Hip Hop + Basketball = Urban Ministry

Great post on Baptisttwentyone.com about using hip hop and basketball as a means of reaching people. The idea: When we took that drive back in the summer and observed this sub-culture we recognized immediately two predominant things that interested them: basketball and hip hop music. We knew that we had the facilities and guys who could connect with these young men through basketball. We said, “This is out there but what might really be cool is a hip hop service of some kind with open gym afterwards…” The young men: They were 19-29 year old young men who play basketball nearly every single day, wear baggy clothes strategically placed to show off inked skin, work (or don’t work) part time to support various addictions, go from relationship to relationship sometimes producing children, and are heavily influenced regardless of race by hip hop music. These men, we recognized, may be directionless…

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Worshiping Jesus, Jr.

The Acts 29 blog (Acts 29 is a church planting network of which I am a part), posted this summary of American Christianity from Ray Ortlund, Jr. Ortlund describes our American idolatry, which not the real Jesus, but a shallow phony. Our local deity is not Jesus. He goes by the name Jesus. But in reality, our local deity is Jesus Jr. Our little Jesus is popular because he is useful. He makes us feel better while conveniently fitting into the margins of our busy lives. But he is not terrifying or compelling or thrilling. When we hear the gospel of Jesus Jr., our casual response is “Yeah, that’s what I believe.” Jesus Jr. does not confront us, surprise us, stun us. He looks down on us with a benign, all-approving grin. He tells us how wonderful we really are, how entitled we really are, how wounded we really are,…

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When Black People Visit White Churches…

Between Two Worlds has this summary of a blog post by Curtis Allen. Curtis Allen, a black man, offers some of his insights regarding black people visiting mostly white churches. Of particular note are these four challenges to African Americans joining a predominately white congregation. He closes by discussing some things that will be a struggle for most (though not all) black people: 1. Worship style will be a challenge. 2. The expectations of biblical manhood and womanhood. 3. Theological emphases. 4. Over-greeting. From Between Two Worlds… Here’s an outline of part 1: Black people are not monolithic Does your church have the heart that you have for blacks coming into your church? Is your church in proximity to a black community? What sacrifices are you willing to make? So what are some of the sacrifices that may need to be made? And of part 2: Where possible, invite some…

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