I think there is something that rappers, fans, pastors and everyone else needs to keep in focus when they listen to CD’s, book concerts, write songs and everything else pertaining to Christian hip-hop: THEY’RE RAPPER’S, NOT PASTORS! To the rappers: remember as you write your song to be open and allow God to use you to bring Him glory through your art and your craft. But also remember that the music listeners are your fans, peers and in some cases critics but they are NOT your congregants. God didn’t call you to lead them into deep discipleship or correct them in the way that a pastor would. If you think you can accomplish that with a song, then you are fooling yourself. Seriously. 1st Timothy 3 doesn’t apply to you. And when someone books you for an event, either set in stone what your honorarium is or be open to whatever love offering you get. If you don’t get much then either A. get better at your booking standards or B. take the $7 love offering (a stipulation that you agreed to) and chalk it up to paying dues as an artist trying to establish themselves. Everybody has to do it. Ask any established artist. But PLEASE don’t leave all upset at the group of 17 people you performed in front of and start saying that you’re “worthy of double honor” because you “preach the word.” That scripture doesn’t apply to you! You’re a rapper, not a pastor!
To the pastors/youth pastors/college ministers/parachurch organization leaders: You booked an artist for your event. You advertised it and the place was packed! You booked a Christian rapper and they rocked the house! You did an altar call at the end of the event and 100 people responded to the call of repentance and faith in Jesus. Two weeks after the event, the church didn’t grow one bit and the 100 people who responded are no where to be found. You have a follow up meeting and you and the staff come to the conclusion that hip-hop is not designed for large settings and shouldn’t be used again because not one of those 100 people are growing in Christ’s likeness. THEY ARE RAPPERS, NOT PASTORS! Its not their fault that YOU didn’t follow up with them, get them in a bible study, small group, mentor or whatever your process to connect people may be. Its not their fault the 100 people aren’t being discipled. That’s YOUR task to connect them with people to help them connect with God. If that doesn’t happen then its your fault, stop blaming the rappers. THEY’RE RAPPERS, NOT PASTORS!
To the fans, supporters, listeners and critics: I get it. You like theology rap. Me too. Sometimes. But I don’t NEED my rap to be a lyrical version of the 5 solas. And yes, you should expect a Christian artist to not say something that is contrary to the faith they espouse on record. BUT I don’t need a John Macarthur or a Rick Warren sermon regurgitated in hip-hop form. We shouldn’t have to try to find corresponding scripture and verse for EVERY LINE they say. Again, I think they should do or say something that reflects they are Christian - whether it be done in a clever or metaphorical way or talk about a subject from a believer’s perspective. But if they don’t make every single song based on one of the Psalms, one of Kenneth Hagin’s “foundations of faith” or one of Calvin’s Institutes its okay because THEY’RE RAPPERS NOT PASTORS!
There are TONS of scriptures that tells us to live like were are called by God as believers (Ephesians 4 being one of my fav) and there are scriptures that talk about the weight, responsibility, qualifications and benefits of being a pastor. But unless that rapper is a pastor, those scriptures don’t apply. “Touch not my anointed and do my prophets no harm” is NOT a biblical defense against someone calling a Christian artist’s music weak. (we talked about that, right?) - So everyone, please keep in mind this one thing: THEY’RE RAPPERS, NOT PASTORS! … unless they are in fact, a pastor.