Hillsong must do things 'differently', says interim leader

Pastor Phil Dooley Speaks at Hillsong "Vision Sunday" on Feb. 20, 2022.(Photo: YouTube/Hillsong)

Hillsong is making changes, Interim Global Senior Pastor, Phil Dooley, has told members of the scandal-hit church.

Dooley said in a message to the church that he could not comment on the latest allegation - pertaining to financial mismanagement - as the matter is before the court. 

He said that the church would respond to the allegations with "humility, love and prayer", and that it was prepared to make changes if necessary. 

"While I'd like to provide you with more specific details I unfortunately cannot, because while the claims can be publicised, it is inappropriate to respond or comment publicly because the matter is before the court," he said.

"However, I can assure you that my heart, and the desire of our leadership, is to deal with this matter as we approach any other issue – with humility, love, and prayer.

"While I have been advised that during the court process we will defend these claims, I also acknowledge that there are many things we must do – and are already doing – differently to how we have operated in the past." 

Dooley the church was committed to making "significant" changes to its organisational structure and that "we are today a different church to what we were even a year ago". 

The message was sent to members of Hillsong after a lawsuit was filed by former employee Natalie Moses.

According to ABC News, she claims that Hillsong tried to avoid its charity obligations by moving money through overseas entities.

The lawsuit alleges a "cowboy culture" in which finances were apparently misappropriated and "large cash gifts" made to the family of founding pastor, Brian Houston, who resigned earlier this year ahead of his trial over whether he concealed knowledge of his father's sexual abuse.

The ABC report also states that Hillsong has been under investigation by the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission since March.