Lucille Houston

California’s Hillsong’s First Lady. Husband Ben and Lucille founded the church in California, moving from Australia to Los Angeles over five years ago to establish it. They live in Los Angeles with their children,  Blaze Benjamin, Savannah Winter, Lexi Milan and Bailey Love.

Q: You are a woman with so many sides. Tell us about yourself. “I am a wifey and mama of four, married to Benjamin David, my best friend and husband of almost 15 years. We were both born and raised in Australia and are now living in Los Angeles along with our four amazing kids. We’re passionate about Jesus and building his church. Almost six years ago we left the comforts of our home in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia to move to the city of Angels to plant Hillsong California. It didn’t us take long before we fell in love with this city and the people in it! Being a lead pastor, a wife and a mama of four can often mean that life is full, wild and wonderful. But I truly believe that what God calls you to, he also has graces you for. We have seen first-hand His grace and goodness go before us every step of the way. I love all things health and fitness and have always had fun with fashion and the idea of creating something out of nothing. Whether that’s writing, putting together different looks or seeing a project come to life, from the conception of an idea through to the finished product. I love to have a good laugh and try not to take myself too seriously. I would also say I’m a confident introvert if you can wrap your head around that one! Haha!”

Q: Was it always your passion to serve the church?  “I was blessed enough to grow up going to church, but it wasn’t until I was sixteen that I made a personal decision to follow Jesus for myself. I had a lot of things going on in my family at the time that would weigh on my heart. The house of God quickly became a safe haven for me and a place that I always felt a sense of home and community. I knew I would end up in ministry because I saw first-hand the impact that Jesus and his church had on my life. And I wanted to be part of helping others find that for themselves too.”

Q: When did you and your husband decide that you wanted to go in ministry full time? “When I met Ben, I knew straight away that he had something really special on his life. He grew up seeing what being in ministry looked like because of his family. But I love that he went on his own journey to find the calling that God had for him personally. He’s always been a lover of people, so in a way he’s always been a pastor at heart! As for me, I remember being young and knowing that I wanted to spend my life building the church, but had no idea what that would look like! I think whenever you have something in your heart, it’s there for a reason. And when you trust God with it and take faith steps, he’s always faithful to guide us along the way.”

Q: Tell us about the move from Australia to Los Angeles.  “The truth is the unknown will always come with an element of fear. The trick is to feel the fear and do it anyway. Part of my journey was learning that if God called me to it, he would also grace me for it! To be honest, it felt like a whirlwind. I would be lying if I said that season didn’t come with its doubts. We had three kids under five at the time. It was a huge decision to move away from friends and family and everything that was comfortable. We actually had a lot of issues with our visas coming over. That meant that we had to travel back and forth to Australia with all the kids during that first year. 15-hour flights with three babies. My prayer life went to new levels! Haha! Sometimes when I didn’t know what to pray, I would just keep it short and sweet. “Fix it Jesus!” Haha. Looking back, the gold I got from that season was getting a personal revelation of how desperate and hungry I was to actually be here and get our hands dirty, loving the city and pointing people to Jesus. Often times we don’t find the gold in the season until much later. In reflection, I know God was going before us and had a plan in the process all along.”

Q: How do you prioritize your time, while also finding “you” time? “Finding a great balance is something that I think we all struggle with at times. If I’m not careful, it’s very easy to fill up the calendar with so much that I don’t allow time for myself. But a few years ago, I realized that in order to be the best wife and mama that I could be and also do what God has called us to do, it meant that I needed to make time for the things that fed my soul. I’m always quick to encourage people to find those things for themselves too because I actually do believe that one of the greatest gifts you can give to others is a happy, healthy and strong you. I love working out and living a healthy lifestyle. I try to make it a priority in my life. I love feeling like my best self and need all the energy I can get to chase after four kids! So practically, I don’t leave it to chance. I actually plan out times to workout as well as time to read or recharge.”

Q: What are some of the challenges that come with being in ministry? “One of the things that I’ve been surprised with as far as challenges that I’ve faced pastoring has been in regulating to learn how to guard my own heart. The truth is, we don’t have a normal 9-5 job that we clock in and out of. We are doing life with people. Sometimes when you’re doing the seasons together, you walk through some really tough things together. If I’m not guarding my heart and giving everything back to Jesus at times, I can harbor those things and allow them to weigh on my heart in an unhealthy way. This is why it’s so important to remind myself of the fact that I don’t have to do this alone. Truth is, I can’t mend a broken heart. It’s only Jesus that can do that. I can love someone right where they are at and I can walk the journey with them. The moment I try doing what we do in my own strength is the moment I struggle because I need Jesus! Everyday!”

Q: How do you find peace? What does love mean to you? “I heard something recently spoken by one of our amazing leaders at church that summed up what I have learned. When it comes to finding peace, peace is not a feeling, it’s a posture. Often we can think that in order to ‘have peace’ we need to be laying on a beach or getting away from the routine of our lives. But the beauty of the peace of God is that you can be in the busiest most demanding season of your life and still have access to his perfect peace in the midst of that exact moment. That’s the thing, it’s not something we can wrap our minds’ around! The word tells us that the peace God offers us surpasses our understanding! It’s not normal! And I believe his peace is something we get when we learn to constantly come back to him, rely on him, and do the great exchange. His peace for our worry, his strength for our weakness. When you get good at going to God with what overwhelms you and continually do that great exchange… and it doesn’t matter what season you find yourself in, his peace is available to you right there.”

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Q: What brings you the most joy? “I would say seeing people come to church who were lost and broken, seeing them find Jesus and a church family  and seeing people who love and believe in Him, watching their lives completely change. It never gets old. It doesn’t mean life is perfect, but they find a home in the best sense of the word. It’s the greatest thing to witness. My family will also forever be one of the greatest joys of my life. Sometimes I look at them and can’t believe their mine. I often say this to people. I think I learn more from my kids sometimes than they do from me. I consider being a wife and a mama to be my highest calling and greatest joy.”

Q: Tell us about your recipe for a happy home and relationship? “One of the best things about our relationship is that we laugh together. Sounds so simple, but we make sure that we have fun with each other and with our kids. Sometimes the best way to diffuse an argument or even break some negative tension in your home is to laugh together! Ben and I dated for three years before we were married, and we were only teenagers. I was 16 and he was 19 (crazy!). We became best friends before we ever dated. So I think having a great friendship is also really important. It’s a great foundation for any relationship. I really do feel like I get to do life with my best friend! I would say a non-negotiable in our relationship has been keeping Jesus at the center of it all. We all know life is not perfect and relationships can be hard. But no matter what season we have been in when it comes to our marriage and our family, even if it’s been a bad one, we’ve always made the decision that we will never stop and set up camp there! Having Jesus at the center means we continually have him pulling us forward. As we continue to position ourselves in His word and in His house, it’s amazing how you can walk through a bad season and then look back and realize you’re in a different place. When it comes to a happy home, I would say make sure you realize the power you have in setting the tone of your household. If I’m stressed and bring that home, my kids feel that and it changes the atmosphere. I want my home to be a safe haven and a place that we all genuinely look forward to coming back to. I want it to be a breath of fresh air, full of life and that my family loves to be at because they can be themselves and be surrounded with people who love them. Realizing that you have the power to set that tone is important.”

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