Step into a Hillsong London service and you walk into the Dominion Theater, which seats 2,000 people. Choose a seat on the balcony or on the ground floor, and when the strobe lights and sophisticated video images begin flashing in the dim theater, you might wonder if you're waiting for We Will Rock You: The Queen Musical!, the show currently running at the Dominion.
Hillsong Church, which recently celebrated its 20th year in Sydney, Australia, is growing its global reach Sunday by Sunday. As the largest church in Australia's history, it regularly attracts 20,000 people to its weekend services. GOD TV, a Christian satellite channel, broadcasts many Hillsong events, boosting its potential audience to 400 million worldwide.
A member of the Assemblies of God denomination, Hillsong has burgeoning church plants in London, Paris, and Kiev, Ukraine. It has also been holding services in Moscow and Berlin. Hillsong's reputation alone is enough to generate huge interest. In London, a Saturday night service and three Sunday services are necessary to accommodate the 7,000 in attendance.
Hillsong is perhaps best known for its music. Its famous worship pastor, Darlene Zschech, wrote the song "Shout to the Lord." It is estimated that 25 million Christians sing that song each week worldwide.
Since the 1990s, Hillsong has released about 50 praise and worship recordings. Hillsong United, its youth ministry and band, has sold recordings by the millions in the American market. Hillsong United began its recent North American tour in Nashville, at the worship service of the Gospel Music Association's music week.
Last fall in London, 3,000 people gathered at the Excel Center for the first-ever Hillsong Conference Europe. On the first night, the crowd ...