Hillsong United On Their New Documentary ‘Let… by Uinterview

Hillsong United, the Australia-based Christian pop/rock band, is featured in a new documentary called Let Hope Rise about the band and the global Hillsong Church.

Hillsong United On ‘Let Hope Rise’

Before Hillsong United members JD, Taya Smith and Jad Gilles ever even dreamed of starring in a documentary, they were just three kids involved in the youth ministry at Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. But they were led by their pastors alongside others like them to follow their passions, which sparked the creation of the music that’s now sung in churches around the globe – and that features prominently in Let Hope Rise.

According to JD, their pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston encouraged them “to just do whatever it is we were passionate about, and do it unto the glory of God.” Jad further explained, “For us, that was the creativity and our music, and so, we really just got about trying to write songs that our friends, and our schools and our community would kind of enjoy, that explain our heart and passion and relationship with God.”

The fame that followed putting their music out there was unexpected to the Hillsong United singers. But nothing was perhaps more unexpected than getting approached for the Let Hope Rise documentary.

“No one was more surprised than us. We thought it was actually a joke at first,” Jad told uInterview. “As it turns out, they committed [after meeting with us], and here we are today.”

Initially, it proved hard for the group to get accustomed to the near-constant presence of cameras filming their every move for Let Hope Rise. But, as JD points out, being in front of people, putting themselves out there is all a part of what they do. And they do it for the sake of sharing their faith.

“Even just being worship leaders, whether we’ve been at church, or traveling around the world, we’re standing on a stage in front of people,” JD said. “But, really for us, our job is to get everyone’s attention so that we can put their attention on to God. And so we’re very much aware of that. It’s a surreal experience for sure, and I think we just kind of live with this uncomfortable feeling because we know… It’s the tagline of the film – “It’s not about us; It’s about Him – and that’s the absolute truth.”

While the talk of being “Christian celebrities” doesn’t quite feel comfortable for them yet, JD, Taya and Jad all acknowledge the power of their reach, especially with their documentary now in theaters. They hope that those who catch the film get something out of it, whether it be big or small.

“We just hope the people walk away with their heads a little higher than when they first walked in,” said Taya. “And we hope that they’ll be inspired with whatever is in their hands to do, and they’ll be encouraged. If they’ve never even encountered Jesus, maybe they would see it through this film. Especially, that they would see that if God can do something in our very ordinary, normal lives, he could definitely do something in their lives, extraordinary.”

Let Hope Rise is currently in select theaters.