Carl Lentz, the now former pastor of Hillsong East Coast, has revealed that he cheated on his wife, Lauren. As Christian Headlines previously reported, Hillsong leadership announced on Wednesday that Lentz was terminated for ‘leadership issues and moral failures.”
While Lentz and his family dedicated their service to the church, he explained that something was spiritually amiss in him.
“Over the years I did not do an adequate job of protecting my own spirit, refilling my own soul and reaching out for the readily available help that is available,” Lentz explained in a lengthy Instagram post on Thursday. “When you lead out of an empty place, you make choices that have real and painful consequences.”
Lentz admitted, “I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that. This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions.”
“I now begin a journey of rebuilding trust with my wife, Laura and my children and taking real time to work on and heal my own life and seek out the help that I need,” he continued.
Lentz also apologized to the “many people we loved serving” who may be taken aback by the news and asked for their forgiveness.
“I would have liked to say this with my voice, to you, in person because you are owed that,” he wrote. “But that opportunity I will not have. So to those people, I pray you can forgive me and that over time I can live a life where trust is earned again.”
Despite his tenure at Hillsong NYC coming to an end, Lentz expressed gratitude for his time there which he described as “the most amazing, impacting and special chapter of our lives.”
“Leading this church has been an honor in every sense of the word and it is impossible to articulate how much we have loved and will always love the amazing people in this church,” he added.
In closing, Lentz thanked Hillsong founding pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston for their friendship and for the opportunity to lead the church.
“To our pastors Brian and Bobbie, thank you for allowing us to lead, allowing us to thrive and giving us room to have a voice that you have never stifled or tried to silence. Thank you for your grace and kindness especially in this season, as you have done so much to protect and love us through this.”
“We, the Lentz family, don’t know what this next chapter will look like, but we will walk into it together very hopeful and grateful for the grace of God,” Lentz concluded.
Following his remarks on Instagram, Lentz received an outpouring of support and encouragement, including from several Christian leaders and artists.
“God restores,” Christian rapper Lecrae wrote to Lentz.
“There is a cross and an empty grave in the middle of our story. Giglio’s love you Lentz’s,” Pastor Louie Giglio added.
Pastor Levi Lusko of Fresh Life Church thanked Lentz and Laura for their friendship and influence in his life and ministry.
“So grateful for your ministry at @hillsongnyc and how it changed so many lives, ours included,” he said. “Can’t wait to see what God has next. Love you.”
Photo courtesy: Carl Lentz Facebook
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.