BREAKING: Robert has Instagram
After years of placeholder tags, long-time Hillsong pastor joins the ranks
After many years of resistance, Hillsong pastor Robert Fergusson finally has an Instagram account. The well-known biblical teacher and preacher announced the move in a post on his new account launched yesterday.
Fittingly, this major moment in social-media history began with Fergusson’s signature greeting: “Hello, you wonderful people.”
“My mission statement, is to teach people how to live in order to please God.” – Robert Fergusson
“This is a highly significant day, the 1st of July 2020, because after 46 years of preaching and teaching – 30 of them in Hillsong Church in Australia – I have finally been persuaded that I should put some of my teaching on social media,” Fergusson said.
Fergusson’s unflinching delivery style has made him something of a “fave” with Hillsongers and attendees of its various conferences. In more recent years, he and his wife Amanda also have worked with Hillsong’s songwriters on their lyrics to ensure their content is expressed in a manner consistent with Scripture.
Yet, despite being an integral part of Hillsong – a church which has “if it’s not on Instagram, it didn’t happen” included in its official vision statement – Fergusson has long rejected calls for him to register an account.
Instead, Fergusson has been tagged in posts by other church members with versions of a placeholder @robertneedsinstagram.
But now, the placeholder days are over and the celebrations will continue throughout Hillsong circles for days and weeks to come.
“My mandate, my mission statement, is to teach people how to live in order to please God. That is the whole purpose of this site, that is the whole purpose of my life. I am hoping that over the next few weeks and months, and perhaps years, you will – to use the old advertising adage – watch this space,” Fergusson said in his opening 1-minute Instagram post.
Fergusson is known to begin his sermons with unexpected anecdotes, such as, “In 1985, I was strolling through the Himalayas collecting photographic evidence of a recently discovered cold-tolerant insect species, when I came across a hermit who had been living in the region for 42 years” – to the great delight of those listening.
Eternity reached out to another denomination’s social media aficionado for a comment on Fergusson’s entrance into the online world.
Bill MacDonald – a popular minister and author of doctoral thesis Unbiblical: Hillsong song lyrics from March-July 1989 – said he wasn’t at all concerned because he knew Hillsongers never use the Bible. MacDonald completed his own research project to verify this fact after attending an evening outreach service with a guest preacher at Hillsong Conference in 1988. He has since had the opportunity to share his findings as a guest speaker at various conferences.
“Besides,” McDonald said, “I’ve just finished putting together a 278-page proposal for funding a Snapchat preaching channel that is scheduled to be debated at our annual synod later this year. Snapchat is where the kids are really at these days.”
This story is unfolding and Eternity will keep readers abreast of any updates.