At church or in your car, chances are that you have at least heard, if not sung one of the many worship songs from the group Hillsong. Some of their more popular songs include, “Shout to the Lord,” Inside Out,” “Hosanna,” and “Mighty to Save.” The band’s influence spans across the globe through their songs, videos and tours. They have more than 20 million albums sold, their songs have been translated into 100 languages and more than 50 million people sing their songs every Sunday. All-together they have a social media following of more than 100 million and now they can add feature film to their resume. Hillsong: Let Hope Rise captures the onstage energy and off-stage hearts of the Australia-based band Hillsong UNITED. The film creates an entirely new genre of film: the theatrical worship experience.
Risen sat down with Hillsong worship leader Dave Ware four years ago on their God is Able tour and talked to him about why they view themselves as being part of a church versus being in a band and how God has used them.
“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his [holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. Say among the nations, The Lord reigns. The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” Psalm 96:8-10
Dave explained to us how Hillsong keeps their heart and mind in the right place and how they don’t view themselves as a band.
“Well we don’t even consider ourselves a band. We are all just part of the church and we happen to be on the worship team. We like to call our shows worship nights, because we are not trying to push a certain album, that’s not our motivation. Our motivation is to bring people together and worship God. And every single person on the platform tonight is heavily involved back home in church. This is probably our longest tour so far. We are never away from home, our families, or our home groups at church for more than three-and-a-half weeks. That’s a pretty long time for us. That in itself kind of demands you to have your heart checked because you are not just flying around the world doing all these big events, but you are actually part of a church, and you’re accountable, and you have leaders and people who look out for you and sharpen you and love you. So the main thing is we are just part of a church family who happen to do albums, which happen to send us out, and enable us to go into the world and spread the gospel and gather people to worship God together.”
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:1-3
Dave shared with us on how he has seen God use Hillsong to impact the lives of others.
“Seeing that journey, people coming in, and [being] kind of uncertain with the style and what not, to now having a campus that from a worship perspective is flourishing, [has been amazing]…We got to see a few places where there would have been a bit of uncertainty at the beginning, but then during the night, [we saw] God really open up their hearts. And being able to be used to point people to God in such a passionate way was such a rewarding feeling. I love it. Sometimes I love it more than being in places where they’re pumped from the very beginning, because you can actually see the change in front of your very eyes. People coming in, folded hands, and all this presumption, because I don’t know what their hearts re saying, or what they’re thinking, but just seeing them come in like ‘this’ [arms folded] and eventually be like ‘that’ [arms outstretched] is pretty rewarding.”
Worship God in His splendor. From the stars in the sky to the crash of the waves, the earth is filled with reminders of His love for us. Take time this week to take a walk, pray, sing and reflect on some Psalms. Ask God to reveal more of Himself to you while you are on your walk. Write down what you see and how it reminds you of God’s character. While your schedule may be filled with activities, schedule time for worship and protect that time. It might mean waking up earlier or carving out time during your lunch break.
Worship with others. Grab some friends or your small group and have a night of worship. It can be something as simple as singing along to a worship CD, gathering around a campfire or going to a Hillsong or worship concert. You might even want to organize a night of worship at your church. Pray and ask God if there is someone He wants you to invite to join you. Often times, people are intimidated to go to a worship or prayer event if they have never attended before and an invitation from a friend can be welcoming.
Help others worship. From playing the guitar to running the soundboard, God has given each of us gifts and talents and He wants us to use them to glorify Him. It is okay if you are not a professional musician. Pray and ask God how He wants you to use your gifts and for opportunities to help others worship. Then be obedient to opportunities He places before you. If you are a small group leader, ministry volunteer or mentor, you have an opportunity to help teach those around you how to worship. Take time during Bible study to explain what it means to worship God. Allow the group to ask you questions. Share examples from your life how you worship God.
Hillsong: Let Hope Rise opens in theatres nationwide on September 16th. For tickets or more information visit: www.hillsongmovie.com
To read our entire interview with Hillsong click here