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Can You Be a Follower of Jesus and Not Be ‘Churchy’? After Reconstructing, Lecrae Says Yes

In an interview with NGEN Radio, Christian hip hop artist Lecrae shared that recently he has grown more comfortable with who he is. One result of this growth is that as a follower of Jesus, he no longer feels he has to be “churchy.”  

“I did a lot of spiritual deconstruction over the last few years,” said Lecrae, “and now I’ve been reconstructing, and God has just really been solidifying me and just connecting me in different spaces and places that I just never really imagined. Sometimes it’s hard to see yourself outside of how everybody else sees you and just be who God made you to be, and that’s where I’m at right now.” 

Lecrae: I’m No Longer Ashamed

When NGEN host Marcus Sullivan asked Lecrae how Christ was moving in his life lately, the artist shared, “I love Jesus, but I’m not ‘churchy,’ and I used to be ashamed of that.” He explained that the term “churchy,” does not refer to fellowshipping with believers, but rather to a certain type of Christian culture. 

Often in American Christianity, there is unstated pressure to look a certain way or to talk a certain way, and if someone doesn’t fit those expectations, “people will side-eye you.” But that does not mean that person is not a true Christian. Lecrae compared the situation to someone who was raised in the South but doesn’t enjoy grits. 

There is nothing wrong with people who do fit a certain “mold,” he said, but there is also nothing wrong with the fact that he is a follower of Jesus who he doesn’t fit into a particular cultural mold. 

In an interview with The Breakfast Club last summer, Lecrae elaborated more on his deconstruction from what he called “America’s version of Christianity.” You can read about that here

Lecrae said that his latest album, “Restoration,” released in August 2020, came from a raw place and a desire to bring people hope. He felt like Peter, who had denied Jesus—but then Jesus found Peter and restored him. 

When Sullivan asked Lecrae about the pressure of being a leader, the hip hop artist responded, “If you’re gonna call shots, you’re gonna take shots.” Being a leader, he said, is about seeing a mob coming at you and being able to turn around and lead them somewhere. In his role, there are constant lies coming at him, and people often misunderstand what he says.

Jesus is the perfect leader because he was so misunderstood that they killed him,” said Lecrae. “They wanted him to be something he wasn’t, and they didn’t appreciate what he was.”

At the end of the conversation, Lecrae exhorted believers to encourage one another instead of attacking one another. “We can become crabs in a barrel and tear each other down instead of lifting each other up,” he said.

As an example, Lecrae said that if he doesn’t like the shoes his wife is wearing, he won’t criticize her, but instead will try to encourage her toward something better. We should have the same attitude in how we relate to one another. The hip hop artist was also clear that he has been guilty of the very problem he is warning against. 

“Listen,” he said, “this is the pot calling the kettle black, I done done all of it.” Sometimes, the best choice is not to say anything at all. “Sometimes our offense is defense, just saying I’m trusting God, that’s my offense.” 

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Jessica is a content editor for ChurchLeaders.com and the producer of The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past five years. When Jessica isn't writing, she enjoys West Coast Swing dancing, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.