Pastor Carl Lentz $plurges, But Not Like Other Pastors Sneakers Over Jets, Baby!!!

4/16/2019 10:23 AM PDT

Carl Lentz Has No Problem With Pastors Splurging on Sneakers

EXCLUSIVE

Turns out, Carl Lentz -- the pastor at Hillsong church who's tight with Justin Bieber and Kevin Durant -- is a sneakerhead who splurges ... but responsibly, he says. 

We got Carl Monday at LAX and had to first ask him about the sick sneakers we spotted him wearing ... a pair of Air Jordan XXXIII SE shoes that begged the question -- is it okay for men and women of the cloth to splurge on expensive stuff?

He admits the optics ain't necessarily great when, say, a pastor tells his congregation he needs a private jet (true story) or when pastors wear shoes worth thousands. There's even an Instagram account @preachersnsneakers that documents such spending.

Carl says, like all pastors, he draws a salary and what he chooses to buy with his money is his business -- within reason, of course. He also encourages lay people to ask questions if something looks fishy.

That being said ... Carl's got a favorite pair of kicks in his closet, and spilled the beans to us. Hint: they've got King written all over them, and could go for thousands, although CL says he got in on the ground floor.

Happy Holy Week!