If church pastors could ‘trend’, then #JudahSmith would probably be at the top of the list right now. When his father passed away in 2009, Smith took over leadership of The City Church, Seattle. With Judah and wife Chelsea at the helm, the church immediately began to experience unprecedented growth. There are now more than 7,000 in attendance across several locations.
It’s not hard to see why. His preaching is passionate, funny and has the pulse of the culture. His book Jesus Is____ has also become a bestseller. Before he took over as senior leader he was the youth pastor, and the subsequent growth has predominantly been among 20 and 30-somethings.
The über-cool US pastor from Seattle is an aficionado of social media (he has more than 250,000 followers on Twitter) who regularly posts pictures of himself with celebrity friends such as Justin Bieber and pro golfer Bubba Watson.
Smith readily admits he is probably too attached to Twitter and Instagram. ‘I’m checking them before even reading scripture or engaging with God,’ he candidly confesses. Pastors of an older generation might be scandalized at the admission, but 34-year-old Smith is at the forefront of a new wave of young church leaders who have grown up alongside a digital revolution where it’s okay to be human.