Pepsi's latest advert has caused a Twitter storm. Andrew Hamilton-Thomas...
It's official...I can't rap
I recently caused a few laughs during a lunch break with my magazine colleagues when I attempted a rap: ‘Living and driven, given a vision/ Fulfilling the commission with spiritual intuition/People you need to listen’. I was told to leave it to the experts.
The line is from a song by Dwayne Tryumf, one of the artists profiled in this month’s cover feature on Christian hiphop artists written by one of the scene’s rising stars, Guvna B. If, like me, you don’t know your Jay-Z from your Eminem, it’s a fascinating introduction to an area of important Christian ministry that most people in the majority of white, middle-class churches are completely unaware of.
The danger is that Christians who have been around for a while can easily dismiss such movements as trendy fads, or only relevant to a small minority. In reality, the Guvna Bs of this world may be the next Billy Graham. These hip-hop pioneers are evangelists to a part of culture that much of the Church barely recognises, let alone engages.
A recent survey suggests that our churches are mainly filled with middle-class people. I’ve nothing against middle-class churchgoers – I am one of them – but it’s also a warning that something has gone wrong in the UK Church. Why are we not truly representative of the diversity of the culture we live in?
The fields are ‘white unto harvest’, but I question whether the Church is really investing in the areas where mission is truly critical. Are we simply ploughing the same old furrow, doing what we have always done, yet expecting people to take notice?
Apart from rappers, in this month’s edition of the magazine you’ll meet social entrepreneurs, worship musicians, church leaders in the sexuality debate, an atheist turned activist and a man called Shotgun. We’ve established that I can’t rap. But I can tell you about the people who can, as well as about a whole lot of other gifted people you never knew existed before you picked up this magazine. Whatever our own giftings are, we can pray, support and inspire others in their kingdom creativity.
Thank God that the Church is much broader and, frankly, more interesting than most of our limited experience allows for. Taking the time to discover the wider Church in all its messy glory helps us to see the truly global vision that Christ encompasses.
PS… A warm welcome to any readers discovering Premier Christianity for the first time while on a church weekend or conference. We’re delighted to now be available for free every month via the Christian Conference Trust centres across the UK. Let us know what you make of the mag!