Hillsong’s JD Discusses New Movie and Album: ‘We’ve Got a God Who’s in Control’
By Movieguide® Staff
Hillsong UNITED recently released a joint album and concert movie called THE PEOPLE TOUR: LIVE FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN on Jan. 29, 2021. UNITED band member, worship leader and singer Jonathon Douglass, aka JD, sat down with Movieguide® to discuss their new project and the encouragement it can provide during COVID-19.
JD said that when the band started nearly 20 years ago, playing in Madison Square Garden was not on the radar. However, as God blessed JD and Hillsong’s music, the opportunity to minister across the globe became a reality.
“Everything we do is just kind of reflection of that journey and what we’re passionate about,” JD told Movieguide®. “And obviously, our faith in God. I’m trying to really show and encourage others that, ‘Hey, everyone doesn’t have to be in a worship band or tour the world.’ But our story has been very much just using what God’s put in our hands and using it to fulfill what’s been in our hearts, and thats been music and creativity.”
JD continued: “It hasn’t happened overnight. It started out when we’re in our youth group 20 plus years ago. And our big goal was to maybe write songs that our friends in our high school would enjoy. There was no plan or desire or dream to travel around the world, but I just think that is a story of the grace of God.”
JD maintained that the band’s success comes from surrendering their projects to God’s will and not their personal hope for a song.
“When we just use whatever we’ve got, give it to God and steward it the best that we can, God breathes on it and blesses it,” JD said.
JD hopes that people facing struggles amid the pandemic find hope through the album and documentary.
“It’s pointing people to get [their] eyes off your situation and the things that you don’t have right now, and understand that we’ve got a God who’s in control who isn’t shocked by a pandemic and created us to be united,” JD said. “We want to gather around what we believe in and what we agree on, not what we disagree on, and just see what God can do in that kind of atmosphere.”
He added: “God hasn’t gone on a break. God saw this coming, and God hasn’t changed, His word hasn’t changed. These songs, they’re all based around the truth of God’s word. I think when we declare them, and we let them into a spirit, there’s going to help us do whatever God’s called us to do today. That’s really our hope, that it would be encouraged in the faith [and that] it would grow as a result.”
JD also said that he watched the movie with his three children, which reminded him of the importance of being present for your children and loved ones, even in lockdown.
“When it came out a few days ago, I watched it with my three kids, and when my wife sat down and watched it, it’s kind of cool to show them what daddy does when he goes away,” JD explained. “I think that even if you are with your kids all the time, you can be in a moment with them but not be present. My No. 1 silver lining through this whole season is to be able to have a break from traveling and just be home and be present.”
JD also mentioned that the crew is working on a new album.
“I’m excited because we’re in the middle of creating a new record… We feel like the timing is right to write the next record, and we’re super excited about it,” JD said.
“There’s so many dimensions to who God is and His character. We believe that we can keep telling that story in a way that’s never been told before,” JD continued. “We will submit our songs. That’s always a fun process when we have to make changes. But we think it’s a great process. And it’s only there to strengthen up our songs. We always want them to not just be our cool random ideas, but I think they’re powerful when they’re based on the truth of God and who he is.”