Home > Getting missional > When a movement becomes a culture

When a movement becomes a culture


In yesterday’s blog, I spoke of the powerful movement bboying has become – and fast! I am fascinated by it because breakin’ did what many who have a movement in our hearts long to do….. turn a movement into a culture. How do you do that??!

Back in the 70’s when hip hop was birthed, those kids were just doing their thing. They weren’t thinking; “Lets create a movement that will go world-wide, start billion dollar record companies, and create such a legacy it will last for over 3 decades strong. No, they loved the dance. They loved the music. They lived and breathed the next cypher (you know, that circle where someone goes in and freestyles their moves). It wasn’t a business plan or a marketing endeavour – it was passion. It was a fight to live for something better than the poverty they faced. It was freedom from a life of violence and crime. It wasn’t strategized, it was organic.

This culture didn’t just include dance (specifically stated as bboying being the signature of hip hop dance), it also included DJing, MCing and graffiti. The culture began to be noticed as well through types of dress and talk. Think about that for a moment: think about how it went from just a bunch of youth dancing to a full blown culture. All done without institution, without an instruction manual, without planning meetings. There were founding fathers who everyone knew, and still know and respect, signature moves with names, and a rich history that has bits and pieces fragmentally written in the odd book or document, but nothing thorough. So HOW does something so wild, free and organic keep its momentum and culture-status??

Passion to live it and pass it on.

One thing I’ll never forget about this week teaching with these amazing hip hoppers,is when they sat us down to tell the story of hip hop. They shared with conviction and passion. This passion was in them because they LIVE this culture. They haven’t just “read about it” or just watched it, but they LIVE it. Because it’s a part of them, it was easy to buy into their enthusiasm and want to jump into it as well!

Their zeal to protect and keep the culture true to its roots was inspiring. They could only tell what had been told to them by others or from what the founders of the style had told while visiting our city. Their knowledge of the expanse of all that’s happened in the last thirty or so years showed they’ve done their homework. They’ve researched all they can, watched you tube video after you tube video, committed to their weekly jam sessions with other culture members, and even travelled to the cities of hip hop origin to study from the founders themselves. Before the internet, information wasn’t as accessible, but this didn’t stop them avidly seeking out all they could glean about this culture they were sold out to.

Perhaps that’s all movements need; passion to LIVE it, learn it, and pass it on to whoever will take it? (and time). Perhaps we as the church have complicated the most life-changing movement of all time, spending enormous amounts of time trying to institutionalize, strategize and structure how to move it forward, when really all it takes is a bunch of people who are fully immersed into its foundation (the gospel), willing to discover (or re-discover) its mystery, stay a forever-student of it, and tell its story?

Simple really.

If we need to plan great events to try and beg passion out of people, perhaps something is missing? I didn’t see the dancers this week stand on boxes begging the kids to buy into hip hop culture.

It’s time to come back to why we jumped into the movement Jesus started 2000 years ago in the first place, and allow that fervour to penetrate us into living it adventurously and radically the way Christ intended.








Categories: Getting missional
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: