carl lentz
FX Networks/YouTube

Former Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz recently shared that he’s no longer in ministry and discussed how his sins led him to some “dark places” despite news that he joined Pastor Michael Todd’s Transformation Church in Oklahoma.

In a public letter posted on Instagram, Lentz said, “Even though I’m at an amazing church that loves and supports us, I’m no longer in ministry. I’m not preaching, not overseeing people. My role is to help give perspective and insight where I can.” The letter comes after FX Networks released a two-minute teaser promoting a new docuseries called “The Secrets of Hillsong,” set to premiere on May 19th.

The docuseries will feature Lentz’s first public interview since he was fired in November of 2020 from Hillsong NYC over a leadership and sex scandal. In the letter, Lentz said that fighting for his wife and kids has been his only priority for the last three years. Lentz wrote, “In order to do that, seeking sobriety and healing had to run parallel with those goals. Honestly, nothing else mattered. None of the noise, the lies, none of the half-truths that were said about me and or us mattered. All I wanted was to prove to my wife and kids that I could show up for them like I had never done before.”

He continued, “Although we have a long way to go, with a lot of hard work, a lot of honesty and a lot of prayer, we have found ourselves in a beautiful, happy, and deliberately honest place. So much so that we not only celebrated our 20th anniversary on May 5th, but we got to do that in the purest way. Unfortunately, that came through a lot of humiliation, embarrassment and heartache.”

In November 2020, Lentz was fired from his post at Hillsong NYC over moral failures and “leadership issues,” including being unfaithful to his wife with multiple women, including a Hillsong NYC staff member.

Details from an internal investigation shared with The Christian Post in 2022 that was conducted on behalf of Hillsong Church by the New York City law firm Zukerman Gore Brandeis & Crossman, LLP, alleged, among other things, that he manipulated some former staff and volunteers so severely it caused them to suffer mental illness.

It had been rumored for months that Lentz and his wife Laura wanted to get paid for their story and had been shopping an exclusive interview, but in his letter, Lentz said they chose to do the docuseries to help them heal from their failures in ministry and heartbreak. He said, “Part of the healing from that heartache led us to the decision to be part of a documentary that we do not control, that we don’t have any say in and that we haven’t even seen yet. We’ll see it when the world does. We were not interested in blame shifting or responsibility deflection; we focus on my mistakes and the context for what transpired.”

Lentz said it gives him “joy and hope” knowing that he can use his experience to help others, saying, “Repentance and life change is proven over time with consistent choices, and that’s a road I look forward to.”

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