Judah Smith, pastor of The City Church in Seattle, Washington, says mega-pop star Justin Bieber "certainly loves God" and that the celebrity has also taught him about life.
"I'm very proud of Justin. What's amazing about Justin and many young men today [is] it's not easy to be a man of faith. It's not easy to make good decisions," Smith told FOX411, which also notes that Bieber helped the pastor learn about what life is, as Smith mentions in his new book, Life is ____.
Pastor Smith, who is known for preaching the Gospel with authority and humor, said the struggles of those in Hollywood are not too different from others.
"I think people would be surprised to discover that their challenges and struggles are not too dissimilar to us, average ordinary people. We're all looking for essentially the same thing and I think that's faith and hope and love and meaning and of course satisfaction, peace, joy," he was quoted as saying.
The only difference, Smith added, is that life challenges are bigger for celebrities.
"There's great challenges as well when you're someone in the public eye," he explained. "You can come to some conclusions even quicker and I would say that... I think some of my friends [like Justin] have helped me be able to sit in the front row and watch them do what they do and really, really watch them come to some pretty awesome conclusions about what this [life] is all about."
Smith also said that Bieber "certainly loves God and is passionate about being... the man that he wants to be."
Bieber has long been open about his Christian faith. He has, however, admitted to his weaknesses. TMZ.com earlier published photos of him at a social gathering holding what looks like a marijuana cigarette and apparently blowing smoke.
Bieber, who sports several religious tattoos, was arrested in Miami last January for alleged drag racing.
Smith's new book deals with the "love of God that defies human logic and the life that God intends for us to have in the here and now," as he said on a The Church Boys podcast.
Smith earlier discussed his book, Jesus Is, and his relationship with Bieber, who had endorsed the book to his nearly seven million social media followers.
When asked how he and Bieber first became friends, Smith told "Fox & Friends" that he initially met the Canadian teen through his mother, Patricia "Pattie" Mallette.
"His mom called me about three years ago, and he was having a concert in Everett (Washington)," Smith said. "Lo and behold he had heard me preach when he was younger in Toronto. I guess I used to put him to sleep. His mom said she'd play my tapes and he'd fall asleep."
Smith added that he does his best to encourage him, and "he's a spectacular young man."