Recently I read an article with the simple headline “Kanye considering starting a church.” I immediately thought I must ask my friends about this and see what they think.
I sent a text to 4 people 3 of them engaged and the views were diverse and well thought out. They talked about his ability to influence people and how that would be used to lead people to Jesus. They shared their concerns, raising question of whether or not he is even Christian, or whether he is qualified to start a church. The conversation was a passionate one.
Others expressed that Kanye may provide a place for those who believe in Jesus but may have divergent views concerning the church and don’t fit in the traditional church context. Scripture was quoted, insights were given, but no consensus was reached. And of course there was concern over Kanye’s $50 socks being sold at the coachella service. Which for some seemed really problematic…
I think this spoke to a bigger issue we may be facing as believers and maybe even more so as a society. When I read the article I thought about 3 passages of scripture; Gamaliel instructs the leaders to leave the disciples alone, because they may be fighting against God and don’t realize it ( Acts 5:34-40), Saul is converted to Paul (Acts 9:1-31), and the warning to those who teach (James 3:1-4).
These passages popped up because I honestly don’t know how to feel about the idea of someone else (granted someone famous) starting church. I have mixed emotions; I think it could be helpful I also think it could be dangerous. I thought through what what makes him qualified. As a minister, I felt a little insulted because surely it shouldn’t be that easy.
Overall, what I felt the strongest was that he is no different from anyone else who wants to start a church, which is why I may have a problem with it.
I think we are at a critical place in history, the history of the church, the country and the world. It would seem in all these spaces we are all able to identify problems and while we are seeking solutions one thing is clear, we keep getting in our own way. We are addicted to solving problems on our own. I believe this is why there are so many different churches and also why they are consistently empty.
I do long for a time where Christians can come together and actually work together for the benefit of the kingdom in heaven and the community here on earth. I think what Kanye is doing is what we all have done but man that way of doing things is broken. Perhaps I should point to the ineffectiveness of all the other well intentioned people who saw a problem, heard a calling and rather than partnering to join a movement, started their own. Rather than humbly submit to other leaders, we decide that the only way to make it work is to do it ourselves.
It is in some ways strange to me that we move from being called by God to serve a community but in the same breath we feel as though we must do it independently from the community we are called to.
I guess what I’m trying to convey is that it seems to me we have decided something is broken in our churches. I think we can all agree it isn’t God or Jesus or the Holy spirit. I don’t understand everything that happens in the world but I believe somehow God has a plan. I also think there are times when we simply get off track.There are times when we seek to be so different that we actually end up, like everyone else. I think maybe we might have to step back and stop trying to fix the problems of this world on our own, with our own strength.
My relationship with Jesus has always been a transformational one, I find that I am the one that is changing, not him. My hope is that we would change our approach that perhaps we don’t need more churches in already church saturated society; maybe we need people who are willing to see a problem and instead of solving it on our own, perhaps we should actually come together and seek to serve the Lord and the community together. Instead of :let me do it,” let’s borrow a phrase from God himself “let us make…”