A first impression of Hillsong Church / by Jessica Lee

Today was just a strange day. There is no other way to describe it.


It was like a movie where unexpected things happen to you and you just take it in but at the same time, you're a bit dazed.

The day started out normally with me waking up and going to class.

It's kind of crazy how a boring class can cause a turn of events in your world. Or it did in my world at least.

The class was so boring that I started checking Facebook on my phone (which is something I hardly ever do). And on Facebook, a girl had posted that there was an event happening at the Hillsong Church tonight.

I had always wanted to visit the Hillsong Church. It is the most well-known church in the world. They have concerts and conferences every year.

I wasn't doing anything particularly exciting tonight so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to go.

Normally, when you think of church, you think of a Sunday gospel where there is a choir and wooden pews. Something calm and conservative. Something traditional.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but when I arrived at Hillsong, I was immediately overwhelmed.


It was more like a hipster gathering at a concert than a church service. Outside in the garage, there was a group of very fashionably-dressed people just chatting with indie music playing in the background (Arcade Fire was playing! Go Canada!). A make-shift coffee stand was set up, food and tables were around. An easy going "party" vibe was definitely there. This was while we were waiting for service to start.

Then the program started and an incredible energy came from the crowd. During gospel songs, it was like a rock concert with everyone crowding the stage, jumping up and down and singing. There were stage lights and a live screen projection.


Back home, I come from a conservative church, so I am used to just singing out of hymn books and quiet acoustic music.

The community in Sydney is really lively. There is a lot of supportive energy with people cheering for random things, or just greeting each other. It's extremely positive.

A speaker came on, followed by music again.

And then, something I've never experienced in a church before:

A dance party complete with DJs, strobe lighting and lasers!




It was bizarre because you normally don't expect dance parties to happen inside churches. Hillsong Church is definitely the most hip and modern church I've ever been to.

As a newcomer, I was treated to a free cup of coffee. I ordered a mocha. It was such a hip atmosphere. Which other churches have pop-up coffee stands? It was amazing.


I chatted with some other people for a while, then around 11, it was time to go home. But not before another strange event where I found myself taking photos of a car wreck.


It was pretty bad but the good thing is no one was hurt.


I happened to be carrying my DSLR and there happened to be a three-vehicle car crash outside the church as we were walking to the car. For insurance purposes, I was asked by the owner of one of the cars to take some high quality photos. So now I have some new friends, but it was strange to meet them because their car was crashed. Maybe this crash was divine intervention so I could meet them. Maybe we will be best friends. Who knows?


All I know is that I definitely did not wake up this morning knowing all these crazy events would take place. And from now on, I am going to be carrying my DSLR camera everywhere I go. You just never know what could happen.