In recent years, major celebrities have been very outspoken about their faith in Christ. The public testimonies of stars like Chris Pratt, Justin Bieber, Tim Tebow, Carrie Underwood, Selena Gomez and Steph Curry proves to be a powerful force to share the Good News with the masses.
Along the way, the pastors who mentor and guide high-profile celebrities are also becoming celebrities in their own right. Does the fact that these pastors now have social media following in the 100,000’s mean that more glory is being given to God? Or is it concerning that these high-fashion and high-profile pastors are using celebrity-making tactics to become major influencers themselves?
The jury is out. The rapidly growing Instagram account PreachersNSneakers is stirring debate about if there’s a moral issue with pastors and clergy wearing high-end shoes that can run up to $5,000+ per pair? Conversely, not only are these pastors helping to share Jesus’ love in a relevant way that attracts celebrities, they also are able to share massive messages of the Bible’s truth anytime they Tweet or share on Instagram.
To settle the debate, you may want to just check out these pastors for yourself. Here’s a rundown of the most influential celebrity pastors on the scene:
Rich Wilkerson Jr.
Rich Wilkerson Jr. is a dynamic and charismatic pastor leading VOUS Church in Miami. He managed to gain the support of Kanye West, who asked Wilkerson to officiate his wedding to Kim Kardashian in 2014. The high-profile wedding ceremony catapulted Wilkerson’s social media accounts as well as those of his wife DawnCheré. Currently, he has nearly 600,000 Instagram followers paying attention to his every post.
Pastoring Seattle’s Churchome (formerly City Church), Judah Smith is spreading the gospel to multiple campuses across Seattle. Smith is hopelessly cool and easily recognizable for his iconic wireframe aviator glasses. With an Instagram reach of 600,000, Smith is frequently magnifying his weekly sermons to the masses. Smith is well known as the first pastor to mentor Justin Bieber, who had a radical life change after rededicating his life to Christ. Churchome is also home to Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback, Russell Wilson. Seattle isn’t the only city that Smith is pouring his energy into. Smith also helped create a midweek church plant in LA attracting people like Tim Tebow, Blake Griffin, Kendall Jenner and Olivia Culpo.
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Carl Lentz has the most outreach of any pastor on this list, regularly sharing the message of God’s love with at Hillsong Church NYC. Combining Lentz’s Instagram reach of over 625,000 alongside Hillsong’s massive online reach, it’s incredibly obvious that Lentz is in the center of a very powerful community that’s redefining the way Christians worship. Lentz is well known for his capacity to minister to celebrities, in fact, it was Lentz who baptized Justin Bieber after allowing Bieber to live with him for months on end. Other stars who have attended Hillsong over the years include Kylie Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Hailey Baldwin, Kevin Durant, Selena Gomez, Tyson Chandler, Kyrie Irving, Vanessa Hudgens, Austin Butler, Nick Jonas, Hailee Steinfeld and Bono.
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An exciting day tomorrow @hillsongnyc and I believe it will mark a new chapter. Literally, as we have shifted service times across all locations so we can link live messages and stay connected to our church family, even as it continues to grow! -We are adding a 5th service in Manhattan in the hopes that at least for a time, we don’t have to turn anybody away due to capacity concerns. -We are adding a night service IN NEW JERSEY, that will enable us to continue to move forward. -We are adding a second service in Boston, because of capacity as well and soon, Connecticut will have its second as well! I’m passionate about the message I’m preaching, and ima try to preach at all of em! It’s just an amazing time in our city, as whole.. a lot of churches are taking ground, and it’s proof that despite the reality of so much bad news, the good news we get to share, still takes precedent..#theoccupationcontinues #occupyallstreets #occupyallservices #getinwhereyoufit #CHURCHSTILLWILD MANHATTAN: 10,12,2,6,8pm JERSEY: 10, 12, 6 BOSTON: 10,12 CONNECTICUT: 10 YOUR PHONE: via bootleg insta
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In recent months, there’s been a flurry of attention given to LA’s Zoe Church, pastored by Chad Veach. Chris Pratt, Katherine Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver, Ashley Benson, all worship regularly at Zoe. With an Instagram reach of nearly a quarter million people, Veach’s sermons and writing reach fans globally.