Last week, pop icon Justin Bieber made headlines when he led worship at Churchome (formerly The City Church) in LA, the home of one of his long-time Christian mentors, Pastor Judah Smith.
Justin joined with the congregation as they sung, “Now I can say I never would have made it without you, I would’ve lost it all. You were there for me.”
Singing ‘Never Would Have Made It’
In recent years, Justin has become more vocal about his faith, and the role of his church community in helping him stay grounded. Attending Hillsong Church’s annual conference in 2017, Justin said at the time, “I just enjoying seeing people worship [and] praising God.”
The idea of a pop star on a church platform may make some feel uneasy, but Justin isn’t the first to do it. In 2010, 90’s RnB royalty Montell Jordan (‘This is How We Do It’) left the music industry to become a worship leader in Georgia, which he’s still doing today.
- Australia’s own Andrew Tierney of Human Nature fame splits his boy-band duties with leading worship at a church in Las Vegas
At the service, Pastor Judah Smith said, “[Justin and I] first met when Justin was like eight or something, in Toronto, and he’s always been a worshipper; it’s a lot of who he is.
“I want to be part of a church where everybody gets a fair [shot] at using their gifts to contribute to the community. And so, far be it from me to stand in the way of someone who clearly has a gift to lead worship,” Judah said, to audience applause.
Aware of the importance of leading in a worship setting, Justin said, “I’ve kind of not done this [before], because…I didn’t want people to feel like this is a show.”
Speaking to a TMZ Reporter, Justin said, “My whole message at church the other day was [that] there’s power in your weakness…there’s so many people in this world who are struggling, but when you step out when you’re feeling weak…when you fight through that season and get to the other side, usually it gets better.”
Justin followed up that message today with a post on Instagram that read in part, “Have you noticed the statistics of child stars and the outcome of their life? There is an insane pressure put on a child whose brain, emotions, frontal lobe (decision making) aren’t developed yet”.
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He continued, “I didn’t grow up in a stable home…As my talent progressed and I became ultra successful it happened within [the space] of two years. My whole world was flipped on its head…Everyone did everything for me so I never even learned the fundamentals of responsibility. [At 18] I had no skills in the real world, with millions of dollars and access to whatever I wanted. This is a very scary concept for anyone.
“I started doing pretty heavy drugs at 19 and abused all of my relationships…I was hiding behind [the] shell of a person that I had become. I felt like I could never turn it around. It’s taken me years to bounce back from these bad decisions. Luckily God blessed me with people who love me for me.
“All this to say, even when the odds are against you keep fighting. Jesus loves you. Be kind today, be bold today, and love people not by your standards, but by God’s perfect unfailing love,” Justin wrote.