Carl Lentz: Steven Furtick Helped Save Hillsong NYC When We First Started Out

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Taylor Berglund

Carl Lentz recently guest-preached at Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church. He began his sermon by publicly honoring Furtick and even sharing how Furtick and Elevation leadership helped Hillsong NYC during a dire moment in its first year open.

“When we first started Hillsong New York City, [Steven Furtick] and I didn’t really know each other that well,” Lentz says. “I knew him from afar, Steven and Holly, but he came to hang out in New York for something else. And we had dinner. There was a catastrophic storm coming—this is like year one of Hillsong NYC—and we had to cancel our services. I think he could see it was really heavy on my heart. I didn’t know what to do. When you start an early church, every weekend really matters. I don’t know what the myth is of church plants, but sometimes if you’ve got to shut it down for a week, it could really hurt you.

“And [Steven] looked at me and he just goes ‘You know, God’s gonna come through. He’s gonna come through. Just keep your head up.’ And I was like, ‘That’s easy for you to say. You know, you have your own planet at Elevation and everything you do is incredible. We’re brand new.’

“He came back later that night at dinner and he said, ‘Hey, you know, I feel like God’s going to answer your prayer.’ I’m like, ‘Well, that’s great.’ He’s like, ‘You told me how much money it would cost to run your church for that weekend … and Elevation Church believes in church plants. And we will sow this into your church.’ I remember calling my pastor. I said, ‘You know these Furtick people? Do you know anything this Elevation Church? They have a fund that helps churches like ours.’

“And we were able to keep it going. I don’t know what would have happened had God not sent y’all in the form of your leadership in that moment. So whether you like it or not, you’re with Hillsong NYC forever. Over 200,000 people have gotten saved, who knows how many lives have been transformed, and we don’t even know what we’re doing yet. Thank you.”

Watch the full video—including Lentz’s sermon—here.

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