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This project arises from religious education courses at the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago but can be opened to other programs as well. Interested professors of religious education or faith formation should e-mail edaily@luc.edu if they want their students to be included.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Christian Rap...Does it really work?

Within the last month, I attended a Youth Open Mic Night at my church, Vernon Park Church of God. This event featured a not only the talents of the youth that wanted to perform that evening but a Christian DeeJay, a rap group, and rock guitarist. What a combination huh?. At this event, I analyzed the reactions of the young people there and what I noticed is that they were not as drawn and enthused as the leaders might have thought.

This made me think of how some attempt to evangelize to young people with the use of popular culture. I believe it was Heft who displayed how young people believe that the Divine is not confined to the church setting. So, if that is the case, it is not necessary to use things in pop culture, such as rap, to draw young people. The concept of Christian rap has not been very successful throughout the years and I believe that it is partially a result of this. At the Open Mic event, it seemed that the young people were more concerned with the skill level of the rapper, in comparison with secular artists, as opposed to the message.

I dont want to be misunderstood. I am not saying that Christian rap is useless, but I am questioning it effectiveness in evangelization. Grant it, there are many young people that enjoy Christian rap, but it's growth in popularity hasn't been significant. Since rap is a very popular form of music in popular and secular culture, it would seem that Christian rap would have a similar success but, it hasnt.

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