and encourage everyday people that your efforts and contributions can and will make a difference. So take a look around, make yourself at home and check back often.
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