Bieber storms back… brings pastors with him
By Richard Landau, Context Contributor
It was inevitable. Start with a generation of seeking and oft-discouraged millennials looking for something beyond Burning Man, and suffering from gaming and internet fatigue. Something appears to be filling the gap. Recent articles in stylish magazines GQ and The Cut are touting the advent of what they call, “the mega-pastors.”
The Cut’s Allie Jones singles out four young pastors in their 30’s who are offering guidance and direction specifically geared to American millennials – those born between 1982 and 2004.
These four are achieving a modicum of notoriety due to their celebrity clientele – most notably Canada’s own Justin Bieber. Bieber, who was raised in an evangelical Christian home, and had a well-publicized lapse a few years ago, has found his way back to his roots.
This is partially due to his pastor Carl Lentz, leader of the Hillsong NYC flock. Yes, an offshoot of the renowned Australian Hillsong movement/music ministry.
The three other millennial mega-pastors have also emerged in part due to shepherding Bieber and some very well-known faces in the entertainment industry (see illustration from The Cut).
Lentz counts the Jenners among his congregation. But the other side of their TV family – Kim Kardashian, husband Kanye West, and sister Kourtney – confide in Miami’s Vous Church Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr.
When he isn’t guarding the galaxy, actor Chris Pratt and his girlfriend Katherine Schwarzenegger, daughter of Arnold and Maria Shriver, have been seeking the counsel of Zoe Church Pastor Chad Veach. Pastor Judah Smith is another of this youthful coterie of leaders, and is best known as the spiritual counsellor to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife Ciara.
Though the famous seek them out, these pastors each have growing ministries that thrive on a contemporary, gritty, and boisterous delivery of the Gospel message.
Their congregations are growing rapidly among rich and poor millennials alike.