New congregations heavily influenced by hip-hop culture and music are emerging around the U.S., reports Charisma magazine (August).
The first hip-hop congregation was established last January in Tampa Florida. Since then, several congregations have been or are being established in New Jersey (Universal Fat House), Ontario (Church Without Limits), Atlanta (Faith International Ministries), Memphis (City of Refuge), and Los Angeles. These congregations and their pastors and members have faced opposition from the established black churches, but proponents believe they reflect postmodern ministry within an urban context.
The hip-hop churches are multicultural and attract 18-to 35-year-olds. They tend to include a DJ and turntables as part of the worship. One church is adorned with graffiti, while another may have breakdancing during the period for worship and praise. The congregations engage in direct confrontation with secular hip-hop culture.
The Church Without Limits and Crossover hosts town-meeting-style rap sessions that address social issues, such as racism. Another article in the magazine suggests that hip-hop and Christian rap music are facing growing acceptance from the evangelical world. This is especially the case with the emergence of such artists as the Philadelphia-based group Cross Movement. Rather than making entertainment a part of its ministry, Cross Movement saturates its music with scripture and gospel lyrics.
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