Hillsong – Let Hope Rise, the story of one of the most influential groups in worship music, will hit theaters nationwide next month on September 16.
“Hillsong – Let Hope Rise was directed by Michael John Warren, who is also behind the popular Jay Z film Fade to Black. The cinematic release will take viewers on Hillsong’s journey, which started in a tiny church in the Sydney suburbs to an influential international ministry whose songs are sung every Sunday by more than 50 million people across the globe. Their songs are recognized all over the world and have been translated into 60 languages. They sold more than 17 million albums.
“‘We’re thrilled that Pure Flix, the No. 1 producer of faith films in the U.S., is our partner on this project,’ Brian Houston, founding pastor of Hillsong Church said in a statement. ‘It’s our hope that by sharing an up-close and unvarnished look inside our music and lives, we can shatter preconceived notions of what it means to follow Jesus in today’s modern world.’”
Jesse Carey, Relevant editor, wrote “Early looks at the film are stunning.”
The Question of Concert-Style Worship
Carey also evaluates the pros and cons of the concert style approach to worship of which Hillsong has beens so much a part. His concern is that, “Many modern church-goers have conflated entertainment and worship.”
But considering how so many artists and writers have been able to glorify God through their work, he concludes, “We typically don’t have an issue with other forms of art and culture combining aesthetic beauty and entertaining elements into their worshipful expressions of devotion. Why should we hold worship music to a different standard?
The Ultimate Message
“The real danger, he says, “doesn’t lie with worship music that also happens to be ‘entertaining’ in its composure and performance; it’s in our need to always be entertained in the first place. We still need to maintain a balance: Silence and celebration, joy and grief, dancing and kneeling. After all, it’s not about the activity or always what we want. It’s about God.”
The message of Hillsong – Let Hope Rise seems to be in agreement. The film carries the tagline, “It’s all about Him.”
According to Hillsong pastor Brian Houston, “…it’s all about God. You take Him out of the equation, you got nothing.”