March 30th marked a key milestone in moving forward with the “50-50 Roadmap” a strategy developed to help the leadership of Hillsong Africa grow and develop the church across the continent. The strategy is putting structure and process around a vision cast In August, 2020 by Phil Dooley, lead pastor of Hillsong Africa with his wife Lucinda – to see 50 new churches operating in 50 of the most influential cities across this continent within 20 years.
Hillsong has 23 operating church locations today across South Africa, some are smaller connects of a few hundred people while others are major hub centres with several thousand worshipping each weekend in cities such as in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Although we already had the privilege to review the roadmap package with Pastor Phil and a member of the Board last May when it was still in framework form, this week’s workshop involving Lucinda Dooley (seated to my right) and other senior leaders representing all functional oversights for Hillsong Africa, was a key alignment milestone and confirmed next steps to launch the strategy more broadly.
Since April 2021, I’ve had the privilege to work together with Lourens Kruger, Director of Operations for Hillsong Africa (seated to my left with the long beard) and a number of other excellent people who were hand-picked to speak into the development of the strategy. These included business and Christian ministry leaders and influencers, all who have roles responsible for their company’s or organization’s growth strategies across the 54 countries that represent the diverse continent of Africa.
Getting involved directly in church growth is something new for me in my journey as an Executive Advisor through Hands and Feet International. While my other roles over the past 8 years have primarily been serving as a senior operational leader, executive coach and project manager on projects such as the Innovation Hub Africa, this new role allows me to leverage my strategic planning, process mindset and program management experience to help plan and execute a strategy that, Lord willing will see Hillsong church operating in 50 of the most influential cities across this continent within 20 years. And if each of those churches grow to our target for larger “hub” centers of 5,000, that has the potential of reaching 250,000 people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Very exciting and honoured to be a part of designing and helping launch this key initiative. Given Africa’s current population of 1.4 billion people that is forecasted to balloon to over 2 billion by 2050, and with 60% of the entire continent aged below 25 years today, there should be a great fit and need for the youthful and vibrant worship and fresh message of hope and grace that is core to Hillsong church culture.
It’s also been exciting to start to outwork the strategy with three of our church leaders that I’ve started meeting with regularly and who are in the early days of planting a Hillsong church in Lagos, Nigeria; Nairobi, Kenya and Mauritius. I look forward to bringing future updates as we continue to roll out the pan-African strategy and see the continent impacted for the Kingdom!