Christian hip-hop artist Joey Jewish is someone who gets it. While his music isn’t the most explicitly Christian, he understands the importance of letting his faith guide his actions, decisions, and ministry. That is why Joey was a bit cautious when God told him to step out of his comfort zone of the Christian bubble.

Nearly every move Joey has made as an artist has been centered around working with Christians.

Whether it was team building, ministering, or music, Joey “tried to stay connected to that community” and wanted people to grow together.

However, Joey began to get burned by people. He often dealt with people talking behind his back; spreading jealousy and contention while forming little clicks.

“People literally start targeting you,” Joey said. “People who wanted to reach out to me became hesitant, saying ‘Listen, Joey, I’ve been wanting to reach out to you but I was kind of pushed back a little bit because I’ve heard such and such about you’.”

“It was really hurtful…but little did I know, God was working through it.”

Joey said God was preparing him to “defect from this realm.” He revealed that his music career became more about entertainment than ministry. He lost his focus.

Joey started to break away from some of those toxic relationships, and the material for Beautiful Solitude began to come together.

The emcee had to start from scratch and find a new team to create music with. “God promised me in prayer, ‘If you stay faithful, I’m going to bring you people. I’m going to bring you fresh fruit’.”

“I didn’t understand what He meant by that.”

Joey, an Arizona resident, was contacted by DJ Apprentice, a local DJ. He told him that he “liked the music” and couldn’t believe Joey was from there.

“All the big people who come through Arizona come through me,” said the DJ.

After chatting, eventually, DJ Apprentice asked, “What do you need? Let’s sit down, I want to help you. I want to get you radio play and connect you with a lot of people.”

From there Joey was connected to two other guys. “I was really nervous about the whole thing but God told me these people were going to help me,” he shared.

The rapper was then introduced to Mike Rodriguez who owns an Arizona-based photography and design company called Random Life. He has done work with Lil Wayne and Drake and does video and photography for live events as well.

Rodriguez told Joey, “I like your stuff and I want to help you pro bono. Any kind of art of digital artwork you need, you let me know and I got you for it.”

Another person, Eric, offered to help Joey with live DJ sets, cover, and website design work.

From there, he was introduced to Young Mac, who is the traveling videographer for Roscoe Dash. Mac said he’d work with Joey and said: “don’t worry about the fees.”

He continued, “When I listen to your music, I leave feeling good.”

The seeds were planted, and God held up his end of the bargain. “It blew me away,” Joey said. “The promises of God started lining up.”

His team helped him secure gigs with Kitty, 2 Chainz, and a few festivals.

Some Christians began commenting to him saying, “Why would you work with these people? This is ridiculous, you should feel like a straight up heathen…What kind of Christian goes into a place like this and thinks they can call themselves a servant of the Lord?”

“Have we really lost our vision that much that we don’t realize this is why we’ve been put here?” said the artist. “Have we lost our minds. We’ve gotten so caught up in religion and playing church.”

After all of these pieces were set in place, it was time for Joey to hold up his end of what God told him. It was time to do a little less entertaining and a little more ministering.

“I let my testimony speak for itself,” Joey said. “When they would smoke weed and drink, I would just love them. I wouldn’t condemn them and based on that, they’d start to ask questions. They began opening up about life and the existence of God.”

One of the guys’ father’s had cancer and he began asking questions about God. He also began to make promises of “God, I’ll give up such and such if you heal my father.” Two weeks later, his father was healed of cancer.

“What is that?” he asked.

Another one of the guys shared with Joey that he had been filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues when he was a teen. He admitted that he didn’t stick with his faith and walked away.

There were all these opportunities to minister into his team’s lives.

Joey said the first concert he did with the whole crew was all of their first times seeing a Christian artist perform. On stage, Joey opened up about his past addictions and an almost suicide attempt. His honesty talking about the darkness and the joy he now has in the light impacted his new associates greatly.

“Dude that touched me. I never saw or heard anything life that,” they said to Joey. “God is real, I want that.”

“And little by little those seeds that were planted by not judging people or casting the first stone and just loving them,” shared Joey. “They came to that point, ‘I want what you got’. And they prayed, and they accepted Christ.”

He said there are a few still in the process of figuring it out, but pretty much his new crew has found Jesus.

“I quickly realized this is the heart of God. Ultimately our goal is to go out in the world and pull people in with love,” he said. “This past year I really figured out what it is to serve God. There’s been no greater peace. The satisfaction, the reward, at the end of the day I know I’m laying up treasures in heaven. I’ve become a lot more passionate.”

He continued, “If more of us as believers would just be obedient to what God is telling each individual to do, there would be such a revival to this generation as a whole. People will come in in waves.”

Check back for more with Joey Jewish next week as he talks about serving God’s purpose despite having his music stolen.