Wednesday, 23 April 2014

We are Family


As many of you will already know, the 31 March was the launch of what is known as the Hillsong Family. If you have questions about what this is, I suggest you read Pastor Brian Houston's blog which will give a few details on what our family is and what it isn't. You can also find out who else is with us in the Hillsong Family

Pastor Brian states this about the churches he has chosen to call "family"

"The HILLSONG FAMILY is a group of like-spirited, forward thinking, kingdom-building visionaries and ministries working TOGETHER for a greater cause. This group of churches and ministries are joining our ‘FAMILY’ in an effort to develop and strengthen one another – a family relationship in which to find wisdom and encouragement, spiritual accountability and support as they continue to build the church and ministry that God has uniquely called them to do."


I guess I just want to give a bit of my perspective on what this means to Dee & I but also what it means to us as Newcastle Christian Life Centre.

When Dee & I set out from London 8 and half years ago to plant a church in the north east, we knew that we needed to stay connected to something bigger than ourselves. This wasn't just a need to give us credibility, it was a relational need. We knew that we wanted to stay strongly connected to the church that a helped give birth to our dreams of planting a church in Newcastle. The church that we had made home, the church that had shown us what a Christ-centred, passionate, disciple-making church could look like in the 21st Century.

To go back a bit further, when we moved to London, Hillsong church did not look like it does now. Hillsong Sydney was just coming into view with Darlene Zchech's music gaining popularity. The church in London was known as CLC London and had just gone through a transition of pastors and were left with about 80 people meeting in a little university hall. The journey of phenomenal growth in people and influence that was seen in London brought recognition to what God was doing in that local church.

Dee and I had the privilege of serving under the amazing leadership of Pastors Gary and Cathy Clarke. The time with them caused our lives to grow and our vision to expand. That vision grew into taking what we had learned at Hillsong and planting a church with the same heart and culture in the north east of England. To Dee and I, the family is a recognition and formalisation of what we chose to align ourselves to just over 8 years ago when we came from Hillsong to Newcastle. In our hearts we did not leave Hillsong, we just brought a taste of it to the north east and now into Tanzania.

Every time I go to London to spend time with Pastor Gary and the team I am reminded of what we can accomplish here in the north east, if we keep Jesus at the centre of everything we do and keep introducing people in our world to the good news that He brings. Let's not settle and think we have done enough. There are more people walking through Primark on a Saturday than meet in our church on a Sunday. People that need to know Jesus. Even if we grew to 6 services on a Sunday we will still be only making a small dent in the north east and Mwanza, Tanzania.

Being part of the Hillsong Family means that we are connected to something much larger than ourselves. This helps us see that we can continue to move forward, continue to grow and continue to see the kingdom of God advance in the cities where we live.

I would love for you to take a couple of minutes to read through The Church I see. If you have already seen it, read it again and remind yourself of where we are heading.

One church, three cities, four campuses, many hearts.

The Church I See

The Church I see is large and expanding in size, with an influence and reputation that is not bounded by any geographical areas.

It is a church that loves God and is sold out for His cause.

Its people live for something bigger than themselves, to show Christ’s love to each other and everyone in their world.

This church knows the value of a servant heart and is dedicated to welcoming home every person that walks through its door.

This church is based on God’s Word and lives to worship Him. Its message is clear and impacting; its worship touches the heart of heaven and changes lives on earth

The church I see is a church that is generous beyond its borders. It values people as God’s creation, not because of achievement, money, need or status.

This church is a house of safety for those in need and a house of worship for those who love God.

The church I see is a place where there is no unmet need because its people have looked among themselves to meet the needs from the overflow of their lives.

This church is a place where people belong and every person plays their part. They all care, they all contribute, and everyone is a soul winner and takes responsibility for people in their world.

This church I see shows God’s love and His commitment to excellence in everything it does. It always gives people the opportunity to make their peace with God. It is committed to raising leaders from every generation and seeing them fulfil their God-given potential.

The church I see is fulfilling its mission by building an awesome God focused, challenging and inspiring Sunday service and also building a great people connecting, mid-week community where lives flourish and relationship needs are met.



Our mission is to reach and influence the world by building a large Christ-centred, bible-based church, changing mindsets and empowering people to lead and impact in every sphere of life.

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