Joel Houston, the American Music and Billboard award-winning musician, songwriter, pastor of Hillsong NYC, and front-man with the world-renowned Hillsong United , chronicles in candid vulnerability some of the unexpected struggles and steps he navigated on his unlikely personal and spiritual journey in this poignant book based on the band’s multi-platinum selling song, ＂Oceans (Where Feet May Fail).＂
One of today’s most influential Christian leaders, Joel Houston has been the pen behind dozens of the songs that have served as ＂the soundtrack of our faith,＂ earning him numerous awards and propelling the worship band Hillsong United to the top of the charts in both Christian and mainstream culture, selling more than twenty million albums world-wide and filling arenas and stadiums across the earth.
Yet few of the many who sing the songs know just how intrinsic Houston’s own personal and spiritual odyssey has been, giving shape and form to the very sound and words that have come to resonate with believers and unbelievers alike across the spectrum of culture.
Wrestling with the pressures of a platform he long tried to avoid, Joel reveals how stepping into his own fears and insecurities, and learning by way of failure and doubt have been the catalyst to his journey. From the suburbs of Sydney, to the streets of New York City, Joel discovers how the great unknown between where we find ourselves, and where we are headed is an ocean filled with hidden dangers and hidden wonders—and yet, how it’s only in embracing the mystery, come hell or high water do we begin to understand our purpose and calling.
In this, the band’s first book, Joel explores faith in a modern world, landing in the unlikeliest of places, at the end of every unexpected step. How the wonder of a childlike trust should never get old in the pursuit of spiritual maturity—how the beauty, truth and goodness of God is best revealed in the messy places—and how every fall and failure along the way is met and caught by a deeper understanding of a Redemptive God who has never failed, and won’t start now.
In The Great Unknown: Where Feet May Fail, Houston shares his experiences in candid-vulnerability, drawing on the prayer so beautifully captured in the lyrics of ＂Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)＂:
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders,
Let me walk upon the waters,
wherever You would call me,
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander,
And my faith will be made stronger,
In the presence of my Savior.
Expanding on the poetry of his lyrics, Joel’s use of imagery and storytelling has a way of tearing at the layers we were never meant to carry and speaking into the depths we were never meant to hide. His candid-vulnerability in sharing his own experiences, tried and failed, and how the process of shedding the layers that weighed him down along the way, strikes a chord in the depths of anyone who has ever wrested with fear, insecurity or any sense of not measuring up. All the while deeply inspiring and challenging, Joel confronts his own searching questions in the mystery of Art, and the profound foolishness of love—as a means to understanding the incomprehensible nature of God. How the best answers are found in the very questions that have no answers—and how every Unknown step leads us into a deeper revelation or truth, and a greater awareness of how God’s faithfulness is revealed on the other side of our trust.
Joel leads us into the path he has learned the hard way to follow—into an adventure of trust that has us looking at the future eyes-wide with wonder, and a hearts-full and ready for the unexpected beauty in whatever God does next.
Whether you are a fan of Hillsong United, know the music or not, The Great Unknown: Where Feet May Fail stands on its own as essential reading for anyone with dreams and desires bigger than themselves, anyone facing fear, failure or heartbreak, and anyone searching for a deeper purpose or meaning for their life.