What the Church can learn from Eminem

I know this post may offend some.  (My mom is going to have a heart attack!) My purpose is not to offend.  I’m just looking at life through the only lens I have….my own.  I hope we can be civil and kind if you choose to leave a comment. 

When we were leading Veritas Church we did a series called “What the Church can learn from Bay View”.  I think it was pretty awesome.  We looked at different businesses and saw what aspect of the Bible, of God’s ideas for church and community they were doing awesome at.  We interviewed each of them and made videos of those interviews to start our teaching time.

So, I was listening to the radio the other day and Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” came on.  I’ll admit, I really like that song!  I lived in the Detroit area for about 8 years.  During the time I lived there Eminem got very big and 8 Mile was all the rage!  This song is from his movie.

It is such a powerful song.

I haven’t heard it in a while (mostly because I don’t get to listen to the radio much with little man in the car!).  As I was listening to it the other day I actually got chills.

His passion in that song is deep.  He is NOT going to fail. He HAS to do this.  There are NO other options.

I was playing in the beginning, the mood all changed
I’ve been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage
But I kept rhyming and stepped right into the next cypher
Best believe somebody’s paying the pied piper
All the pain inside amplified by the fact
That I can’t get by with my 9 to 5
And I can’t provide the right type of life for my family
Cause man, these ****** food stamps don’t buy diapers
And it’s no movie, there’s no Mekhi Phifer, this is my life
And these times are so hard, and it’s getting even harder
Trying to feed and water my seed, plus
Teeter totter caught up between being a father and a prima donna
Baby mama drama’s screaming on and
Too much for me to wanna
Stay in one spot, another day of monotony
Has gotten me to the point, I’m like a snail
I’ve got to formulate a plot or I end up in jail or shot
Success is my only ********* option, failure’s not
Mom, I love you, but this trailer’s got to go
I cannot grow old in Salem’s lot
So here I go it’s my shot.
Feet fail me not, this may be the only opportunity that I got

If you’ve heard the song, you know what I mean.

What if church was like that?  What if pastors had that passion?  That do or die attitude?

NOT to become famous, a star, to bring any glory or glamour to themself….but because we just HAVE to.  Because what we have, the God that we serve, the hope that we can cling to, the community that God can give us is just too important and life changing to play with.

When Tim and I were pastors, this was how I felt about church.  Don’t get me wrong, we probably did more things wrong than right, but it wasn’t a job to me.  It NEVER was.  It was something I had to do because.

We were tired of mediocre church.  Of churches existing simply to make people feel good.  Of churches being places where people feel unsafe, out of place, and rejected – not only by church people, but therefore by God.  We were tired of church being stale and boring.  We were tired of church losing.

God gave us Himself.  And He gave us His church.  That was His gift to us, so why do we treat it like it is the broccoli on our dinner plates??  As a pastor, I just couldn’t do that!

It was do or die.

You don’t mess around with this.

You don’t lead a church by giving it just a tiny portion of your time and efforts. Yes, there MUST be balance.  I’m not saying that it should be EVERYTHING and family, etc. gets nothing.

Again, I am NOT saying that I, or Tim and I, did it all right!!  I am NOT saying we had perfect balance in our lives or just the right amount of passion and risk involved in leading a church.  I am NOT saying we were perfect!!

But it’s hard to find a church with PASSION.  With DRIVE.  With leaders who see the AMAZINGLY IMPORTANT job they’ve been given in being asked to lead one of God’s churches.  A church leadership willing to RISK, to do what it takes to make a dent in the world.  A church who knows and teaches the importance of us loving people and showing God to them through our lives and our love.  Not just inviting them to church to “pray the prayer” but really INVEST.  Remembering that’s why Jesus came here!

Jesus was NOT passive!  He was NOT passionless.  He was the epitome of DRIVEN.  Driven by love, by compassion, by truth, by so many things.

I don’t want this post to sound like church bashing.  I’m not trying to rag on all churches.  I just don’t think we take church as seriously as we ought to.  But, at the same time, do our churches give us something to take seriously?

Sadly, I think the answer much of the time is no.

And I miss working on that.

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3 thoughts on “What the Church can learn from Eminem

  1. Vicky, this is mom, and I didn’t freak. I agree with you on this post. Peter and I feel we have found the church that is what you’re describing. My faith has grown mountains, God is huge in my life, we have found the spirit of God at our church, and for the first time with a church God is leading in my life, my church and my marriage. Which is why I didn’t freak – that was the old mom – God has been guiding me in this life I walk with him, and he walked with the lepers, etc. I judge no one, without consideration, which is the opposite of what I used to be. I love you for your openness, I pray you find what your looking for. Love Mom

  2. Very Cool Vicky! I love how you can see God in everything- even Eminem! I think it’s a great coloration- give me something to chew on. Very cool!

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