Hillsong Church is based in Australia with dozens of outposts worldwide, and over 150,000 attend weekly services. If you check their YouTube channel for Hillsong Worship, Hillsong United, and Hillsong Young & Free–their music is the main draw with millions of streams and downloads for their spiritually uplifting attitude.
The church services seem youthful and look more like concerts than stuffy congregations. They have attracted big celebrities, including Chris Pratt, the Kardashians & Jenners, Vanessa Hudges, and Justin Bieber.
Several scandals have been attached to them over the years, and it would take a multi-part episode to cover them all. In this episode, we focus on the founders of Hillsong and one pastor, Carl Lentz, who went from being their biggest star to another inflated person whose ego took over their instinct for being decent to the people who worked for them.
Trigger warnings: Religious guilt, bullying, homophobia, sexual assault, and attempts to pronounce Australian locations.
Sources for this episode:
- Hillsong Church (Wikipedia)
- ABC News Australia 2006
- The Guardian (2019)
- Religion News
- NBC News
- Vanity Fair
- New York Times
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