Through a Relatable Lens

Posted on by LaToyia Dennis

On behalf of Youth For Christ USA, we would like to share a story from a local Juvenile Justice Ministry in New York City...

A few weeks ago, I went into one of the halls at the juvenile detention center we partner with. It’s a hall known for kids who love music and love to rap. When I got in I asked the boys if they could show me what they’ve got.

I was blown away.

They were incredible! Their skills for rapping amazed me. I had so much fun listening to them share something they loved with me.

However, a lot of their rhymes had cursing throughout the lyrics. While I was there, I challenged them all to write new verses to their rap songs to bring in the next day. I told them I would bring in a verse too.

But there was a catch, I told them. None of the verses could have a curse word in them. Some of the guys thought this was impossible. They’d never heard any songs they actually liked that didn’t have curses in them. But I wanted to show them that this type of music exists! That night, I wrote down a verse from a Christian rap song I love and brought it in to show them.

“When I die I wanna know that I lived for a reason; Anyone can take your life, but not what you believe in.”

They loved it!

Not only were there no curse words in the lyrics; but the words were actually encouraging while still being raw. Even the program counselors loved it! One of the program counselors liked it so much that she made copies of the lyric sheet so each kid could have it in their cells.

This was a huge win. The kids learned that they don’t need to curse to get their point across; AND they were reacting positively to a form of worship they could relate to!

This story reflects the heart of the purpose of YFC JJM. Here at Youth For Christ Dallas-Fort Worth, we are striving to meet kids where they’re at, sharing the Gospel message through a lens that they can relate to and that will truly impact them.

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