Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, and Hailey Baldwin were all photographed at Hillsong Church in New York yesterday. And, as you know, there’s all kinds of history there. There’s the Justin Bieber connection. There’s also The Weeknd connection as Selena is dating him and Kendall is tight with Bella Hadid who used to date him. But none of that matters on Sunday because Sunday is for church. And church brought them all together. Specifically Hillsong Church and its leader, Pastor Carl Lentz. Pastor Carl is the winner here, although he would never approve of being described in this way, in terms of winning and losing, because that’s not the point of his work. His work is “spreading the gospel of Jesus the way the Lord always intended: one selfie-with-a-celebrity at a time”. That’s a direct quote from Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s glorious piece on Hillsong Church in GQ in 2015. If you’ve not read it before, I highly recommend. And if you’ve read it already, you should go back and enjoy it all over again. It’s some of Taffy’s best work – personal, insightful, hilarious, and fair. You get the hilarious when she obsesses over the hats, the hats at Hillsong Church. You get the fair when she interrogates (but not aggressively) Pastor Carl’s views on abortion and same-sex relationships. It’s a fascinating profile that acknowledges the bewilderment some readers (me) might have about the Church’s popularity with this specific subset of celebrity while respecting its subject.
Not too long ago, Church used to be, for lack of a better word, unsexy. Church wasn’t “cool”. Over the last couple of years though, the celebrities of the Instagram generation, are making Church “cool” - to some, to their followers. Does it actually translate to more millennials going to church? And if they do, is it OK if they go to church primarily because it’s “cool”? Does that undermine the true value of church? I go to church so I can say I went to church and that will make me look “cool”. Or does that not even matter because you get them in however you can?
Also attached - Selena Gomez out in New York today.