Can the Holy Spirit Show Up at a ‘Hip-Hop’ Church?

I read this article about a ‘Hip-Hop’ church in Moreno Valley, California. At first I thought: “There is no way that this can be ‘real’ worship. After all, how can the Spirit show up and minister in the midst of that kind of noise.” Then I was quickly reminded of a time in 1970 when I was a youth minister and the Pastor let our high school youth group do the Sunday morning service.

Folk music was popular at the time so we slightly changed the words of one Dillon song and two of Simon and Garfunkel’s and had the congregation sing with our guitars instead of the regular hymns. This was way radical at the time, there was no such thing as ‘contemporary’ worship music.

The Jesus people, Calvary Chapel, and Chuck Smith were just getting started 20 miles down the freeway. It was a great experience for the kids. However, the Pastor received all sorts of complaints from some of the elders in the congregation. Many of the comments seem rather funny now.
I read the scripture and preached out of one of the new versions of the Bible (don’t remember which). There were more than a few comments about that choice. Then the guitars were referenced as “tools of the devil”. The Pastor never did tell me what they really said about the music, but it wasn’t good. LOL.

This was a church that sang 3 or 4 good ol’ hymns all written in the good ol’ days of 1700-1900, and accompanied by God’s own instrument, the organ. I was also the regular church organist at the time, but that day I was guilty of leading the congregation with a guitar.

But you know what, the Holy Spirit did show up and some people also told the Pastor that they were blessed. We ended up doing several more services that year and it really did bless the kids that were involved and made them feel like they were really part of the church.

Now back to ‘Hip-Hop’. I can’t imagine how that kind of music can be redeemed. Only God can redeem something like that noise along with all the severe words that seem to attend it. Now I am one of those old fogeys who can’t conceive that anyone could be blessed listening to that kind of ‘worship music’, and the Holy Spirit just reminded me of the time when things were a whole lot different.

If people come to Jesus and can worship with that noise, then may God richly bless them. What do you think? I am especially interested in hearing from some of you younger folk out there, and from some who worship in ethnic or black churches.


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6 Responses to Can the Holy Spirit Show Up at a ‘Hip-Hop’ Church?

  1. I have found myself weeping out to God alone in my room after entering into worship through Hip Hop…

    I have been worshipping with Hip Hop music for about 4 years now. It is only as of late that I found out that there are churches that do this. It does not surprise me though! My freshmen year of college I went to a place called Club Worship in Reading PA. It struck me odd, but I thought I would go and check it. Well what I witness that night for my first time was a group of people dancing in the spirit to Hip Hop and Trance music. They were seriously into it and were oblivious to there surroundings. It was just them and God, it was AMAZING!!!

    So, I went back to college and started doing the same thing in my dorm room. I held some events on campus similar to Club Worship. We called it The Night Light and it hit off. The same thing that happened at Club Worship was happening on my campus!

    This is not a coincidence or just a bunch of fanatics making things up. This is real and I highly recommend for doubters to witness it for themselves.

  2. Thanks for your testimony R.I.P. Even though that kind of music doesn’t bless me, I am sure that the Holy Spirit can reach folks even through Hip Hop.


  3. Michael

    I grew up on hiphop through the 80’s and early 90’s. When I got saved I stopped listening to it. However, God has brought me back into that culture and I am seeing a whole bunch of these kids get saved.

    Now imagine you are an urban youth and your friend invited you to a group in the hopes of you getting saved. How would you react to vineyard music? How about some hymns? Now houw about the same musical style you grew up on?

    Case and point: A couple of the guys that I mentor had a rap group and now only make christian rap and even put together a hiphop worship track.

    Check out the one at the end of this post:

    Here is the worship track

    This music is touching people. Believe it or not.

  4. Thanks Carl, that is very helpful.

    I do believe that the Holy Spirit was trying to teach me something following my initial reaction when I first read about the ‘Hip-Hop’ church. Praise God.

    Btw, sometimes I like to drive 15 miles down the 405, particularly at Christmas time, and take in the beautiful sounds of the pipe organ and choir and sing 3 or 4 great ol’ hymns that I remember from my childhood at the Crystal Cathedral. What a beautiful setting to worship in too.


  5. I don’t understand Hip Hop at all. I can’t see why it is popular or loved by anyone. BUT what I do know, is that God cannot be confined to our opinions or preferences. If people have a heart of worship and are expressing their love and respect, then yes, Hip Hop, Rock, Folk Music, Organ Music, or (God, please don’t let this last one come back to get me) even Polka can be used to WORSHIP.

  6. Worshipping to gospel hip hop is not only 100% God, it’s also very inspiring. Think of this way: Alot of the people that are gospel hip hop artists were once gang bangers, drug dealers, and all other sorts of ungodly things. Think of the witness these guys/girls are and think of what God must have done to transform these lives. I sometimes cry when listening to gospel hip hop. Its just one more proof that God is alive and well and on the throne! God Almight Himself took these lives and changed them in ways that has these rap artists singing His praises. In my opinion, one of the best types of praises that I’m sure even God Himself absolutly enjoys!

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