In recent years, pop megastar Justin Bieber has become increasingly open about his Christian faith. Indeed, on Wednesday night, he took perhaps his boldest step so far — by leading a congregation in worship.
Bieber was spotted singing out his praises to God at Churchome, Beverly Hills — part of a network of congregations launched by Seattle megachurch leader and Bieber’s personal pastor, Judah Smith. “I never would have made it without you,” the singer roared during the set. “Now I see that you were there for me!”
In a video obtained by TMZ, Smith could be seen taking to the stage to commend Bieber in his gift of leading worship.
“We first met when Justin was, like, eight or something in Toronto and he’s always been a worshiper and it’s a lot of who he is,” Smith explained. “I want to be part of a church where everybody gets a fair shake in using their gift to contribute to the community. Far be it from me to stand in the way of someone who clearly has a gift to lead worship.”
At that point, Justin himself starting talking to the congregation, insisting that his appearance on stage was not “a show.”
“I want to second that too, I’ve kind of not done this because I felt like — I didn’t want to make it seem like — I don’t know. Judah, you know what I’m trying to say. I just didn’t want people to think, like, this was a show,” the singer humbly explained.
In an Instagram post featuring footage of the star’s debut worship leading appearance, Bieber wrote that God was seeing him through a difficult season of life at the moment.
“Sang at church last night. God is pulling me through a hard season. Having trust in Jesus at your worst times is the absolute hardest. But he is faithful to complete what he started,” the singer declared.
While he didn’t specify exactly what was going on in his life, Bieber did thank those closest to him for all the support and urged others who are struggling to look to God for hope.
“I also want to thank my wife for being such a huge support in my life through this season,” he wrote
“It says in the bible count it ALL JOY when you face trials of various kinds. Sounds insane considering when u face trials u feel terrible. But if we are grateful and worship god for what we do have in that season there is so much power in that… whatever pain you are going through just keep telling yourself THIS WONT LAST! Love you guys we in this together .”
Speaking to TMZ the day after his church appearance, Justin reiterated the message of finding God’s power in your struggle.
“My whole message at church the other day was, ‘there’s power in your weakness,'” he told the outlet Thursday. “When you step out when you’re feeling weak, there’s power in weakness. When you fight through that season, usually you get to the other side and it gets better.”
His sentiment is steeped in scripture — 2 Corinthians 12:19 reads:
“”My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Judah Smith has always sought to encourage his church to welcome those who are in prominent and public positions. Just as he declared in his “Jesus Is” music project, “they need a church too!”
“We easily throw rocks at actors and actresses and artists,” Smith explained in the 2013 spoken word. “I hear Christians making fun of prominent figures in entertainment and on television, because we can take cheap shots at them because we think we’ll never know them…but some of them are my friends!”
“I’m trying to pastor them and love them, yet I hear Christians making fun of them,” Smith added. “They need a church, too! They need a pastor too! They need someone who will show them the love of Jesus too!”
“Is our gospel big enough to welcome everybody at our church?”
Kanye’s Sunday Service
Speaking to TMZ, Bieber also confirmed that he would be keen to sing at Kanye West’s “Sunday Service” worship event, which has become infamous for its wild times of worship and powerful gospel sermons.
A couple of weeks back, singer Tori Kelly was captured belting out some worship songs at the event, which was held at the California Worship Center and hosted by Kanye West himself.
We’ll be sure to keep our eyes peeled for Bieber’s first call up to Sunday Service!