That was made clear four Sundays earlier, during his final sermon of the night. Wiping sweat from his brow under the disco ball, Lentz cited John 6:53 and spoke of a total commitment to Christ: "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you." He then explained the meaning of Jesus' words: "When you take a bite of me, when you really follow me, everything in me goes in you—you can't pick and choose." Lentz leaned out over the edge of the stage, his voice rising. "You have to be consumed with this. I'm talking about flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood, everything in me, in you, and if you're not about that, you need to go follow somebody else."
Lentz was ostensibly talking about his savior, but it almost sounded like he meant himself. "Because this is not a game. I am not a circus. I am not just traveling around doing cool things. I am after followers."
THE CIRCLE OF LOVE
Carl Lentz has a knack for making famous friends, from true believers to adoring admirers.
1. AnnaSophia Robb
The Colorado-raised Carrie Diaries star uses Hillsong NYC as a cure for homesickness and now lives in the same apartment building as Lentz.
2. Kevin Durant
Lentz baptized the NBA superstar and serves as his spiritual counselor; the two hit the gym together whenever they're in the same city.
3. Scooter Braun
Braun's first reaction to Lentz? "That guy is definitely not a pastor!" Now Lentz has the full trust of Bieber's Svengali.
4. Damon Dash
The Roc-a-Fella Records cofounder recently visited Hillsong NYC, telling Lentz: "That was like a rock concert with a message."
5. Jeremy Lin
When he's back in New York, the former Knicks and current Houston Rockets point guard often attends Lentz's services.
6. Vanessa Hudgens
The Spring Breakers co-star and her actor boyfriend, Austin Butler, are Hillsong NYC regulars and friends with Lentz's whole family.
7. Justin Bieber
Last year, Lentz and the King of Teen Pop bonded over pickup b-ball; now they exchange texts about Scripture every day.
8. Tyson Chandler
With his wife, Kimberly, the Knicks' star center traveled with the Lentzes to this year's Hillsong Conference in Sydney, Australia.