They call themselves the group of Amateur musicians, but the facts tell a different story. During the existence of the “Hillsong United” sold more than 17 million albums, their songs are performed in 60 different languages. Every Sunday 50 million parishioners of different churches sing a particular song “Hillsong”. One Hollywood producer decided that the story should be shown on the big screen.
“We just try to write songs like that to listen to our friends’, says Dylan Thomas, a member of the “Hillsong United”. — That’s why we listen to bands we like, and then write music that is close and understandable to our society. And yet, such a scenario is impossible to prescribe in advance. It was not like we suddenly decided to tour the world and make music my main occupation. Everything happened step by step when we relied on God.”
Although pre to prescribe such a scenario was impossible, a story about the ascent group at the top of the charts was the subject recently of a new film, “Hillsong: Let hope rise”.
“The film is not about the Church and about how we write songs or compose music, or serve God. This is a story about who God is. He loves ordinary people. He loves everyone, and He has a plan for everyone. And all the people on earth can come to Him,” says Joel Houston, a member of the legendary group.
The history of the group “Hillsong” has attracted the attention of Director Michael John Warren, previously starred in a documentary about rap stars Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj. And he is not a Christian! Was there a natural transition from the rap to the “Hillsong”?
“I’m a big music fan. The music I love even more than the movie, says the Director. Well, I think musical films are not that simple. After all, what’s at stake if the film is about a pop artist? Each of them tries to prove to the public his toughness, tends to show that he is the best rapper or singer. Much of what they do is designed to impress. And thank God! But in the case of “Hillsong” I saw something completely different, unique. Their mission is to connect people to heaven. Me, as a Director, it seemed unique.”
Despite the fact that about 50 millions of believers sing the song “Hillsong” in their churches each week, the interest of Hollywood is still surprising band members.
When received an offer to make a film about “Hillsong United”, the participants said, “why make a film about us?” Now that the film has been shot, they speak almost the same: “Who wants to see that?!”
“Of course, I like the fact that our message that we always turn to people that we love the most are reflected in the film. I think that the film “Hillsong. Let hope rise” is a film that primarily talks about hope,” says Judd Gillis from “Hillsong United”.
This encouraging message can be traced in the story of how the singer Taya Smith became a member of the group. The film tells that the singer arrived in Sydney, with only two hundred dollars, and simply said, “Lord, use me.”
“Yes, it was a real step of faith, says Taya Smith. — I moved there, leaving the house, because I felt that now is a good time, despite the fact that I only had two hundred dollars in the Bank. I just decided to trust God. And, as it turned out, it was the best step in my life, because It corresponded to the plan of God.”
In many ways, the success story of the group reflects the success of the Church “Hillsong”.
“When we started the Church on the outskirts of Sydney, I dreamed that a week later, they again came to us. Of course, I always built some plans, but our entire history is a story of the grace of God,” says pastor Brian Houston.
What I experienced and felt the Director working on this film?
“Of course, I’ve changed, says Michael John Warren. Communication with such people was meaningful and helped me become a better person. Now all of my friends, who themselves are not Christians, ask “are You saved now?” I answer: “No, I’m not saved. But I got better just like a man.” I have experienced some influence of those people. I saw a role model in how to treat people. I became more of them to love”.
Also about the history of the Church “Hillsong” her pastor Brian Houston wrote a book. It’s called “Live, love, lead”.