Church in the Wild is a series of photographs that show the inside culture of Hillsong Church NYC. They are a non-denominational Christian ministry from Sydney, Australia, with a mission to, "...reach and influence the people of New York City by building a Christ-centred, Bible-based church, that changes mindsets and empowers people to drive the force of positive change in their communities." But with an ever-growing cult-like following that has attracted some famous celebrities and pop idols, is Hillsong the real deal or another name on the list of the thousands of churches in NYC? One thing is for certain: this isn't the usual Sunday Mass you attended with your grandparents as a kid.
With no permanent home, Hillsong - spearheaded by the "Apostle of Cool," Carl Lentz - transforms music venues all over Downtown Manhattan into a collective environment for worship every Sunday and Wednesday. Minus the wooden cross on display in every venue Hillsong occupies, you'd almost forget you're in a church service with the amount of leather, makeup and sheer NYC "hipsterdom."
Once inside the venue, the use of high-end stage lighting and modern-rock soundscapes set the atmosphere for a style of worship that has replaced the traditional hymns from previous generations of church-goers. This concert-like setting attracts a culture of young people from all walks of life who search for a place to belong and feel at home. Church in the Wild captures these moments of worship in this community as they set out to redefine their notion of family.