Hillsong United Conference Reflections

Hillsong United Conference Orlando, Florida November 9-10, 2007

Over 6,000 people from 6 countries, 43 states, and representing over 2,000 churches gathered in Orlando this weekend for the first Hillsong United Conference in the United States. The weekend schedule included: A 2 1/2 hour worship/teaching session on Friday evening, a 1 1/2 hour worship/teaching session and a 1 1/2 hour worship/panel discussion session on Saturday morning, 2 - 45 minute workshops in the afternoon, and another 2 1/2 hour worship/teaching session on Saturday evening.

I have yet to process it all. The Hillsong pastors who spoke at the three teaching sessions were Phil Dooley, Paul Andrew, and Brian Houston. The panel session was hosted by Phil Dooley and included Brian and Bobbi Houston, Paul Andrew, Reuben Morgan, Joel Houston, and Brooke Fraser. The workshops I attended were "The Art of Songwriting" with Reuben Morgan and Joel Houston, and "The Secular Myth" with Brooke Fraser. Emily attended "The World is Your Stage" with Brian Houston and "Next Generation Worship" with the United Team. 

As Emily and I have reflected on the conference, we shared our mutual appreciation for what we learned about Hillsong and Hillsong United:
- the heart of Hillsong - to serve the Body of Christ to His glory. 
- that Hillsong United is a team of humble servants not seduced by fame. Despite their local and international fame, there were no "Christian celebrities" among them. 
- their emphasis on the Word of God as foundational. 
- their endeavor to create theologically sound lyrics. 
- their belief that youth ministry is about God and His Word. 
- their commitment to unity (NOT uniformity) in the Body of Christ and their deep love for Christ's Church.
Two of the musicians/songwriters who impressed me were Joel Houston and Brooke Fraser. These videos were taken (not by me) during the panel discussion on Saturday morning:

More conference videos from the same source can be found here.
Michael and his two beautiful daughters Kari and Tabby who came for the Saturday evening session

Emily's friend Brittany, Emily, and a new friend from the conference

My list of thanks this day includes Hillsong, Hillsong United, 1st Baptist Church in Orlando, music, instruments, musicians, lyricists, teenagers and young adults who unashamedly love Christ (that's you, Emily), those who took conference videos and shared them with the rest of us, and the pleasure of being in church with Michael and my granddaughters Kari and Tabby.