Hillsong Church did not pay to have Justin Bieber fly to Australia for their annual conference since the pop star came to the gathering of his own accord, says a pastor from the megachurch.
In a conversation on Channel Seven's "Sunrise" on July 5, Hillsong New York lead pastor Carl Lentz said Justin Bieber came to the Hillsong Closer Conference of his own volition. He also said the pop star flew to Australia to have a break from his high-profile life in Hollywood, Yahoo Be 7 relayed.
"No, we don't pay him to attend. This is a volunteer thing ... He comes on his own, and everybody here would buy a ticket, be a part of it," Pastor Lentz told Sunrise hosts Samantha Armytage and David Koch on Wednesday. "He feels like it's a big part of his year to be able to come here and right now he's like in the middle of tour as well so I think it's a good break for him to just press pause on all that and be around people who love what he loves."
Pastor Lentz acknowledged that Hillsong helped lead Bieber to a spiritual life, but he also said the singer is a "good Christian." The pastor said all the negative things that the media broadcasts about the pop star was just a small portion of his true personality and added that Bieber was fun to be with.
Bieber does not shy away from expressing his faith in public. In June, he performed at a benefit concert to support the victims of the Manchester attack and shared encouraging words with the audience. He urged them to hold on to love, hope, and to God, Beliefnet reported.
Bieber also rendered two songs with his guitar and preached to the crowd while holding back tears. He told them that God is present even in the midst of darkness, evil, and troubles, and that the Lord loves them.
Aside from Bieber, other celebrities who are affiliated with Hillsong Church are Hailey Baldwin, Selena Gomez, Gigi Hadid, Vanessa Hudgens, and Cody Simpson.