Originally published in Christian Daily
A band whose songs are played by over 50 million people around the globe on Sundays released the movie Let Hope Rise on Friday, which documents the band’s journey and the testimonies it experiences. [The movie releases in SA on October 7].
The band, Hillsong United, is a part of the Hillsong Church founded in 1983 in Sydney, which now has over 100 000 members in 12 countries. The band travels around the world for worship performances and is comprised of musicians, pastors, and lyrics writers.
Directed by John Michael Warren, the movie is about the lives of band members who started composing worship music as a part of youth activities at the church, and how their lives are a testimony of God’s grace. The documentary shows their big and small battles in life which were overcome with God, as well as their journey from being a small-time band to a world-renowned one, impacting the lives of millions of people with their heart-rending worship music.
Senior Pastor Brian Houston is also featured in the movie, who says that Hillsong’s success is not about the band but it is all about God.
Let Hope Rise is intended to pull the audience into a worship experience, which is an overarching theme of the movie.
Fox 4 News asked Hillsong United’s guitarist Dylan Thomas why lyrics were shown along the bottom of the screen in the songs as they were featured in the movie, to which Thomas responded: “I mean everything we do is about worship experience, and we want people to feel connected as we sing these lyrics because there is a truth in them Biblically, as this is what is believe. So I think unintentionally when they started screening this film, people started singing. That is why there are lyrics, so that people could see the lyrics because they have so much truth to it.”
The movie captures the lives of the musicians behind their stage performances and social media presence and the way they deal with life through faith in God. Musicians in the movie also talked about dealing with highs and lows in life such as trusting God with baby born with congenial heart anomalies and family crisis situations.
“Hillsong – it’s not about the name ‘Hillsong’, it’s about the name of Jesus,” creative director of Hillsong Church Joel Houston told Gospel Herald. “My prayer is that people see this film…and through the lens of a silly story about a bunch of people from Australia who are just trying to figure it out, and they can maybe experience God in a personal way and it helps them go, ‘Wow, maybe there’s a plan and purpose for my life that’s greater than I knew.'”