Mere Fidelity: Hillsong and “Hip Church”

Mere FidelityGQ ran a fascinating article last month entitled, “What Would Cool Jesus Do?” It was essentially a long-form investigation of Hillsong NYC, trying to figure out the phenomenon that manages to pull in thousands of young, cool New Yorkers including people like Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. We figured that was worth discussing, so Matt, Alastair, and I took it up in this episode of Mere Fidelity.

Thanks for listening.

Soli Deo Gloria

3 thoughts on “Mere Fidelity: Hillsong and “Hip Church”

  1. My husband and I are theologically reformed but attend, serve and lead in a “hip” church similar to Hillsong (though a mega, but much smaller).

    To get the big question out of the way, we have no idea why we are here. 😉 God called us here, grew us here and allowed us to be greatly unsettled at times. He has grown me most through convicting the pride in my heart that roars “BUT I PREFER IT THIS WAY!!”

    Your points of concern about hip church are not different from some of the same unsettled issues we have. We’ve come to rest in the knowledge that a church made of people will be imperfect by human nature.

    What makes my heart glad and keeps me rooted in my church is this simple fact: We see many, many, many (many!) people come through our doors who would never dare enter the sanctuary of the type of churches my reformed heart would prefer. I watched my husband in the water with our pastor this weekend baptizing 50 men, women and children who had given their life to Christ.

    How do we disciple those who have never been in church but then become followers of Jesus? This is a major question. This question has kept my husband and I up long hours into the night discussing and praying. We have also been in Reformed churches that were great at discipling but the well of those needing discipled would often dry up.

    At one point in the podcast, you started down the trail of rejoicing in the Hillsong NYC’s ability to attract those who would never dare attend a church. I wish you’d stayed that course for a bit longer. Churches like Hillsong (and mine) are well aware of the critique from their “Reformed Brothers” (and brothers you are!), what needs to be heard is praise and solidarity in the work of showing sinners the marvelous grace, mercy and forgiveness of Jesus.

    As for the congregational and generational issues of “Hip Church”, they are HUGE issues. Pray for these churches to be sensitive to Holy Spirit’s revelation of the issues and obedient in His correction.

    Love your podcast,
    Tab

  2. Very interesting discussion! I grew up in a somewhat larger church with an emphasis on band lead worship and I now go to a much smaller church in the OPC. I still visit my old church quite often. And though quite different stylings, I still hold the same theology as I did at my old church. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing some of your thoughts since this subject is pretty relatable to myself.

  3. Do you think a part 2 of this would be possible? This is most definitely a topic I think is worth looking into a little more. You guys barely even scratched the surface of the article in this episode, much less the whole Hillsong phenomenon.

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