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Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz Shares Insights on Faith in Debut Book ‘Own the Moment’

Carl Lentz, pastor of Hillsong Church in NYC, dishes on the night he baptized Justin Bieber, how to live authentically in a superficial social media culture and more in his new book, Own the Moment, out October 31.

The laid-back pastor known to speak out on Black Lives Matter, rock a leather jacket and skinny jeans and shoot some mean hoops, makes his official book debut with Own The Moment.

Via publisher Simon & Schuster:

In Own The Moment, he shares the unlikely and inspiring story of how he went from being an average teenager who couldn’t care less about church to leading one of the country’s fastest-growing congregations—how one day he is trying to convince a Virginia Beach 7-Eleven clerk to attend his service, and just a few years later he is baptizing a global music icon in an NBA player’s Manhattan bathtub.

Carl Lentz Own the Moment book
The cover of “Own the Moment” by Carl Lentz. (Simon & Schuster).

Amid such candid personal tales, Lentz also offers illuminating readings of Bible passages and practical tips on how to live as a person of faith in an increasingly materialistic world. How do you maintain your values—and pass them onto your children—in a society that worships money and sex and fame? How do you embrace your flaws in this Instagram era that exalts the appearance of perfection? How do you forget about “living the dream” and learn to embrace the beauty of your reality?

Since the opening of Hillsong Church in Manhattan in 2010, the Pentecostal megachurch with roots in Australia has grown in popularity, partly due to Lentz’s personal and preaching styles and partly to the worship team’s iconic discography. The church, the first Hillsong congregation to go stateside, has since branched out to New Jersey.

Hillsong NYC is home to believers ranging from everyday New Yorkers to top-tier athletes and celebrities. “Everyone from Bono to Vanessa Hudgens to Nick Jonas has attended services,” according to

Lentz has been known to be spend a lot of time with his friend Bieber. The pop singer appeared with Lentz at the Hillsong Conference this summer and shared his thoughts on the annual Christian gathering, as seen in this video.

Lentz, a Virginia native, leads Hillsong NYC with his wife, Laura. They three children and live in Montclair, New Jersey.

Hillsong Church is based in Sydney, Australia, and has 19 campuses around the world, including another U.S. congregation in Los Angeles. The megachurch was founded by Pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston in 1983, and reports an “average global attendance approaching 100,000 weekly” worldwide.

Own the Moment is 352 pages, listed at $24.99 (ebook at $10.99) and ships on or around Oct. 31, 2017. Grab it for about $15 via pre-order on Amazon.

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Faithfully Magazine is a fresh, bold and exciting news and culture publication that covers issues, conversations and events impacting Christian communities of color.


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