Let me start by saying that I lead worship at a church with 3 different unique worship services. Classic (traditional music), Live (contemporary/modern music), and Edge (contemporary/modern/edgy music). I lead in the Edge service, and have a TON of support from the Pastors which gives me freedom to try new things, in fact, if anything I'm encouraged to "push the envelope" more. We have a guy at our church (Anthony Hiltz) who raps, and I'm always looking for ways to use him during our time of worship. We have used him in the past to do Chris Tomlin's "Our God" w/ Lacrae from the Passion album Here For You. I have Crowder's "Shadows" w/ Lacrae and "Stir It Up" by Worth Dying For in the pipeline, but I'm thinking about doing songs here and there that are more rap focused. So, instead of having a rap section act as a bridge (like the songs mentioned above), I'd like to use songs that have more of a rap for the verses and the chorus be more of a singable hook. Just wondering if anyone is using rap during worship. If so, how? How’s it going over with everyone, what’s the reaction/involvement like? As I mentioned before, I'm not worried about Pastoral support, or even the congregation disliking it. What I don't want to happen is a concert where people simply stand and watch. So, ANYTHING we do has to allow people to engage in worship, and I'm worried that initially doing more rap driven songs may lead to more observation rather than participation. Anthony is WAY talented, and writes really good songs! Recently he asked me to sing in a song called "Please Lord Jesus" for his new album. This is the kind of song I'm talking about using. You can listen to "Please Lord Jesus" below. I'm also wanting to do "Elohim" from his new album as an opener sometime.
Looking forward to your thoughts and suggestions.
You can find, listen, and download (for free) Anthony's music here...
Well, I can't comment on how we "do it" at our church, but I guess it comes down to two things:
1. Does it bring glory to God? (or does it bring glory to man?)
2. Does it help the congregation bring glory to God? (in a real way ... not just "shiny happy people" ...)
If both are truly "yes" -- then go for it!
I agree with Carl. Here is one way to evaluate those two questions...
I get these images in my mind when I hear the songs you linked:
- Big-legged women with shorty shorts strutting around and shaking their backsides
- Angry men with huge bling on their chests, at odd angles, shoving their faces and hands in and out of the camera view
- Live footage of various rap gansters' death scenes
- Documentaries about gang violence in Oakland, Atlanta, Detroit etc.
...and I don't listen to rap or watch any of their concerts. If I think of those things when I hear the songs, what about the people who have been into it all their lives?
I think you could create songs like these without the harsh and angry edge. But if I just listen to them without hearing the lyrics, it's angry and full of negative attitudes. It's not an attitude I would personally want to combine with biblical lyrics.
Of course if I read the lyrics, I'm sure the writers are sincere believers.
I am in a church with a very racially mixed culture. We were doing a rhythm and one of the guys in the congregation got up and rapped. It was electrifying to the congregation. If it's genuinely your heart then do it...