A recent article from ‘The Outback Berean’ alerts its readers to the current inner workings and ‘drama’ surrounding “the abrupt departure of the pastor couple Jenny and David Hasseløy in Hillsong Oslo”.
Given their status in 2020, are these current events relevant to the culture already exposed back in 2015 – when Church Watch Central published several articles written by a Hillsong ‘insider’ attending Hillsong Oslo. Ps. Chris Rosebrough from Fighting For The Faith also interviewed the insider ‘Elizabeth’ as well. All three articles and podcast can be accessed here:
HILLSONG WILL INVESTIGATE WHY PASTORS QUIT
HILLSONG NORWAY WILL MAP THE CULTURE IN THE MANAGEMENT AND THE ASSEMBLIES. THEY HAVE ASKED FOR EXTERNAL HELP.
After some turbulent weeks in the Hillsong congregations, the national leadership sent out information to members for the first time on Saturday night. Previously, they have only briefly commented on the abrupt departure of the pastor couple Jenny and David Hasseløy in Hillsong Oslo in early August.
“It was not wanted or wanted by us, but we both respect and bless David and Jenny further in what is now ahead,” wrote board chairman Rune Sørbø to Dagen after the departure.
Hillsong has a duty to provide information
Since then, the pastor couple Kamilla and Alexander Botn in Hillsong Drammen have also resigned. They justified the dismissal with a lack of confidence in the way Hillsong Norway is managed. A leadership of nine in Hillsong Drammen also withdrew because they experience little influence on how the congregation is run and that it was difficult to have ownership.
Just before the weekend, the so-called service pastors Heidi and David Haddeland in Hillsong Oslo announced that they were leaving. “Culture, structure and lack of confidence in how the church is run today, means that we have unfortunately reached this decision,” the couple wrote on social media. The management of Hillsong Norway has not commented on the recent departures in Drammen and Oslo. But internally in the network of Pentecostal churches there is great unrest and many questions. On Saturday, leader Øystein Gjerme of the Pentecostal movement’s leadership council went out in Dagen said that it was Hillsong who has a duty to provide information in this matter. He expressed concern that conflicts could leave lasting traces, especially in young people.
Sent mail Saturday
On Saturday night, Stein Inge Håland sent out an e-mail to members of Hillsong. He has had an overall leadership role for the Hillsong congregations in Western Norway. Andreas Hasseløy has held a similar position for the congregations in Eastern Norway. The letter is signed by Håland as «general manager» for Hillsong Norway. At the bottom of the case, you can read the entire letter.
Will map the culture in Hillsong
In the email, Håland writes that “we are in a rather special season for our church”. He expresses understanding that it has created concern, unrest and frustration for many. Then he informs about a number of measures:
Hillsong will conduct a survey and receive external advice so that they can “implement the necessary measures to develop the organization and leadership in the right direction that builds a healthy church.”
- Hillsong has asked for help from the Leadership Council in the Pentecostal movement by Øystein Gjerme. A global team from Hillsong will also contribute. They must bring in external expertise in the work.
- A plan will be presented to all the congregations when it is finished.
It is not known who will be involved in the survey, what mandate or deadline they have. It is also not known how large the survey will be.
Annual meeting Tuesday
The e-mail states that there is an annual meeting “next week”. To Dagen, Håland informs that there is an annual meeting on Tuesday 8 September. The annual meeting consists of the local leadership teams, called LPT, in each ward. As far as Dagen is aware, these teams are not elected by the congregations, but selected by the leadership of the congregations. A new board shall be elected at the annual meeting. It is already known that Julie Kordahl in Oslo does not want re-election. Håland states that Leif Emil Brekke from Stavanger will not be re-elected either. It is not known who sits on the nomination committee or who has been proposed for new board members.
Extended authority to the board
Håland informs Dagen that the new board will have an extended mandate “to work independently of the current management in mapping the health of Hillsong Norway”, both in the management and the assembly. They will return with more information after the annual meeting on Tuesday. The annual meeting is digital.
In the email, Håland states that information gatherings are planned in several congregations. Last week there was a gathering in Hillsong Oslo. The day is informed that there were between 50 and 100 present, and it must have been amp when it was not opened for questions from the hall. Both Jostein Krogedal and Stein Inge Håland are said to have been present at the gathering. There will also be a new gathering in Oslo and Drammen on 10 September. In Kristiansand, there will be a gathering on 9 September. On September 10, there will be gatherings in Stavanger and Sandnes, Ålesund and Egersund. In the email, Håland states that questions will be opened at all gatherings.
READ THE FULL LETTER TO HILLSONG MEMBERS HERE. YOU CAN READ THE WHOLE LETTER THAT WENT OUT SATURDAY NIGHT, SIGNED STEIN INGVE HÅLAND, GENERAL MANAGER OF HILLSONG NORWAY:
Hi everyone in Hillsong Norway
We are in a very special season for our church. Especially in Eastern Norway, the church is undergoing major changes in a short time.
I know that this creates concern, unrest and frustration for many, something we have great understanding for. We want to create a culture where we become better at openness.
We will do our best to map out why more of our leaders choose to quit, and find out how we can build a healthier church to prevent this in the future. Our desire is always to take care of each other, seek reconciliation and good relationships, even through challenging seasons. In recent weeks, we have received the resignation of several key leaders in Hillsong Norway. This has been a sad experience, and they leave great voids in our church. We are so grateful for the time we have had together, and wish them and their loved ones all the best for the future. Regardless of the cause, this is both worrying and a signal that we take seriously.
Based on this, we see the importance of investigating what is the basis for the dismissals, and conduct a survey and get external advice so that we can implement the necessary measures to develop the organization and leadership in the right direction that builds a healthy church.
Next week at the annual meeting, a new board will be elected that will work independently of the current management to map the health of Hillsong Norway (both in management and in our assembly) and make a plan for necessary measures. This will be the board’s most important task in the time ahead. We have involved the global team that will be involved in this process, as well as requested help from the Leadership Council at Øystein Gjerme. We will bring in external expertise that will do a thorough job, where a plan will be presented for all the locations as soon as it is completed.
At several of our locations, we have planned information gatherings as we know that the need for information is great. The first took place in Oslo on 3 September.
Furthermore, there will be a gathering in Kristiansand on 9 September, and a new gathering for Oslo & Drammen on 10 September, as well as gatherings on 10 September in Stavanger & Sandnes, in Ålesund and in Egersund.
Meetings are also planned in Trondheim. In all these gatherings, questions will be opened.
Registration and practical information you will find via our websites. We work closely with our location pastors to take care of the people in our church, and that is the most important thing we do now.
We also work to improve our internal communication for both employees and volunteers, and then externally. In all this, we as a church must continue to share the gospel of Jesus to Norway, and create a meeting point where we can come together to worship and share the word of God.
We have faith in the peace of God that transcends all understanding and pray that we will all feel His presence and guidance today and the time ahead. Do not hesitate to contact us or your manager if you have questions or need someone to talk to. Join in praying for the church and each other.
Sincerely, Stein Ingve Håland General Manager at Hillsong Norway.
Original article written by: Astrid Dalehaug Norheim and Klaus Gustafsson
Sat 05 Sep 2020, at 20:30 – Sat 05 Sep. 2020, at 20:31
Translation credit: I translated it as best as I could. #tOB
Source: The Outback Berean, https://outbackberean.wordpress.com, https://outbackberean.wordpress.com/2020/09/08/hillsong-will-investigate-why-pastors-quit/?fbclid=IwAR2BrfT5CY_RiP3rOx7EJFSRQjJCuYnYs–ZHjn798JpVMPTRiaf_UUQ4Yg Published Sept 8, 2020. (Accessed Sept 9, 2020.)
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