United In Hip Hop
Editor’s Note: Not only is it our desire at OurWitness to share with you personal testimonies of how God has transformed lives, ultimately, stories that tell the gospel message. We also want to share with you how God is drawing people to Him through other ministries as well. Today, we want to share with you about City Lights.
The hip-hop community needs believers to go to them with the Gospel as much as anyone else does – because they need Christ too, for their hurts, hope, help, and especially for a healthy relationship with God. They need to know the truth about Jesus and follow him – without being asked to give up hip-hop culture. They need to be a part of a loving Christian fellowship – one that will not reject them before they’ve even said a word because of their clothing and language. God and hip-hop are not strangers, but there is a wide chasm between the hip-hop community and the faith. God has been moving to close that gap and one such means is a mission/ministry called City Lights (www.TheWordBecameFresh.ca).
We began with a passion, an idea, and a push. After years of contemplation and doubt, the challenge was there to stop merely thinking about a hip-hop mission/ministry and to set a starting date. On Jan. 16, 2013, our “hip-hop get-together” started with a handful of people. The next week there were more as the participants had invited people. Then more people came. And it kept growing, mainly through word of mouth. What started off as a three month trial is still moving forward to this day.
Currently, we have people who live, like, or are willing to learn about hip-hop. As well, God has brought us people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, ages, stages in life, theologies, church backgrounds – or lack thereof, and struggles. He has also grown us into this great community where we know we are cared for and are given the chance to care for others – with great truth and with greater grace. The common hip-hop culture and the love of God have allowed us a great sense of acceptance, authenticity, and anticipation of how God will grow us, individually and together.
In terms of our weekly get-togethers, they started off as a pure Q&A for people to come and ask any questions they wanted. Now it’s become a time of Bible discussion, praise reports, prayer, sharing of talents and testimonies, fellowship, and delegated responsibilities. Even outside of these “hip-hop Bible studies”, we are becoming friends and it’s been dope to see people meeting up to support each other in our different endeavours, just to hang out together, or to pray with one another.
God has started – and continues to build – this group. As of this writing, we have probably had around 80 people come through and our weekly get-togethers usually average 10-11 people. We are maturing in our faith through discipleship, evangelism, and fellowship. We see God being active and are obeying with humility and excitement. Please join us in prayer, ask people to participate, or help provide for our financial and material needs, as God continues to build up this mission/ministry and as we continue to spread the Gospel by being disciples and making disciples through the hip-hop community.