Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz has said that his church does not use the word “religion” because he finds it to be outdated, and says that he prefers the term “relationship with God.”
“We don’t use the word ‘religion,’ because it’s hard to get people excited about religion,” Lentz says in an article posted by New York Daily News on Monday. “Religion is dead. I don’t know anything about religion, I couldn’t help you. Religion has no power. But a relationship with God is a superpower.”
Lentz leads the 6,000 member evangelical megachurch, which has grown to become one of the largest and most popular ones in the New York area.
“In church, people treat you like you have to change or else,” Lentz added. “Our approach is, ‘We love you, nothing else.’”
The pastor reflected that Hillsong, which often includes rock performances and giant-screen TVs in its gatherings, intentionally uses modern approaches to minister to people.
“A pastor who likes chess and orchestra, that’s great,” Lentz, added. “But we’re from this generation.”
“What you see around you can be a little unorthodox. You don’t have to believe to belong here. We just talk about regular life. Regular marriage, what it means to be a Christian in New York.”
Hillsong has attracted several celebrities to its worship services, including popstar Justin Bieber, actress Vanessa Hudgens and NBA star Kevin Durant.
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