Brian Houston Says Hillsong Church Won’t Sing ‘Oceans’ or ‘Shout to the Lord’ Anymore

This weekend, Hillsong Senior Pastor Brian Houston explained why new visitors to his global, multi-site church originally based in Australia won’t hear two of the most popular songs their worship bands have ever recorded. As The Christian Post notes, while speaking at Atlanta’s Catalyst, Houston explained that,

When it comes to influence, predictability is our enemy. Because you never get influence from doing things the way they've always been done. You get influence from creating new ways … Thank God for innovation. Thank God for creativity ... Spontaneity is our friend in the church.

For them, that means not singing two of the most popular modern worship songs ever recorded.

You may be shocked to hear we don't sing 'Shout to the Lord' anymore at Hillsong Church. It's not 1993. If you come all the way to Australia and you hope to hear 'Shout to the Lord,' your chances are slight. We don't even sing 'Oceans' much anymore.

Along with their global church plants and multi-site locations, Hillsong has been home to some of the most influential worship artists in the last 30 years, including Hillsong’s worship band (originally led by Darlene Zschech and Reuben Morgan), Hillsong United and Hillsong Young & Free.

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Aaron David Musch

1

Aaron David Musch commented…

"Won't'" and "don't much" are vastly different.

Sal

13

Sal commented…

If Hillsong kept singing all the older songs, when would there be time to sing new songs? Pretty sure the Bible talks about singing a new song to the Lord.

Shout to the Lord and Oceans aren't bad, they're just a reflection of what God was doing in 1993 and 2013 at Hillsong. We're now approaching 2017. And God is doing something new.

Of course God can and will encounter us through older songs but when it comes to Hillsong specifically, God has anointed them to CREATE worship music. New songs will keep flowing out of the church because that is their calling. They simply cannot afford to dwell in the past, the old glory days.

But they're not against old music! I have personally been at Hillsong and we have sung old powerful hymns like Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art, etc.

8 Comments

Jeff Ling

1

Jeff Ling commented…

So I'm guessing that Holy, Holy, Holy; How Great Thou Art and A Mighty Fortress are off the table as well?

Sal

13

Sal replied to Jeff Ling's comment

We've definitely sung Holy Holy Holy and How Great Thou Art at Hillsong, and other hymns. :)

Sal

13

Sal commented…

If Hillsong kept singing all the older songs, when would there be time to sing new songs? Pretty sure the Bible talks about singing a new song to the Lord.

Shout to the Lord and Oceans aren't bad, they're just a reflection of what God was doing in 1993 and 2013 at Hillsong. We're now approaching 2017. And God is doing something new.

Of course God can and will encounter us through older songs but when it comes to Hillsong specifically, God has anointed them to CREATE worship music. New songs will keep flowing out of the church because that is their calling. They simply cannot afford to dwell in the past, the old glory days.

But they're not against old music! I have personally been at Hillsong and we have sung old powerful hymns like Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art, etc.

Will Thomas

2

Will Thomas commented…

Maybe enough time has passed to bring back this oldie, but goodie.
https://youtu.be/U6tV679wXIU

Aaron David Musch

1

Aaron David Musch commented…

"Won't'" and "don't much" are vastly different.

Matt Billingsley

3

Matt Billingsley commented…

There are a few big churches out there that have made a similar move, taking buzz worship songs off of their worship teams' set list, because it is attached to a sense of idolization. It goes beyond "God doing a new thing", it's more about the church staff and perhaps the church itself being in a bubble, and being sick of playing the same songs over & over again. Perhaps it's even connected to a desire to intervene from times of worship functioning as a concert, where people show up to hear their favorite band play favorite song. I wonder - if someone from the US flew to Australia to hear "Shout To The Lord" at Hillsong Church & didn't get to hear their favorite song - would they go to the Welcome desk and ask for their offering back? ;)

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