Carl Lentz has revealed that he was sacked as pastor of Hillsong NYC because of marriage infidelity.
In a lengthy Instagram post on Thursday, Lentz admitted not maintain a standard expected of a Christian and church leader.
"When you accept the calling of being a pastor, you must live in such a way that it honours the mandate. That it honours the church, and that it honours God. When that does not happen, a change needs to be made and has been made in this case to ensure that standard is upheld," he said.
"Laura and I and our amazing children have given all that we have to serve and build this church and over the years I did not do an adequate job of protecting my own spirit, refilling my own soul and reaching out for the readily available help that is available.
"When you lead out of an empty place, you make choices that have real and painful consequences. I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that. This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions."
Lentz said he will now being a journey of rebuilding trust with his wife and three children. He also said he will get the help he needs to heal his own life.
Lentz expressed his love for the Hillsong NYC congregation. He also apologised and asked for forgiveness for also breaking their trust.
He concluded: "To our pastors Brian and Bobbie, thank you for allowing us to lead, allowing us to thrive and giving us room to have a voice that you have never stifled or tried to silence. Thank you for your grace and kindness especially in this season, as you have done so much to protect and love us through this. We, the Lentz family, don't know what this next chapter will look like, but we will walk into it together very hopeful and grateful for the grace of God."
His heartfelt message was received with love and support from many Christian artists and church leaders.
Lecrae commented: "God restores." While Israel Houghton commented: "Adrienne and I love you and Laura for life. You've been there for me and I will always be there for you. Love you man…"
Kari Jobe said: "Tear filled post. You are loved by many. Praying for your sweet family and that the presence of God would feel more tangible than ever."
Louie Giglio said: "There is a cross and an empty grave in the middle of our story. Giglio's love you Lentz's."
TD Jakes added: "The prayers of the church surround you and your family. The love of the Savior encapsulates you, the word of God promises you that "He that comes to me, I will in NO WAY cast him out!" Remember that the tallest man in any room is the one found on his knees! May the Holy Spirit guide you through what looks dark today! There is a light beyond the forest. Keep walking!!"
Lentz's social media post comes a day after Senior Pastor Brian Houston said his employment was terminated following discussions about leadership issues, breaches of trust and a recent revelation of moral failures.
"They have a heart for people and we are confident that after a time of rest and restoration, God will use Carl in another way outside of Hillsong church," Pastor Houston said in a statement.
"In terminating his tenure, we in no way want to diminish the good work he did here."
The church will we selecting new leadership and its services will continue as normal.