Ahead of Phil Dooley’s first Hillsong Conference as the global lead pastor of the megachurch, he shares the church’s new vision to restore Hillsong’s tarnished reputation after a series of scandals involving his predecessors in recent years.
In a June 27 interview with Sydney-based Christian radio station Hope 103.2, Dooley acknowledged that Hillsong has been through a “difficult season.” He also noted that the departures of former Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston and former Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz attracted “quite a bit of media attention.”
He however contends that “public perception is not always the greatest.” “We need to rebuild trust, and that’s earned,” he said. Dooley also professed that the megachurch is gradually recovering after a hit in its reputation. He further added that the conference scheduled for Monday through Wednesday will ‘bring some new vision.”
“We’ve got a clear vision for our church, a healthy church — changing lives through Christ. We want [the conference] to be about developing healthy teams, developing health [leaders], hearing from different people who maybe we haven’t heard from their perspective at [the] conference,” Dooley said.
“I think for a lot of the Church. I don’t think it was just Hillsong, we became quite event-driven. Sunday becomes the event, and conferences are the events, and how do we get everyone to the events? What we are really shifting to is we want to be focused around our mission. We have defined our mission in three areas,” Dooley said. “Building healthy church communities, creating significant sustainable social impact, and developing purposeful Jesus followers.”
Phil Dooley and his wife Lucina Dolley were appointed Hillsong Church’s global senior pastor on February 5, 2023. Their appointment came 1 year after Hillsong founder Brian Houston officially resigned as the Global senior pastor.
Houston resigned on March 23, 2023, following a violation of the church’s code of conduct. Following his “leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures,” Lentz got fired November 2020