Bobbie Houston: The world is ripe for harvest

Bobbie and Brian Houston lead Hillsong Church together.

People are searching for God, and we're entering into an "enormous harvest", Bobbie Houston told Christian Today.

Speaking ahead of this week's Hillsong Europe Conference in London, Houston - who leads the megachurch alongside her husband, Brian - said that God is on the move in the local church, and Hillsong hopes to equip it.

"I really do believe we're really on, not even the edge, I think we're more than on the edge of an enormous harvest," she said.

"People are so hungry for the truth. We don't have to scratch the surface very far to find a searching heart - I really do believe that. And so I think I personally want to see that heightened, and our ability to reach searching humanity increase, and I want us to do that together. That's the gospel message since the word go, and could be true of every generation that wants to serve God, but I just feel that the way the world is... it's ripe unto harvest. It's just ready. Sometimes the fruit's not ready to be picked from the tree, and then a little bit later it is ready, and I think it's ready.

"Globally, people are just ready and hungry."

This is Hillsong's message at every level, and the church is adamant that its conferences - of which there are several each year - are all about championing the cause of the local church, and its communities.

"The Hillsong Conference is a leadership conference," Bobbie said. "Brian and I vehemently believe in the local church; we believe that part of what Hillsong can bring to the greater global church table is to be a great advocate of the local church; not our local church, but everybody's.

"The local church around the world is broad, it's diverse, and it's beautiful. So the conferences exist to champion that, whatever you're called to do...If we all as local churches can become better at what we do - more relatable, more impacting and influential in society - then we're going to be prepared for whatever God wants to do."

With multiple campuses worldwide - including London, New York and, South Africa and Ukraine - Hillsong certainly has a global reach. "I think God gets the glory on that one," Bobbie said.

"I'm not saying that every local church has that calling on them, but I think our church has. Our music plays a huge part in that because of the door it opens to the human heart, but a lot of people listen to the music and that's it. They don't realise that the music is an expression of...a local church that's passionately in love with God, and just wanting to do its best."

Bobbie works extensively with the Hillsong Sisterhood. It has its own conference, Colour, which takes place in London and Sydney every year, and will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2016. For her, women in leadership has "never been a theological issue," she said.

"Brian's always believed in women - I think he believed in women and released women before he even knew that that's what he was doing. It's part of our DNA, and I think the fruit of it bears witness that it's good [and] that it's not divisive."

Women are involved in all parts of Hillsong, she added, "from the highest leadership right through. We're in this together."

"I don't give it a lot of thought, because it's just natural to us. And I don't cast judgement on other places - we've all got to be true to our convictions - but I love that we are awakening, and I love that hopefully by the grace of God, we can showcase a great example of men and women working together for the Kingdom's cause.

"It's not one or the other; it's together. God created us that way, he created us male and female [and commissioned us] together - multiply, increase, have dominion - so for me, it's never been an issue. And so I love that there's an awakening."

Hillsong Conference is being held 22-24 July at the O2 Arena in London.