Friday, April 21, 2017

Australia and New Zealand Trip: Part 9 (Hillsong Church in Sydney)

On Sunday, April 16, Tal and I had the best time celebrating Easter and our risen Lord in Sydney at the original Hillsong Church:

Tal and I arrived 45 minutes before the church service started, and the concierge gave us a personalized tour of Hillsong's campus:

Interestingly, our tour group included a couple from Minneapolis and a family from Raleigh (who have three daughters that attend NC State...Tal's alma mater):

During the service, Tal and I enjoyed singing some of our favorite Hillsong songs with Hillsong United:

Hillsong's founding pastor, Brian Houston, delivered the Easter message from Rome:

After the service, Hillsong passed out Cadbury eggs to everyone. In the Hillsong cafe, Tal and I had drinks (coffee for Tal and water for me) and desserts with the concierge and enjoyed learning more about Hillsong's mission and vision:

Given Hillsong's success and popularity, I expected the church to be showy and the service to be a "big production." Instead, Hillsong was just the opposite. Outside the church, there wasn't even a Hillsong sign:

Inside, the building was pretty simple and wasn't flashy or over-the-top. The people were genuine and down-to-earth and seemed unfazed by Hillsong's popularity.

The church sanctuary held 4,500 people and seemed to meet Hillsong's needs:

I expected the church service to be a big, high-tech production, but Hillsong's use of technology, graphic arts, and props was comparable to many of the churches that Tal and I have visited in our area:

Tal and I enjoyed visiting Hillsong during our stay in Australia!

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