Just to prove that (c)rapness knows no cultural bounds!
OK…this has been a ‘stop doing rap if it’s not your gig’ week. Indeed, what is worse is when churches think they’re cool by doing it as some sort of marketing tool to reach non Christians. They just think you’re tragic and very, very sad (more on that later). I am often asked if I ‘do’ rap here in Niddrie. The answer is ‘no’ for a number of reasons. Firstly, I don’t really like rap music! ( I know, shoot me! I’m not really a very ‘hip’ Christian. I’m not down wiv the yoof anymore). Secondly, we don’t work in a culture that pays much credence to this kind of music. Housing schemes here are, largely, white (with a growing immigrant population) and musical tastes seem somewhat neutral (bland?)- by that I mean some like may rap but they also like JLS along with it (I know, hideous). There doesn’t seem to be the dominant culture of one type. (In the 90’s when I was in my late teens it was the rave phenomenon that swept the country). It is hard to gauge one particular wave here.
So, why the bee in my bonnet about Christians doing (c)rap this week? Well, because an authentic, Christian rapper is actually coming to our shores to do launch a new album (Gravity). His name is Lecrae and I will post a vid of some of his stuff below for those who are a bit clueless. If you like what you see then let me suggest you snatch up some tickets quickly here.
ACTS29WE are putting on a gig in Manchester tomorrow in order to highlight he need for serious church planters and gospel workers in ‘High Priority Areas’ (I am assuming council estates and housing schemes here).
A few of my friends are involved in this endeavour. Duncan Forbes, a church planter in London (a real lover and connoisseur of rap), Steve Timmis will be there in conjunction with ACTS29WE (I think they are sponsoring the event), Dai Hankey who will be launching the book previewed yesterday (another dude who falls into the realm of genuine in this genre). Personally, I am excited at the prospect of them inspiring a new generation of church planters across the UK (and Europe). Let’s pray for young men to rise up from their x-boxes and leave it all on the table for Jesus in these difficult places.
(As a footnote to those who continually ask me about why I like A29WE so much it is because Steve Timmis is not only serious about talking about housing scheme/estate ministry, he is actually doing something about it. Not only that, he is even inviting those of us who have been battling for ages in this ministry to the table and treating us as equals – end of rant).
As for the rest of you churches and sad middle-aged, church marketeers out there, using this genre in an attempt to make the church appear ‘cool’ STOP IT NOW! This is what you actually look like.
This is what the real deal looks actually looks like.
Here’s his testimony of faith in Jesus Christ.