I know what you’re thinking. “Woah, Josh, slow down. Lessons from hip-hop in the church? Have you heard the lyrics in music?” I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out.
Hip-hop exploded on the scene a couple of years ago like no one would have expected. Coupled with thick, heavy, and hard hitting beats, hip-hop mixed in lyrics offered in a near poetic form. Hip-hop was aggressive. It was in your face. Hip-hop was sweeping the nation. But the biggest thing hip-hop did was it gave the people of hip-hop an avenue to use their voice. Hip-hop gave people who did not usually have a platform to speak the ability to use their voice. And hip-hop allowed people to tell their story their way.
Now you do not have to like hip-hop music to learn some from it. I grew up in an area and a time where I have always known and enjoyed the genre, especially the recent strides in Christian hip-hop. But whether you like the genre or no, what you can learn ways to give people a platform to share their voice in the church. So you have to ask the question,
How can we give people a platform to share their voice?
Who are the people we know in our churches, work places, schools, communities, etc. who do not have a platform to share their voice? Jesus walked with the poor and oppressed and listened to them, making their voices worth their time. He confronts the people who silence others voices for doing so and confronts the way of society.
Hip-hop gave a community who was not being heard a platform to share their voice and tell their story their way. How are we doing the same as the church? This can be scary because we cannot censor everything shared, but we help walk people through these scenarios and help them prepare and organize in their own way how to tell their story. First, we need to give people a platform to use their voice. Who in our context is not having their voice heard?