According to OK! Magazine, pop star Justin Bieber is studying to become a minister. The singer thanks Hillsong Church for getting him out of his most ‘dark’ times and he is reportedly interested in taking leadership at the church after the controversial exit of his former mentor and pastor, Carl Lentz, 42.
Sources said that the 26-year-old ‘believes he can take a leadership position in restoring order’ after Lentz’s exit from what the church called ‘leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures’ in November.
The singer felt that it was his responsibility to give back to the community after all the ways they had helped him. ‘Justin has never felt happier or healthier, and he says he owes it to the church,’ explained the source.
They went on, saying: ‘Justin believes he can take a leadership position in restoring order’ to Hillsong after Lentz’s departure.
Justin plays an active role in Hillsong, participating as a choir member, according to OK’s insiders. His new spiritual role will not take him away from music.
‘[He] doesn’t plan to give up his music career, but he feels there’s a bigger calling out there for him,’ says the source. ‘He wants to be a full-fledged minister next year.’
Based on TMZ, Justin and Carl’s relationship was close and very public. The singer even calls the pastor ‘second father’. However, the two of them have distanced themselves even before Carl’s exit from Hillsong.
Sometime in 2018, it was reported that Justin and Carl had cut ties after the singer’s failed romantic reconciliation with fellow Hillsong-er and on/off ex Selena Gomez months prior, a reunion which Carl was reportedly integral in. Justin started dating now-wife Hailey shortly after that and by September 2018, the couple got married in a quick ceremony at an NYC courthouse.
Carl was a guest at the couple’s official church-sanctioned South Carolina nuptials in 2019 but Justin seemed to have moved on from their relationship, choosing new spiritual guide, Judah Smith of Churchome, to officiate. Justin and Hailey unfollowed Carl on Instagram after November’s revelations about Carl’s behaviour. At the beginning of the month, Carl entered an outpatient facility for treatment for ‘depression, anxiety, and pastoral burnout,’ according to the source with People magazine.
‘He wants to be better for his family and is dedicated to doing the work,’ the source told the outlet. ‘His family is supporting him and hopes their privacy will be respected on this journey.’
The source noted that Lentz harbours ‘no ill will towards the church and recognizes that they needed to take some course of action to address his missteps.’
In November Hillsong founder Brian Houston went public with his former colleague’s departure, sharing a statement saying Lentz had broke ties with the church amid ‘ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.’
‘They have a heart for people and we are confident that after a time of rest and restoration, God will use Carl in another way outside of Hillsong church,’ he said in the statement. ‘In terminating his tenure, we in no way want to diminish the good work he did here.’