Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hip Hop and Worship

Last Sunday and today I worshipped at Church Under the Bridge here in Waco. CUB is an interdenominational church that gathers outside under the I-35 bridge every Sunday, rain or shine. The congregation is truly multicultural and consists of homeless brothers and sisters, a local biker group, Baylor students and faculty, high school kids, etc. As I walked up under the bridge I watched as people from all walks of life greeted each other with the peace of Christ. How beautiful is the body of Christ!

As the band finsihed up, Pastor Jimmy Dorrell (director of Mission Waco and Truit Seminary proffessor) approached the microphone and spoke of the man posessed by demons that Jesus cast out into the pigs. Jimmy and I have worked together in the past and as I try to expose my students to people that are different than them he has been very instrumental in bridgeing the gap between "the us" and "the them." He took 15 of my students on an "other side of waco" exposure tour, where he drove us around town to the places that most Baylor students do not usually get to experience. As we came back to Mission Waco, Jimmy pointed out the youth building. Graffiti was purposefully sprayed on the side of the building (words like peace and joy) and Jimmy explained to us that he hopes to turn one of Mission Waco's buses into a HipHop Christian Party bus.

This week I have been thinking about an article that Jimmy wrote about HipHop church services. He feels that there is a great need for these types of services. In fact, CUB holds HipHop church services from time to time.

I was informed that in South Bronx, an Episcopal church that has a HipHop service and Father Alex at the Episcopal Student Center let me flip through his copy of the HipHop prayer book.

(excerpt) Psalm 23 as adapted by Ryan Kearse
The Lord is all that, I need for nothing.
He allows me to chill.
He keeps me from being heated
and allows me to breathe easy.
He guides my life so that
I can represent and give
shouts out in his Name.
And even though I walk through
the Hood of death,
I don't back down
for you have my back.
The fact that you have me covered
allows me to chill.
He provides me with back-up
in front of my player-haters
and I know that I am a baller
and life will be phat.
I fall back in the Lord's crib
for the rest of my life.

Some say that the HipHop church thing is weird and too strange, possibly too much. Some say that it is the embodiment of loving people, and that you have to be truly intentional about getting to know those that are different than you.

I think I'm going to take this week to reflect on what Paul means when he says to "be all things to all people."

(photos by Matt Lester)


Anonymous said...

WOW! The stuff under the bridge sounds great. I really like all this stuff, keep up the good work!
-B. Denker

The Williams said...

i love reading your posts and seeing how Christ is using you. i love you!

Alex said...

I like your ending reflection. Thank you for reminding me friend.


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