Relaymedia

Justin Bieber's Christian Faith: Pastor Carl Lentz of Hillsong NYC Says Popstar is 'On a Journey'

( [email protected] ) Nov 17, 2014 05:19 PM EST

Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber pictured with Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz (Instagram/Justin Bieber)

Carl Lentz of Hillsong NYC Church, who is Justin Bieber's spiritual guide, has said that the 20 year old pop singer is on a journey and shouldn't be abandoned when he's down.

"I remember being involved in this preservice prayer [backstage] and just looking at him and going, 'This is going to be a challenge,'" New York Post quotes Lentz as saying, of his meeting at a concert in New Jersey in 2008. "And that day being like, 'I'm going to pray for this boy to make it.'"

Bieber, who often speaks publicly about his Christian faith, has called Lentz "his pastor."

"I have a special role in Justin's life, spiritually, but ... I'm not a life-motivational guy," added Lentz. "We're talking about making sure his life remains a blessing, not a burden."

"When he's with me, he rolls with me," Lentz said. "He's like a member of our team... He fits in like a piece of furniture."

Bieber has experienced his fair share of trouble over the past few years, including allegations of drug use and drag racing.

However, Lentz, who is a husband and father of three, says he does not believe the young pop singer is a negative influence.

"I think relationships in your life come and go. And I think what defines you is how you gauge who needs to stay and who needs to go," he said.

Lentz, who lives in added, "He's on a journey. If he's not doing good, should we abandon him? I love Justin, he's a good kid. He's trying to figure this out," the pastor told CBN. "His behavior ... you know, he's figuring it out."

Lentz added, "What should we do? ... People who are like, 'Is he even a Christian?' With Justin, I tell people grace and acceptance does not mean approval. I can accept you as a human being and not approve of your actions. That's how we've been loved. We love because we were first loved... With Justin, it's not my job to be his police officer. It's my job to be a friend to him, and that's all I am."

Lentz's megachurch, which has become one of the fastest growing churches in the world, was planted in 2011 under the direction of Brian and Bobby Houston, leaders of the main Hillsong Church location in Sydney, Australia.

Each week, Hillsong NYC draws up to 8,000 congregants, including celebs such as Bono, Vanessa Hudgens and Stephen Baldwin. Group baptisms are held at the Grace hotel in Times Square.

The pastor says he believes the church's massive success is due to its come-as-you-are mentality.

"Life is sacred but whatever you chose to do, this is still home for you," Lentz said. "We're not going to kick you out this house you have to make your own decision. We're going to walk with you either way. This is what we believe, life is sacred, but we still love you."