By Kevin Rutherford
A self-described “urban approach to ministry” takes hip-hop and puts it in the church.
According to CBS Charlotte, a new congregation called GeneratiOne has opened its doors in Huntersville, N.C. The general Christian message is still the same, but there’s a few flourishes: a DJ instead of an organ, the pastor’s spoken-word delivery and zero traditional hymns.
The hip-hop church held its first service last weekend. CBS’ WBTV was there to speak to the congregation’s pastor, Quinn Rodgers, about the new venture.
“We’re trying to reach the un-churched, the de-churched, the folks who have given up on church and are looking for something different,” Rodgers told WBTV.
Altogether, the approach appears to have worked; in exit interviews, patrons called the songs “upbeat” and with “more flavor,” perhaps owing to the church’s hip-hop slant with a DJ and hip-hop scratching rather than older, more traditional material.
“We’ve taken the hip-hop culture and we’ve extracted all the negative connotations out of it and we’ve deposited solid Christian doctrine in there,” Rodgers added.
A YouTube promo posted last April promises that the church is “transforming the method,” even though “the message is still the same” — “transforming 8-track ministry… into mp3 ministry.”
Interestingly, the Charlotte church isn’t the first to be deemed a hip-hop congregation. There’s a North Hollywood church deemed Hip-Hop Church LA that has been going strong since 2006, currently as a “mobile ministry,” according to its website.