Documentary aims to hurt church, not heal people, says interim Hillsong global leader

Pastor Phil Dooley preaching to Hillsong Churches worldwide on February 19 (PHOTO: Youtube screenshot)

Originally published by Premier Christian News

A new trailer has been released of a upcoming docuseries called Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed by Discovery Plus, which will centre on Hillsong Church and highlight it’s recent scandals, such as the extramarital affair of former Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz. 

In a service that was streamed live to Hillsong churches worldwide on YouTube on February 19, South African senior pastor and acting global senior leader Phil Dooley said the upcoming docuseries producers’ are deliberately mischaracterising Hillsong Church in order to “hurt it”. 

“There are those who are against what God is doing . . . and we’ve felt the pain of that,” Dooley said in the Feb.19 message. 

He said: “Sadly, there is a documentary about our church coming out soon. Surprise, surprise and that picture it paints is far removed from, I believe, the truth of who we are as a church.” 

“There are people who have been hurt by their experience in our church. And that saddens me. For those people, I say we are deeply sorry and we pray that you’ll find healing. 

“But there are also producers behind this documentary, and their purpose is not the healing of people but simply to hurt the church.”

Earlier this year, Hillsong’s founder Brian Houston, announced that he would be stepping aside as global senior pastor as he battles against criminal charges, which allege that he concealed his late father’s child sex offences. 

Phil Dooley and wife Lucinda are now Hillsong’s interim global pastors. 

Houston had previously announced in September of 2021 that he was stepping down from Hillsong Church boards.

Dooley went on to describe Hillsong Church’s efforts to provide digital education for children in a village outside Johannesburg, in order to improve their employment opportunities, as well as their work to provide shelter and care to Syrian refugees who had fled to Europe. 

He also highlighted Hillsong’s partnerships with humanitarian organisations like Compassion International and Vision Rescue.

Christian Post reported that Dooley tied his Februrary 19 message from Nehemiah 4 to the situation surrounding Hillsong. He seemed to compare the resistance Nehemiah faced to Hillsong’s controversies in recent years.

According to a synopsis of the docuseries it will “profile numerous ex-members of the church who have come forward to share harrowing allegations of the trauma, abuse, financial and labor exploitation that created a culture of chaos within the church”.

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One Comment

  1. The whole pattern of this allegation against HillSong, video, “people coming forward” and all, seems similar to the allegations against KwaSizaBantu Mission some time ago. Is there a subversive action against large ministries in South Africa? There are apporpriate and biblical ways to deal with problems in the church (Reference the Epistles of Paul). I can only encourage HillSong to consult with KwaSizaBantu Mission leadership in KZN.