Churches, Stop Trying To Be Hillsong
April 3, 2018
by Alex Anderson

Creativity fosters better leadership, problem solving and promotes teamwork.

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Our short-term memory can’t handle everything that you throw at it. Writing things down keeps you from losing ideas forever.

Culture and creativity are more intertwined than you realize.

It’s common for us. As a creative agency that works with churches and ministries, it’s often that we hear the following: “We’d just love something like Hillsong! I love how everyone knows who they are—they’ve just got that immediate brand recognition and everyone wants to go there.”

Don’t get us wrong—we’re huge fans. Hillsong’s ministry impact around the world has won over thousands for the name of Christ. That’s not what we’re trying to say here. You get what we mean. (Hey, Brian Houston. Thanks for reading.)

Created to ~not~ be Hillsong.

Yes, Hillsong is a huge church. They’ve been around for awhile. They’ve got celebrity endorsements and full creative teams and (of course) an incredibly-talented worship team. But you aren’t them. You have a church, and a city, and a congregation that is fully YOU. Maybe it’s time that you sat down to figure out what your church should be in this world.

The world doesn’t need thousands of Hillsong churches. The world needs thousands of God-fearing and life-giving churches—and that might look quite different.

For instance, going off and naming a ministry or program after something that took off at a ~hip~ and young(er) church in Florida might seem like the best idea. Except you aren’t them. You’re not in Florida (okay, maybe you’re in Florida. But you get the point). You didn’t have the specific vision that they had for that ministry. You can’t expect to copy/paste/repeat and assume that your culture is similar enough for it to work. Or even that the Lord will bless it.

Nope, try again.

Created to be yourself.

Before you start subscribing to the cookie-cutter madness, it’s time to figure out who you are. And being intentional might mean that you take the proper steps to gauge what your internal team should look like. (1) What are the things that you value? (2) What are you trying to accomplish in the community? (3) What’s your vision for the lost in your neighborhoods?

Your church’s culture is created by those who own the church’s vision. That means that church leadership is responsible for asking God to send inspiration and a revitalized vision for what could happen in your community. But that’s very different than assuming that Hillsong is your best bet.

Don’t hear this wrong. It’s good to be inspired and propelled into forward-thinking by the successes of fellow pastors, but not at the expense of failing to tap into the most creative being that ever was, is, or will be (and yes, that’s God). Laying the foundation for a God-centered culture is the most impactful thing you can do for your church.

Created for good works.

We can find encouragement here in Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.”

Each of us has been created in Jesus for good, creative, mind-blowing, incredible works. Maybe that’s a call for us to stop looking at each other for inspiration, and start looking to the Lord for our next creative move.

If you found this article informative and helpful, please share! And don’t forget to keep a lookout for incoming resources for churches and ministries from Yellowbox Creative.

Do you need help:

(1) Launching a church plant?

(2) Designing your church series?

(3) Nurturing a creative community?

At Yellowbox, we empower churches and ministries with the tools, coaching and resources they need to reach real people. With that creative support, church outreach is no longer intrusive — it becomes a catalyst for community.