As I’m preparing for my sessions at the Elevate Worship Conference in Kuala Lumpur this weekend, one of the topics that’s close to my heart is Worship in Evangelism. I don’t want to bombard my blog here with too much information, but I did want to give just a few points I feel are important for EVERYONE who is a follower of Christ.
I really like how Rick Warren put it – “Do what you love to do, but do it around lost people”.
For those who know me, know that I love hip-hop. I’ve been rapping since I was 12 (I didn’t say my lyrics were any good back then though… haha!), but have always been an aficionado for the culture of hip-hop – especially the art of turntabilism and rapping.
As a follower of Christ, I can’t reiterate enough how anything apart from Jesus Christ makes for a terrible God. I’ve come to realize that hip-hop and the culture I loved being a part of for so many years, is a great tool, but a terrible god. It can bring temporary satisfaction, but true fulfillment can only be found in the Jesus. Point blank.
So how do we respond? Do we declare that any culture apart from “churchianity” as unholy? I think part of the beauty of seeing God bring people to life, is also to see Christ bring Life to amoral cultures.
I think someone who embodies a heart towards seeing people reached (every pun intended) with the love of Christ through Hip Hop culture as a tool, especially with the emergence of the platform that God is increasing outside of the four walls of the church, is Lecrae. Here he is performing his latest single “Round of Applause” and an interview all at the most popular music show on B.E.T (Black Entertainment Television):
Couldn’t have said it better than Crae… Definitely keep him in prayer as he represents for Christ in hip hop on a global scale.
I think all of us followers of Christ to some extent have been wired with gifting and offered a platform to be able to put Christ on display. Our platform may not be quite the same as Lecrae’s, nor may the platform be hip hop. It can be anything from knitting to golf, ice sculpting to trapeze artistry – in all things, we have an opportunity as God’s kids to “put Daddy on blast” (put the LORD on display).
Here is some things to consider – in whatever you love to do:
Do it around the best: I look to Daniel from the Old Testament who excelled in his work empowered by Christ (yes I did say Christ even though Jesus was born much later… I’m aware!), but very visible to those outside of the Church. His excellence stirred up much talk in the Babylonian empire. By being around the best and doing what you do at that level, your skill will obviously increase.
Work hard to be the best YOU: That’s why there’s a difference between your local church league and the NBA. I play basketball casually and love the game, but if I’m called to be a basketballer, I’d better be honouring God in my training, work ethic and discipline. I’m not called to be a basketball player as my career so don’t worry. I am called to be a musician, so as a musician, I put in work on my craft, whether songwriting, writing lyrics for rap verses, putting DJ sets together etc. I love it, and although it’s work, it’s not a hard chore, because I have a love for it, and I believe God wired me that way.
Don’t be ashamed of the gospel: Romans 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe.” Remember firstly, that any platform you have is because God gave it to you, and secondly that platform is given to make much of our God and his gospel.
Go in community: You’ll notice that Lecrae went to BET 106 and Park with well renowned rapper Andy Mineo who is also a Christian and an excellent MC. The importance of the realisation of the Great Commission being issued to the disciples both as individuals and as a unit, which becomes evident in the book of Acts in the New Testament, as this group of disciples completely change history with the movement that we are a part of and is still growing today. It’s best to not go it alone, not just for accountability, but also for visibility – as people observe the way WE love one another as the church, they see Christ’s body functioning in a glorious manner.
Chase Jesus, Not the Platform: It’s an oldie but a goodie – Matthew 6:33 “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things shall be added unto you.” Be encouraged to pursue God crazily in relationship and powerful intimacy. The moment that the eyes that are supposed to be seeking Him, start seeking over the proverbial Jones’ fence for greener pastures is the moment that you’ll let dissatisfaction be the ruin of your life in Him. Like John Piper says, God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.
Come down from the Platform: As I stated earlier, the Platform Giver is to be honoured with the platform. Can I add that I think it is just as important, if not MORE IMPORTANT to honour him away from the platform. For instance, when I get the opportunity to play gigs, or do shows, or record on peoples projects, I see the onstage or recording as mere “conversation pieces” for me to be able to engage with those who may listen and appreciate (even in some cases, disagree). Those conversations that I have off stage are a major reason that I’ll even consider prayerfully taking any platform.
My prayer: “Please God don’t give me a platform that the weight of my character is not ready for.”
I look back at what God has done in my life, the amazing friends I have been so blessed to meet from all over this planet, and I’m in awe that God would bestow such wonder on a undeserved brat of a dude like me. To see what I have is to see what he’s done. To see what he’s done, is all I hope people see, no matter what the platform is God gives me.