• Hillsong Mobilises the Masses for Justice

    Posted by Matthew

    4 July, 2013

    Matt Anslow, National Young Adults' Coordinator for TEAR Australia, shares his experience of volunteering with Micah Challenge at Hillsong Conference 2013.

    Hillsong has not been without its detractors. Every few months, almost like clockwork, you can expect some media outlet to have provided the latest exposé.

    To be sure, as Australia’s largest church, Hillsong is an easy target for antagonists, including some other Christians. But for all the complications of being so large and so visible, there is also the incredible potential for Hillsong to contribute meaningfully to fighting poverty.

    And so here I am, writing from Hillsong Conference 2013, where I join other fantastic Micah Challenge volunteers as we engage conference-goers with the reality of global poverty and the Christian mandate to love and do justice. This year Hillsong has chosen to partner with Micah Challenge to encourage its attendees to think about what it means to advocate for the poor.

    That it has decided to partner with Micah Challenge is a clear sign that Hillsong has a sense of God’s command for his people to serve and care for the poor and marginalised in our world.

    I'm not a part of Hillsong Church so I did not know what to expect while volunteering with Micah Challenge at the conference this week. Yet from what I’ve observed, Hillsong Church seems far from being concerned about its own well-being and is about God’s kingdom mission in the world amongst the poor and broken.

    And we as the wider Christian community should applaud and welcome Hillsong’s passion for fighting poverty. Micah Challenge has so far already had some great opportunities to educate conference-goers about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the biblical command to serve the poor. This can only be a good thing as 20,000 or so people join together at the Conference.

    At an advocacy workshop on Tuesday, John Beckett (Micah Challenge's National Coordinator) was joined by Donna Crouch (Hillsong’s Executive Pastor) and Louise Markus (Federal Member for Macquarie) to discuss progress on the MDGs, how to visit an MP and do advocacy, and the Bible’s teaching about poverty. The workshop was attended by around 200 people, many of who visited the Micah Challenge tent afterwards to find out how to take further action.

    Today all 20,000 delegates were educated on the MDGs in the main session and encouraged to sign the Movement to End Poverty petition. Already, thousands of people at the conference have joined the Movement to End Poverty.

    The massive scale of such a conference might not be to everyone’s liking, but there is certainly something special about so many Christians gathering together to worship and learn.

    Hillsong City Church Pastor, Joel A'Bell educates 20,000 Hillsong Conference delegates on Micah Challenge & encourages everyone to shine their light.

    Hillsong Church has such an enormous opportunity to mobilise the masses for justice, and it has been exciting this week to see more and more Christians understanding the plight of the poor and taking action. Imagine the impact that so many people can have!

    Image above: Hillsong City Church Pastor, Joel A'Bell educates 20,000 Hillsong Conference delegates on Micah Challenge & encourages everyone to shine their light as advocates for the poor.

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    Matt Anslow is the National Young Adults' Coordinator for TEAR Australia (a Micah Challenge coalition partner).