What The Church Can Learn From Jay-Z
Allow me to re-introduce myself. My name is Angel. And this is not in any way, shape, or form a marketing tactic for Jay-z. This is not a, “Hmmm, maybe I’ll take another listen to Holy Grail, it was pretty good!” or anything like that.
What this is, is a look inside the mindset of modern day pop culture. A peek into the principles that led Brooklyn rapper Jay-Z and his ascend from street-corner to Barclay owner. A correlation between that and the faith we should hold steadfast as believers in Christ. Some may be reading this wondering how in the heck those two things even line up, but I guess that’s the problem.
There are certain principles that the world around us have learned from centuries of watching the church. Over time, society has adapted these principle, removed the need for Christ and used them for its own gain. Take business for instance: Every single book on money, from great and timeless authors ranging from the likes of Dale Carnegie to Robert Kiyosaki have taught the biblical principal of tithing. They may not call it a “tithe” but every millionaire will tell you that it is impossible to stay wealthy without being charitable, and most will go as far as to say it is impossible to stay wealthy without being a good person. A kind and generous person. Where could this possibly come from?
I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:25
In particular as we move forward, I have seen a jump in modern businesses inclined toward good. From Panera, to Toms and companies like Sevenly. People will not support you if you do not give back. Dale Partridge, founder of sevenly.org and startupcamp.com has written an entire book about the importance of people over profit. But where does Jay-Z fit into all of this? How does the church benefit?
Jay-Z is the poster child of self made financial redemption. But he is more of a representation when it comes to culture and the things it has learned from the church. People like Jay-Z and Drake (for example) show us that there is a brotherhood amongst Hollywood’s elite. The same people who they started with all these years ago are the people who now share in their success.
Yes, part of it is the “come up” mentality. Or as Drake says…”no new friends” but a big part of it is a Christian principle! Brotherhood! Forgiveness, constantly encouraging and uplifting each other. Not only as people but as professionals. When this happens, you see the entire group work harder to achieve excellence in their craft and voala! OVOXO…or….Rockafella Records.
I say this is only a principle because without Christ at the center this is motivated by greed and is lacking true love. This is why you get all of the corruption in the “game”. But imagine for a second if Christians were to grasp these concepts. To uplift each other, not only spiritually, but professionally and creatively? There might be a new renaissance on the brink! And it might be dangerous.
So without further ado, this is what I think the church can learn from Jay-Z:
We Can Learn To Excel
When Jay-z first started out, he didn’t stay on the bottom very long. He did everything in his power to get around as many incredible MC’s as possible to be seen, beat them in a battle,and get noticed, he even did ghostwriting (when you write for other rappers) . Not to mention putting out tons of music with excellent quality. In the same way as Christians we should be surrounding ourselves with as many spiritual people as possible, attempting to learn more than them. Not for the sake of beating them however, but for the sake of knowing God more. This way we can be excellent in our purpose.
We Can Learn To Grow
When Jay realized he was outgrowing his peers, he didn’t throw them to the wayside (except Damon Dash) but he developed new networks that would bring him to a higher platform. His old peers could chose to come with him or not. Most chose not to.
As Christians with a purpose we can choose to do the same. We hold a puzzle piece of God’s elaborate and incredible plan, we choose to put it in place or not. We can decide to leave our comfort zones to develop relationships with people who we may not agree with, yet will further God’s purpose in our lives. Our peers may not follow right now, but this is why scripture says the road we travel is narrow.
We Can Learn To Sow
Jays financial endeavors are what set him apart from the rest. Most notably his building and selling off of Rock-a-wear. Jay sowed his seed according to what he knew he could reap consistently. Not only for his benefit, but for the benefit of his entire lineage.
Conquering the fear of sowing is a vitality for us a Christians. This isn’t about money or wealth, but it is about lineage. The generations of Christians being born into this world should be well taken care of, and it begins with us. How we sow determines what we trust God with. Remaining uninformed to financial endeavors is simply spiritualizing poverty.
We Can Learn To Reap
Because Jay stewarded his initial gift of Hip-Hop well, and turned that into a clothing company, he has somehow managed to become a part owner of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, a club, a record label and various investments.
Similarly, stewarding our gifts allows us to reap the benefits of what God has given us. Differently, our gifts are for heavenly purposes and for the people around us. Although we may benefit from them, we aren’t called to hang onto them, but to give freely. This doesn’t mean we can’t have nice things this just means that as Christians what we do with those nice things should have eternal impact.
We Can Learn About Covenant
Not having a child out of wedlock is statistically one of the three things you have to do to not be poor in this country. So Mr. Carter is on the good side of the stats yet again. Marrying Beyonce, and having Blue Ivy, they have been a Pop Culture phenomenon. Putting my personal feelings aside, their monogamous marriage is an encouragement and goes to show that a couple can still do things in a traditional fashion. Even if everything you do isn’t traditional. You can still have traditional roles because theres nothing wrong with that!
Covenant goes even deeper however, when God holds a place in between our marriages there is a sweet spot where no amount of tabloids, temptations or even arguments can interfere. (Are you saying God will make your marriage perfect?) He could!!!! If you let Him. It takes hard work and hard Word. But marriage is not a physical thing. It’s not even a legal thing. Marriage is a spiritual promise created by God and sealed with the beautiful act of sex. Because of this, God needs his place, husbands need theirs and wives need theirs. For more on that hit the comments.
In a nutshell, I am using Jay-Z as an analogy, parallel to Christian life. Maybe this will inspire some purpose driven Christ followers to subscribe to Culture and God and join me in the quest for that perfectly purpose driven life? Let’s see.
Do you think Jay-Z taught the church anything? Did I miss anything? Let me know shoot me a comment! Subscribe and be part of the purpose!