With one glance at Justin Bieber‘s pastor, Carl Lentz, you’d think he’s the lead singer of a band, a trendy fashion editor, or simply a really stylish guy. Dressed in a uniform of ripped jeans, a motorcycle jacket and a black t-shirt, the 38-year-old leader of Hillsong Church’s New York chapter is always just as well-dressed as the stars (Bieber, Hailey Baldwin, Kourtney Kardashian and more) who spend their Sundays listening to him preach. And now, Lentz, is opening up about why his uniform is anything but what you’d expect to see when heading to church — and why it’s ok.
“Fashion in a city like this is a barrier,” Lentz tells WWD of using fashion as another way to connect to the people of N.Y.C. “If I wear a priest collar and look like a typical man of God, there’s a price to that,” Lentz says. “There’s also a price to this, but I’m more willing to pay this one than that one.”
But the pastor, who recently released a book, Own The Moment, doesn’t want his fashion to overshadow his message — which is why he typically sticks to the same ensemble.
“If I’m preaching, I would like people to notice what I wear long enough to not notice it,” he says. “So if you came in, you’d be like, ‘Cool, guy has a normal outfit on,’ and you forget. [If it’s] too cool, people are thinking about it the whole time, like, ‘Man, it’s almost extra.’ And then you go the other route, it says something about you as well.”
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As for Bieber, who was seen spending a large amount of quality time at Lentz’s Montclair, N.J. home this past summer, Lentz says they don’t just bond over Jesus. Fashion plays a part in their relationship, as well.
“I’m 38, so he’s much cooler and he’s so good looking that he can do so many things,” Lentz says of Bieber, 23. “I’m in a very small lane where it’s like ‘Bro, I can’t do that, I can’t wear that.’ But, yeah, we talk about it a lot. I mean, not a lot. I would say we talk about sports, we talk about Jesus, clothes, cool shoes. We might go to a store, but it would be included in the whole, like anybody else.”
What do you think of Lentz’s style as a pastor? Sound off below.