Lecrae On Engaging Culture For Jesus: #R12

r12 lecrae

The second speaker for R12: Day One was Hip-Hop artist Lecrae. As it turns out, Lecrae is not only an extremely gifted Hip-Hop artist, but a great speaker as well! His talk was about engaging in culture, and I could think of no one better.

Lecrae’s music has topped music charts alongside some of secular music’s titans. Not something that the majority of Christian musicians can say, let alone Christian Hip-Hop artists.

He began his talk by sharing where God met him,

“God met me where I was at– baggy jeans and earrings… wrapped up in culture.”

He grew up in a militant home. His mother wanted him to “embrace his ethnicity”. He wore things like Malcom X hats, and cloths that represented his culture. He didn’t want to be a part of any other culture–in particular, white culture.

lecrae r12

Lecrae became a Christian during the “Impact Movement”. He met a white guy who was as white as could be. That white guy’s name was Joe. Despite the fact that Joe couldn’t relate in the least bit with Lecrae’s culture, he genuinely cared about him. That’s what made the difference.

Joe wasn’t afraid of Lecrae because he was different. Because of that, he was able to really care about him as a person. It was this caring that allowed Joe to make a connection with Lecrae that would eventually lead him to give his life to Jesus.

Why the church doesn’t engage in culture

The reason the church doesn’t engage in culture is because they are afraid of it.

  • Afraid it will “mess up their good thing”
  • Afraid it will take away from what they’re doing
  • Afraid to steal beyond the comfort zone
  • Afraid it will “corrupt” their kids

This is what Lecrae describes as the Secular Sacred Divide.

A story from Daniel

From the book of Daniel (chapter 2) he reads the story of Daniel interpreting the Kings dream. Back then, dream interpretation was a Pagan practice. It would be the equivalent of Tarrot card reading today. Not something that God’s people should dabble with or even take seriously. But what Daniel didn’t do was say, “Oh, I can’t be involved in this Pagan practice. I guess we’re all going to just have to die.”

No, Daniel realized that God is the one who created dreams and if anyone could interpret them, God could. So he allowed himself to be used by God to do something outside his comfort zone to reach someone outside his culture.

Well you know the story, the King was astounded at Daniels interpretation, showed him favor and offered him a job. In response, what Daniel didn’t do was say,

“Thanks, but I really want to go into ministry.”

No, Daniel knew he was called to be where he was at. He had a biblical world view.

3 Ways to Reach the Culture

1. Engage culture

  • Know the people, language, ideas
  • Learn how to have a conversation
  • Listen to them, don’t just sit there waiting to pull the trigger

2. Love the people in the culture

  • Most people are intimidated by world-view that they don’t understand
  • These people can’t be projects, they must be “souls”

3. Rehabilitate culture

  • Paint a picture of what it looks like when Jesus radically changes people
  • We get to serve God by serving humanity
  • Jesus has redeemed us to be a demonstration in this world that he has purchased.

How about you– how do you engage in culture?

What are some obstacles?

Leave a comment below with your thoughts!

[Read more R12 recaps]


Dustin Stout

Currently the Chief Marketing Officer of digital marketing and PR firm, Weal Media I spend most of my professional life in the digital realm. Social. Web. Strategy. Design. And coffee. Lots of coffee.


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