Pastor Carl Lentz remembers the first time he met Justin Bieber.
The troubled pop star was playing a concert in New Jersey back in 2008, and Lentz was a guest of another pastor, Seattle-based Judah Smith, with whom the singer is close.
“I remember being involved in this preservice prayer [backstage] and just looking at him and going, ‘This is going to be a challenge,’ ” says Lentz, who was overwhelmed by the commotion surrounding the then-14-year-old. “And that day being like, ‘I’m going to pray for this boy to make it.’ ”
Lentz, 36, has done more than just pray for Bieber.
In the last few years, the so-called “hipster pastor,” who sports a mohawk, 10 tattoos and YSL sneakers, has become one of the singer’s best friends — and his spiritual guide.
“I have a special role in Justin’s life, spiritually, but … I’m not a life-motivational guy,” says Lentz, who preaches at Hillsong NYC, a spinoff of the Australian Evangelical megachurch Hillsong. “We’re talking about making sure his life remains a blessing, not a burden.”
In the past two weeks alone, 20-year-old Bieber has been spotted with Lentz everywhere from a pregame prayer with the Pittsburgh Steelers to the 40/40 Club, where Lentz celebrated his birthday last Thursday.
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SOURCE: New York Post