Bobbie Houston co-founded the now-international Hillsong Church with her husband, Brian, in Australia in 1983. After recognizing her desire to further the roles of women in the church and beyond, she founded the Hillsong Sisterhood in 1996. The ministry quickly led to the international Colour Sisterhood, which gathers thousands of women of all races from around the world, as well as the annual Colour Conferences. Houston, who has a robust social media reach (129,000 Instagram followers, 123,000 Twitter followers) is taking readers inside the ministry as well as the movement for women’s empowerment in her new book, The Sisterhood (Hachette/FaithWords, May).

What prompted you to write The Sisterhood?

Twenty years ago, I felt compelled to step up and take hands-on responsibility for the welfare of the women within our church. Not long after, I was compelled to create a conference environment [where attendees] would believe in the potential of women and champion their influence in the world. The Sisterhood emerged from that landscape, and for the past 20 years, it's been a remarkable journey that has awakened not only women in [Australia], but literally thousands of women, pastors, and leaders from every corner of the earth. The book captures the heart and spirit of that story, with the hope of awakening many more to what lies within the feminine heart.

How does your work with Hillsong Church figure into your work with the Sisterhood?

My husband and I planted and pioneered Hillsong Church over 30 years ago. It is our calling and greatest joy. I think part of the reason our church has the favor and influence it has is because we believe in the feminine heart. We have women functioning across so many levels of church life and leadership. The fruit of their lives and involvement is proof that men and woman can work together beautifully for the cause of Christ.

Considering that women have leadership roles in your church, in what ways do you believe women can rise up and be catalysts for change, helping to empower other Christian women to believe in themselves?

By basically believing first and foremost that they can. We all have unique strengths and gifts that can be applied to godly cause and purpose. We all have a part to play, and when that part, no matter how big or small, is valued, acknowledged, and believed in, it is amazing how everyday women of all ages will step up and bring positive response to issues that are both local and global.

You mentioned that the movement can reach women of all ages; how can mothers ensure their daughters aren’t afraid to become involved in affecting change?

I think the greatest gift you can give your children is to [be a tangible] example [of] what you believe in. Our ministry is several generations deep, and each generation is getting stronger.

What would you like readers to take away from The Sisterhood?

I hope that readers will be inspired and encouraged in their calling. And I hope that many men will read this in order to better understand an amazing chapter unfolding on the earth that involves the women in their world.