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EXCLUSIVE: Lecrae and Andy Mineo Talk Deconstruction, Being Labeled Christian, Swearing in Music, and More With ChurchLeaders

That’s the process for me. I let it all fall apart, and I take the pieces so I can reconstruct everything I once believed in. I think it’s healthy to build things up, let it fall apart, and then take the pieces that are leftover and say, “What am I keeping here? What is true? What is cultural? What was just influenced by my parents? And what do I actually believe?”

I think God invites our questions, and I think they actually make our faith stronger. When you have thought about ending soliloquies—like nice phrases that stop people from thinking critically, such as “His ways are just greater than our ways,” where it doesn’t answer my question but is telling me to stop thinking about it, to stop guessing, to stop challenging these ideas so you can come to a real place within yourself—I actually think that’s dangerous, because I think you create robot Christians as opposed to people who are passionate and know why they believe what they believe.

ChurchLeaders: Would you agree that the majority of Christians who are deconstructing aren’t necessarily deconstructing from the gospel as much as they are deconstructing poor discipleship?

Lecrae: Yeah, I would. I mean, some people are initially deconstructed from the gospel. That’s the part that I think is creating a lot of the tension. But they should be reconstructing from bad leadership in some ways, or like wrong direction.

But, like Andy said, a lot of people throw the baby out with the bathwater, because they don’t know what the heck they should be believing. And I think that it shouldn’t be an opportunity to critique, but an opportunity to step in and help people and walk with people.

Andy: I think this might be more controversial, but some people have to figure out what they think the gospel is. Are we starting at the same starting point of, “You’re not deconstructing the gospel”? Well, I don’t know. What do you think the gospel is?

Lecrae: What you’re calling the gospel may not be what I’m calling the gospel.

Andy: Exactly. That’s a very important starting point.

ChurchLeaders: If you had the opportunity to encourage or express anything to today’s church leaders, what would would you say?

Andy: Thank you for the work that you do. Because not a lot of people sign up to give their life to helping people experience God and to serve their communities and their churches. So thank you for all that work.

Another thing might be that people are really messy, so patience over the long haul might be more encouraging to them. How church leaders invest in people might not mean anything to who they’ve invested in until 10 years later. I got kicked out of school as a kid. And my mom tried to send me to a youth group with this older kid, because she thought maybe it would be good, and I just terrorized that place. But 10 years later, the investments that were made in me started to show up. So I’m sure that as I was there, people must have thought: this kid’s a lunatic; he’s not going to do anything with his life. And now I’ve spent the majority of my life encouraging inspiring people towards hope and goodness and faith. And so I don’t know if the youth leaders felt that way when I was there.

Lecrae: I’ve seen a lot. I know that people look at me—because I’m a rapper—that I’m in this youthful space, but I’m a 42-year-old man. I’ve seen a lot. Matter of fact, I don’t know what I haven’t seen. I’ve walked with people through a lot, and I’ve walked through a lot personally.