With his fashionable clothes, casual preaching style, and close friendship with big names from the entertainment industry, Pastor Judah Smith of The City Church in Seattle, Washington is easily recognisable as a celebrity pastor.
However, Smith said he has never aspired to become a pastor to only a select few. According to him, what he wants more than anything is to share the Word of God to as many people as possible.
"My passion is to help everyone," Smith told Complex Magazine. "And if that includes people in the limelight, then so be it. The pressure and the expectation and the scrutiny and the challenges [celebrity pastors] face are unique. They do need someone in their corner who wants nothing, and expects nothing, but who's just there to give, and love, and protect."
Smith cannot help but shake his head when he hears people wanting to minister celebrities because they want to hobnob with the rich and famous.
"Someone recently told me, 'Hey, I really want to reach celebrities like you have,'" Smith said. "They meant well and that's fine, but I chuckled to myself. I never thought to myself 'I would like to pastor celebrities.' It was never a concept to me. I just wanted to help people."
Smith and his counterparts Pastor Carl Lentz from Hillsong Church New York and Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. from Miami's Trinity Church might be scrutinised heavily because of their wardrobe choices, but Smith said they should be judged not by the clothes they wear, but the messages they get across.
"Maybe people have misunderstood Carl, Rich, or myself, or our enjoyment of fashion," said Smith. "We don't need to make this about services, gatherings, or external performances. When I stand and speak, I don't just take on a preacher voice, I'm just who I am."