Issue 3 Stories

Taking to the Streets

Some are sent across the world. I minister across the street – to reach the hip hop community.

Hip-hop is mostly known by its four “elements” - graffiti writing, emceeing (aka rapping), deejaying (providing the music), and breaking (aka breakdancing). Birthed in a low income borough of New York, its cultural influence has had an impact worldwide. The community includes every demographic you can think of. I reach these amazing people with the Gospel through a ministry called City Lights. 

In 2013, while I was still a pastor at a church, we got together to share about our lives and to pray. This became “hip-hop Bible studies”, fun outings, and other trial-and-error events. Now, our events are more in tune with the culture, including practice events for emcees where they receive a short gospel message and another for breakers to practice or learn and receive prayer. Through these we are building relationships that are both culturally and spiritually relevant, and that will develop into discipleship opportunities.

I’m excited when I hear that we are doing well. Craig Doyle Henry AKA CDH Live! ( shared “City Lights serves a vital role in the health of my spiritual life. As a HipHop artist and a Christian I’ve found that traditional churches struggle to connect with me and with my HipHop Culture. City Lights understands my experience and demonstrates the love of God to me while allowing me room for cultural expression. I am lifted in Spirit every time I am in the presence of my City Lights family.”

Too often, the Hip Hop community are marginalised and outcast. As I grow in my ability and understanding, in both my own discipleship and hip-hop, I pray that I will be more effective in my outreach and in helping the church reach this group as well. I’ve often told people that City Lights has been the most challenging ministry I’ve ever done, but it’s also been the most enjoyable. I’m grateful to God for my calling, but also to my family, friends, supporters, and SIM for their prayers, wisdom, encouragement, and support.

God is doing great things. Thank you!

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