Monday, September 14, 2009

Hillsong London 10 years

Sunday afternoon I set off for London and the O2 arena with the family to join in the 10 year anniversary celebrations of Hillsong London Church.

As it turned out arriving a few minutes before the the start time was not really the best thing to do. We were greeted with a huge queue. Eventually we got it but I think very soon afterwards the gates closed and hundreds if not a couple of thousand people left outside.

In the end I actually felt like a bit of impostor at a strangers celebration. Yes the music was great but this was really their churches birthday party and as a first time visitor knew nothing of the journey they had taken. The twists, the turns, the challenges the successes so it was a bit weird. I also felt a little guilty that I was possibly taking the seat of a regular attender who had got shut outside!

I am obviously getting a bit older as I actually came away thinking that I did not totally enjoy the church experience in a huge arena like that. I was probably as far away from the stage as you could be and as high up as is possible without meeting Jesus. Or maybe that the large video screen was almost completely obscured by various lighting and pa gantries, but it just felt a bit detached.

It is the first time that I have attended church in an arena of that size and I am sure with much more money sunk into video it could enhance the experience and make it more intimate. However it did make me think a little about it.

This by no means is meant as negative towards Hillsong. Most people would have charged for an event like that. They have done an incredible job for the kingdom in 10 short years and I am sure what God will do in the next 10 years will be equally mind blowing.

Happy 10th Birthday and looking forward to hearing about transformed lives in the next 10 years.


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