Relationship Status: It’s complicated… That’s the sentiment of many urban church planters and pastors, including myself with regard to the CHH world.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, home of hip-hop’s greatest MC, the Notorious B.I.G., I’m a son of the movement. It has influenced my style, speech, and even worldview. The grittiness of dudes like DMX helped me be bold, lyricism like Kweli’s taught me to be eloquent, and the outspokenness of Tupac pushed me to speak up about injustice in my neighborhood and world.
Naturally then when I came to faith in ’06, I looked for Christian Hip-Hop as a replacement to the vulgar stuff I heard growing up… I was disappointed. Even as recently as ’06, a lot of what I heard was done with poor quality, weak bars, and to put it simply sounded like a cheap regurgitation of worldly tracks. So, I did what any other respectable hip-hop head would do; I stopped wasting my time with CHH and went back to the classics.
Around the year 2011 however, I reconnected with an old friend and his squad. At that time, local Miami CHH artist and now full-time student at Moody Bible Institute, “Justin Martyr Francis,” asked me to give CHH another shot. He recommended that I check out guys like LeCrae, Andy Mineo, Da’ T.R.U.T.H., and the 305’s own, Serge. Reluctantly, I did and man was I surprised at how far it had come.
In the next several years, I would connect with others leaders in the movement including guys like JBlaze305, D.A. Horton, Shai Linne, Sho Baraka, etc. as well as other artists and grew a deep love for the movement and respect for the artistry. These brothers have been used by God to help me grow in my theology, missiology, and sanctification. From Shai’s lyrical theology, to Horton’s apologetics, to Sho’s cultural engagement, I have received incredible nourishment in our lane.
However, some years have passed and in some ways as an urban church planter I have become part of this great movement (at least I want to think that… Let me live) and have seen another side of it. A less excellent side. Truth is, because of the excitement our movement has brought the broader evangelical world especially among minorities we have been given a “get out of discipleship free” card.
Many of our leaders are given platforms that they haven’t worked for, our artists aren’t churchmen, and our followers are submitted more to the culture and its influencers than to pastors and a local church. This wouldn’t rock for anyone else in the broader church, but it does with regard to us because we got hype…
Here’s what I’m saying, “CHH, we gotta check ourselves before we wreck ourselves.”
1. I think this means that leaders in our movement need to be in mentoring relationships, with more seasoned and godly men who can hold us accountable and show us the way to healthy influence and holiness.
2. In order to be trusted and viable among our followers, artists need to be invested in a church and under the real care of pastors. We should stop giving platforms to any artist who cannot give us the name and number of their Pastor.
3. CHH heads should be confronted where they are found to be submitted more to the culture than to a pastor and local church.
Sometimes I wonder, what if the deficiencies of the CHH movement were found to be the same deficiencies in the not-yet-fully sanctified universal Church, only seen more clearly because of its smaller core?
If that is the case, then the answer is repentance and a re-prioritization of the ordinary means of grace.
This is why I’m planting Cruciform Church in Hollywood, FL. To see people of all cultures, including CHH, submit more fully to the Lordship of Christ, for His glory, and the good of neighbor.
Cruciform Church in Hollywood, Florida is on their MISSIO DEI spreading HIS fame and restoring the streets. With an urban flavor, they are building diverse communities of believers in every neighborhood of Hollywood. Urban Church Planter, David Rosa Jr., invites you to find out what Cruciform and the mission is all about by attending our launch service on March 27.
The Official Launch of Cruciform ChurchThe time has come. Cruciform Church is officially launching! Join us in celebration of all that God is doing in our midst this Easter Sunday, March 27th at 1708 N. 60th Ave. Hollywood. FL. 33021 [East Parking Lot Entrance] ■Spread the Word■ iamcruciform EasterinHollywoodFL easter2016 poundtheconcrete churchplanting churchplant gospel Jesus urbanchurchplanting church HollywoodFL SouthFlorida Miami PembrokePines Miramar daviefl fortlauderdale socialjustice lifechanging newbeginnings makeadifference freshstart launchcruciform CruciformLaunchWeekend holyweek Epic Urban traditional gospelcentered
Posted by I am Cruciform on Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Visit https://cruciformchurch.org/ for more information.
The views expressed in this post do not necessarily represent the views of Jam The Hype and its employees.