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 now and lacking maturity, but in reality they are the future of our community. They are in desperate need of being rescued by King Jesus and maturing into a manhood that is more about biblical masculinity than a macho bravado and locker room mentality. We decided that we were going to try our best and go after these guys.

What did we do? We started an open gym night in an amazing gym facility that God has provided at our campus. We began to have 20 or so guys showing up every week with whom we were building relationships. Then, we began to plan and promote a community 3 on 3 tournament. The event was a huge success. We had over 150 people in attendance. That meant more relationships and more chances for Gospel witness because since then we have been having at least 50 guys show up for each week’s open gym.

Read it all here.

  1. While this may be legitimate on some level and a good way to build relationships , one should be careful with this. It can come off patronizing by buying in to stereotypes and shortsighted to the pressing needs of a neighborhood.

  2. Many of the young black men that grow up in the urban/ghetto experience look to those in the NBA and hip-hop as role models to obtain a better life. “The rythem of the rock (street term for basketball) and beat is the sound that flows from the concrete street,”this an urban culture that has been extremly influential nationwide since 1984. This past June 2009 was recognized as National Basketball & Hip-Hop Culture Month. I realize that there needs to be a more spiritual connection with our urban males but we must understand that when you don’t have you dream about the benjamins and all things that a jump-shot or a serious flow on the mic can bring to you. Can’t Knock the Hustle, Peace.

  3. I’m thankful that you recognized the need for these young people to be nurtured. There is hope for everyone.

    In response to Ryan’s comment, though your ministry began with a specific purpose and provision, God will transform it at His will, according to the needs of His people.

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