I wrote my thoughts about Kanye West’s Sunday Services back in April 2019 after his Easter Sunday Coachella performance, Kanye West’s Sunday Service- My thoughts. This past Sunday I experienced his Sunday Service firsthand at my church home, The Greater Allen A.M.E Cathedral so I felt it only right to do a follow up to my original post.
Before I get to Kanye, let me just say (for those quick to jump to conclusions), that we had our regular church service. Even though it was an abridged version, we still had praise and worship, prayer, collection and of course the Word. This Sunday I was fortunate enough to hear the sermon from both the 9am and 11:30am services and they were both so pertinent and I pray that they spoke to the hearts of the people present.
The first one which was preached by Min. Donald Garner was called “Don’t Fake Your Faithfulness” and boy did he come for us ‘church folks’! He used the story of the prodigal son but he focused on the ‘faithful’ son who was big mad because his father was celebrating the homecoming of his wayward brother. I know there were a bunch of ‘faithful’ sons sitting in church on Sunday or wherever they were, wondering why our leaders would allow a ‘heathen’ like Kanye to come to our church. To them and others who refuse to give Kanye a chance, I would like to ask the question that Min. Garner posed, “What gospel are you living if you are bitter about someone getting better?!”
I am not sure if this is the actual title of the second sermon preached by Min. Edward Jordon but all I remember him saying was “Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are”. He used the story of Lazarus but he focused on the fact that Martha and Mary kept dwelling on the fact that Jesus didn’t come in time and Lazarus died (the past), even after Jesus showed up. He highlighted the fact that we don’t allow Jesus to work in our lives in the present because we are too busy holding onto things from the past. He ended with this question, “Will you continue to conceal your carcasses or will you roll away the stone?” I guess if I were to relate this to the whole Kanye thing I would say to people, stop dwelling on Kanye’s past and let Jesus deal with the present. Min. Jordon spoke about God’s grace for all of us, Kanye included!
Now let’s get to the actual Sunday Service!
It was a wonderful worship experience! The music was amazing and the choir could SANG!! There is no doubt in my mind that Holy Spirit was present. Listen! When they started singing Lord Speak (A gospel cover of No Doubt’s Don’t Speak) and Speak Lord (I can’t remember the original song), I totally lost it! I was no longer in that church but in the presence of God! Granted, there were several people there who only came for the ‘celebrity’ but I’m sure they left with more than just pictures and videos.
I’ve read a lot of articles and social media posts stating that Kanye is only doing this to promote his album and he’s pimping out Jesus but from what I could see on Sunday he seemed genuine. He looked like a man who knew where God brought him from and who wants to tell others about that same God! Isn’t that what Jesus told us to do in Mark 16:15? To go out into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Emphasis on every!
Like I said to my friend on Sunday, Kanye’s ministry is not for folks like me or the ‘faithful sons’. We already know and love the Lord! I believe that God will use Kanye to reach people that are unreachable. The people that us church folks don’t want to be around because they sin differently from us or can’t be around because we can’t see past our judgments and may push them further from God. I say US because I know that God is still working on me because a few years ago I would have been all up in the comments with my self-righteous indignation. I would even go as far to say that God is using this whole Kanye thing to teach me how to love past my judgments.
Going back to what I said in my first post, Kanye has nothing to prove to me or anyone else. Am I saying that I will put my head on a block for Kanye? No! What I am saying and have said before is that we should give Kanye the same grace that God gives to us daily and just let the man live!
Sunday service, don’t get nervous!
Rap with a purpose, not just for surface!
The time is urgent!
The Lord is working!
The Spirit moving!
Keep it grooving!
We keep improving!
I fall short but I stand up!
I stand up yea, I man up!
Throw y’all hand up, throw y’all hand up!
I fall short but I still man up!
(Freestyle by Kanye)
Just Doing My Father’s Work!