Hillsong Worship, the praise and worship team for the scandal-ridden Hillsong Church, announced today it is pulling out of an 18-city concert tour with Casting Crowns that’s set to begin in just over two weeks.
“Hillsong Worship has asked to be withdrawn from the upcoming Casting Crowns/Hillsong Worship tour with We The Kingdom,” a statement on Hillsong Worship’s social media pages read. The group is “deeply disappointed,” the statement continued. But in light of Hillsong Church’s situation now, not going on tour “puts the health and well-being of the people on our team first,” according to the statement.
Hillsong’s global church is splintering in the wake of founder Brian Houston’s resignation following revelations of misconduct.
Two former Hillsong churches are set to relaunch on Easter after cutting ties with the movement. The pastor of a third church that’s splitting from Hillsong has said Hillsong’s Global Board exercised heavy-handed control and sought to keep secrets, sometimes by forcing pastors to sign non-disclosure and noncompete agreements.
The worldwide church was also the focus of a critical documentary series recently released on Discovery+. Hillsong leadership has said the documentary doesn’t paint an accurate picture of the church.
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Hillsong Worship stated it is “an extension of and expression of Hillsong Church—a collective of our local church worship teams.” Hillsong Worship members are “either on staff at Hillsong Church or volunteers at” Hillsong campuses, according to the statement.
“Now is the time for us to humbly seek the Lord, to grieve in hope and to heal in community, together,” the statement continued. The team apologized for pulling out of the tour and said it was “devastated” to do so.
The tour is still slated to kick off April 22 in Tupelo, Mississippi.
Mark Hall, the lead singer of Casting Crowns, acknowledged Hillsong Worship’s departure from the tour in a statement today.
“Their church is hurting right now, and they’re going through some stuff,” Hall said in a video on Facebook. “Hillsong Worship, they’re a church-based ministry . . . and when your church is hurting, you need to be with your people. That’s what the body of Christ does. So they’re going to be home walking this season out with their people, and we’re going to be out on the road loving on you guys.”
Hillsong Worship formed in 1983 at Hillsong’s flagship church in Sydney, Australia, and its music is now sung by an estimated 50 million people each week. The group has put out more than 80 albums and several current or former members have also had major solo careers.
Sarah Einselen is an award-winning writer and editor based in Texas.
10 thoughts on “Hillsong Worship Pulls Out of Tour with Casting Crowns, We the Kingdom”
How did worship deflate into mere music, song? I think of Romans 12:1,2. Disconform to the world? Renewing of your mind? All in Romans, but I don’t see this depth of worship in mere singing. It’s about a whole life tuned to the mind of Christ.
Exactly! I hate how people have turned the word “worship” into a synonym for CCM. That is not the definition of worship.
When secular record labels started running the Christian music industry.
I was a secular musician before I got saved. I learned how the music biz worked. It’s about what sells.
Then I became a believer and for a while was a music buyer for a Christian retail chain in the late 90s. I got an insider look. CCM basically got replaced by cheesy “worship” music which made profits. And we never looked back.
No doubt there are REAL worship music artists out there like Andrew Peterson, Bethany Barnard, etc. but they are few and far between.
Sorry to say it’s mostly a money making popularity racket. We can be do gullible. Be a Berean and watch worship artists’ life and doctrine.
A not so popular observation is that Hillsong long ago stopped being a church and digressed into the music and entertainment industry. When a church service turns into a performance-based event, when the center of attention becomes all about me and my band, when musicians have to dance and jiggle across the stage, worship then became the worship of the band and style of music that drowns out any message initially thought to be important.
It is very unfortunate. that should not happen. They are not responsible for the leadership’s mistakes.
They are not being forced to withdraw by somebody else. It sounds like they want it for themselves so that they can heal as a church
Very true, Its not their fault. Sadly ppl are throwing stones because they think they are better. They are not. EVERY CHURCH has its problems. Idc who you are. We are not perfect ppl.
How did we get to the point in Christianity where worship of God has turned into money-making theatre, with a watered-down/false gospel as the rallying cry? There shouldn’t even be a “tour” for them to have to pull out of. Jesus is not in the business of entertainment.
We need worship music. I for one am very blessed by it. So are many ppl. Before you judge get to know the ppl. Some are for the money some are not. You can tell in the music.
While there is plenty of room to criticize Hillsong (especially based on recent findings and events), I would like to caution us against criticizing different styles of worship and/or praise music. While I have a preference for traditional gospel music, Songs of Zion hymns, and worship styles rooted in the culture and community of the African-American church (large choirs, testimonials, hand-clapping, call-and-response during the sermon, etc), I honor that others have a preference for other styles. It does not make one style right or wrong or better or worse than the other. I say that as someone who has seen churches quarrel and split over this.
What matters is that we are actively praising and worshipping our God for who He is according to the Word. If you do that while singing or listening to classic hymns, great! But don’t belittle those who prefer CCM, Cece Winans, Kirk Franklin, or the LA Mass Choir. I’ve seen many introduced to Christ through their music.
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