Hillsong Church has announced that they are leaving their church's Australian denomination in order to form their own.
Global Senior Pastor, Brian Houston, made the announcement in a letter on September 19.
Hillsong has been part of Australia's largest Pentecostal denomination, Australian Christian Churches (ACC), since its inception. However, Houston says the belonging to a national denomination no longer makes sense for a church with a "global nature" like Hillsong Church.
We consider it to be 'One House, with many rooms'
"As Hillsong Church has continued to grow, we no longer see ourselves as an Australian Church with a global footprint, but rather a Global church with an Australian base," Houston said in the letter. He pointed out that the church's global office is now located in the USA.
"Two-thirds of the people attending Hillsong Church each weekend live in countries beyond Australia. We have pastoral staff in twenty-four nations around the world, representing 123 campuses and locations, with 263 different church services on any given weekend. We consider it to be 'One House, with many rooms'."
Houston says that the main reason Hillsong felt it was time to part ways with the ACC came down to credentialing their own pastors, as well as governance issues and other policies.
"For this reason, we are now registered by the Australian Department of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, as a recognized denomination with the ability to credential pastors in our own right.
"This recognition alleviates the issues that would occur if, for example, a concern arises that affects the credential of a Hillsong Church youth pastor in one of our campuses in Europe. The Australian ACC cannot be expected to have adequate information to address this issue or even know who the person is, let alone the resources to appropriately deal with the issue on a personal or pastoral level."
Houston pointed out that the break in the relationship is strictly from the issues that Hillsong is facing as they grow, and that there is no conflict.
ACC National President, Wayne Alcorn, has helped and cooperated with Hillsong, Houston says.
"I am very grateful to the ACC National Executive who have been both gracious and proactive in working with our church board and drafting a potential structure to redefine our relationship moving forward."