Carl Lentz wants you to crush the world
NYC minister tells Hillsong Conference to be ridiculous and radical
Prominent US minister Carl Lentz told the largest annual conference in Australia about what the whole world should take notice of. And it’s got nothing to do with trends, fashion or befriending the rich and famous.
During a week when Lentz’s friend and pop superstar Justin Bieber announced his engagement to Hailey Baldwin, Lentz didn’t spend any on-stage time in Sydney at Hillsong Conference 2018 discussing celebrity or fame. He didn’t give tips on winning over Instagram – where he has 607,000 followers – or any other pointer about image or wardrobe style.
“We should be leading churches with this ridiculous radical love.” – Carl Lentz
Instead, Lentz used his part of a leadership session to implore ministers and other church workers to be “market leaders in love.”
“We should be leading churches with this ridiculous radical love,” said Lentz, who leads Hillsong’s New York City church. Reminding the crowd in Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena of the “ridiculous radical love” demonstrated by Jesus Christ, Lentz thumped his simple message for improving the lives of people around the planet.
“We should be so different to the world … that people walking past will look in at a church and say, ‘How do I get in there?'”
Getting into Hillsong Conference 2018, from Tuesday night until the final session on Friday, July 13, were about 30,000 people each day, from more than 60 countries around the world. Anchored in and around Qudos Bank Arena, Australia’s biggest annual conference was loosely framed around the theme of “There is More” – the title of Hillsong global pastor Brian Houston’s latest book.
Lentz strongly suggested that “there is more” to connecting meaningfully with people than simply doing whatever technology or culture suggests is best.
“We should be market leaders in love.” – Carl Lentz
“Do you know what will reach people? The love of Jesus that we have in spades,” he said.
“If we want to be leaders, we need to be leaders in love. We should crush the world with our love. We should be market leaders in love.”
Along with other high-profile Christian speakers such as Judah Smith, Steven Furtick and John Gray, Lentz is the sort of big name Hillsong Conference pulls in. But while the three-day-plus event was again sold out and offered plenty of impressive staging and sessions, Lentz’s simple call to “ridiculous radical love” was displayed at the conference far from the spotlight of the main stage.
Eternity spent some time behind the scenes, where 4500 volunteers are involved in making the conference happen. What they shared with us on camera backstage reflects what Lentz urged on the main stage.