My involvement in Pentecostal worship began at the age of fifteen, when I penned an internationally Top 100 charting congregational song ‘Jesus what a beautiful name’. My involvement as a worship leader and songwriter was fostered within the Hillsong worship team, where I administrated the youth band Hillsong United for six years. This extended into a scholarly interest in Pentecostal churches around the globe, particularly in globalizing urban cities. While much existing work into worship has stymied around issues of style, my interest is less in particular instrumentation and more upon the efficacy of worship. This continuing interest has drawn me towards the ways Pentecostal churches use the arts and imagination as cultural production, to facilitate effective social change.
My PhD study investigates post-mission era Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christianity in Australia. In particular I am conducting an ethnographic study of the “Indigenous advantage” of indigenous leadership for members of urban communities. Spanning the East and West coastal centres of Australia (Perth, Sydney, Cairns, The Gold Coast), it concerns a new and emergent initiative within the Assemblies of God Australia (Australian Christian Churches). As such, my current work can be described as located in the nexus between the anthropology of Christianity, Pentecostal studies and development.