Every church has a calling.
In addition to the mission we all share – namely, the Great Commandment and Great Commission – every congregation has a specific reason they exist.
For Hillsong Church, a big part of that calling has been to write, sing and send their songs around the world, to be sung by hundreds of thousands of other congregations.
In a recent article, The Christian Post quoted Hillsong’s pastor, Brian Houston from a recent Catalyst conference talk. Houston said that if you go to Hillsong church, you won’t be hearing their most famous songs, like “Shout to the Lord” or “Oceans” anymore. They’ve moved on.
Good for them.
Who Cares What Hillsong Doesn’t Sing?
Some congregations have the role of protecting and promoting the Heritage Songs of the church. Whether the ancient hymns, the revival songbook, or the recent classics, there are churches who serve the important role of preserving that history.
But not every church is called to do that. Some, like Hillsong, are called to be innovators and creators. Instead of preserving and promoting the old songs, they minister God’s grace to people through new songs.
No one type of church is right or wrong. Old songs need to be remembered and treasured. New ones need to be written and celebrated.
Pastor Houston’s statement about their songs wasn’t done in the form of a big announcement. It came across more as an offhand remark. But his statements shouldn’t really surprise anyone who’s been paying attention. It’s completely in line with their stated purposes.
So why am I bothering to write about this?
Because after so many years of musical success, many ministries would be tempted to hit the replay button and keep doing what makes their donor base happy.
At this time in their history, it would be easy for Hillsong to rest on their laurels and, like an aging pop band, trot out their greatest hits for nostalgic fans.
Hillsong hasn’t done that. Instead, they’re staying consistent with their message and mission. They’re determined to keep pressing forward with their stated mandate.
And I, for one, appreciate them for that.
Stay Faithful To Your Mission
I think every church can learn from Hillsong on this.
It’s not that we all have to sing new songs. But we all need to be faithful to the role God has given us within the Body of Christ.
The only audience any church should be trying to please is an Audience of One.
Has Christ called your church to innovate? Keep trying new things. To preserve heritage? Do that with great passion.
No church can do everything. But we can all do something.
Whatever calling your church has been given, pursue it with all your heart and passion.
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