I’ve heard of a contemporary worship service before, but not a hip-hop church.
Pastor Quinn Rodgers of Generation One in Huntersville, North Carolina started hip-hop church last month. While there have been plenty of ‘untraditional’ church service attempts in the past, I think Pastor Rodgers points out why this kind of church service gets so much attention:
“We’ve taken the hip-hop culture and we’ve extracted all the negative connotations out of it and we’ve deposited solid Christian doctrine in there.”
That makes a lot of sense. What we call ‘contemporary’ worship is often times a similar thing. Modern rock sounds mixed with glorifying lyrics.
Rodgers talks more about his motivation behind starting this hip-hop church:
“We’re trying to reach the un-churched, the de-churched, the folks who have given up on church and are looking for something different. It’s a church for those who are unchurched, dechurched and just tired of church and want something different, something unique and vibrant.”
Unique and vibrant it is, but before you think this is just something for those under 30, think again. Rodgers is aiming the “hip-hop generation,” a generation that has been around a while:
“The hip-hip generation is aging. When you look at Kid ‘N’ Play and various other artists in the hip-hop arena, they are in their 50s and having grandkids. In 10 years, the seniors of the church will be the hip-hop generation.”
So as intriguing as this headline was for me in the beginning, when I read what Pastor Quinn as to say about this new work, it really makes a lot of sense.
Here’s what a local online review had to say about hip-hop church:
“The Feel: GeneratiONE is a friendly, informal church. Worshipers are greeted by a small army of young people, all dressed in t-shirts bearing the church’s logo. As worshipers depart, the young greeters spread out along the driveway, carrying signs inviting visitors back.
The Music: Thumpin’. That’s the best way to describe the music on the day we attended. At times it ranged from what sounded like smooth jazz (during happy hour) to rap and spoken word during the worship service. Listen closely, though, and all the music (some performed by a live choir) carried an inspirational message. Above the stage/pulpit, a large screen flashed techno-designs that kept pace to the beat. Our favorite song, which included liturgical dance, was a song called “God’s Got It” – “I ain’t gonna worry ‘bout the money in the bank; I ain’t gonna worry ‘bout the gas in the tank; I ain’t gonna worry ‘bout the things I can’t control; I ain’t gonna worry ‘bout it, all I do is pray about it; God’s got it, God’s got it…””
You can read the entire review here, but I thought this summed things up well and focused on the most important aspect of hip-hop church:
“Untraditional though it was, the message was the same Gospel preached in Christian pulpits all over Charlotte – new life though Christ.”