(Associated Press) Carl Lentz is not your typical pastor.
Along with his half shaved head and slicked back Mohawk, he’s dressed in his usual Sunday attire: black jeans and an unbuttoned denim shirt with a tank top underneath. His tattooed arms, including one with two guns crossed, peek out from under his rolled-up sleeves.
His Hillsong Church NYC holds at least six sermons every Sunday in a ballroom-style concert venue that has hosted such bands as U2 and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. People squeeze into whatever space they can find and take notes on iPhones as Lentz marches across the stage, peppering his sermon with Bible verses, jokes, pop music lines and street slang.
“If you’re new to our church, we love you,” said the 34-year-old Lentz. “Don’t be alarmed by the craziness you see. One time somebody said, ‘Y’all are crazy in your church,’ and I said, ‘You ever seen you dance drunk? Don’t be judging us up in church.’”