Hip Hop, the Gospel and Worship
Early last summer some of my staff and I were on an Acts 17 mission driving around our community observing the culture. There are several churches in our area that are trying very similar things in ministry and outreach to reach very similar people. But, during our drive we noticed a segment of the population who is largely neglected. They were 19-29 year old young men who play basketball nearly every single day, wear baggy clothes strategically placed to show off inked skin, work (or don’t work) part time to support various addictions, go from relationship to relationship sometimes producing children, and are heavily influenced regardless of race by hip hop music. These men, we recognized, may be directionless now and lacking maturity, but in reality they are the future of our community. They are in desperate need of being rescued by King Jesus and maturing into a manhood that is more about biblical masculinity than a macho bravado and locker room mentality. We decided that we were going to try our best and go after these guys.
What did we do? We started an open gym night in an amazing gym facility that God has provided at our campus. We began to have 20 or so guys showing up every week with whom we were building relationships. Then, we began to plan and promote a community 3 on 3 tournament. The event was a huge success. We had over 150 people in attendance. That meant more relationships and more chances for Gospel witness because since then we have been having at least 50 guys show up for each week’s open gym. What was the next step?
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