Over the past few weeks, a video of a Church in Atlanta, Georgia doing gospel renditions of various popular songs has gone viral.
Among the songs the Church has remixed are Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and Drizzy and Future’s “Big Rings.”
During a recent interview with Complex, Will Gravely, a pastor at the Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church, spoke on how the Church first started to incorporate popular music into their services.
“Our pastor received a book a long time ago—The Purpose Driven Church—and what it taught was that Jesus’ ministry in the gospel was to reach people who thought they weren’t righteous already. His biggest critics when he was on the Earth were religious people, but his ministry was towards those who were far from God. The purpose of the local church is to bring people who are far from God closer to him. At that point we became what’s known as ‘Seeker Sensitive,’ and we use Sunday, especially because we’re in the Bible Belt, to offer an invitation to people who feel far from God or who don’t really do church. We make the environment welcoming.”
Now that the videos have gone viral, the pastor says the Church has reached a brand new audience.
“Yeah definitely, we’re reaching people all over the world, and via our live stream, we’ve had people tune in from Hong Kong, Russia, multiple countries,” Gravely says. “Our target is really un-churched people, or people that have been hurt by religion so we kind of go out of our way to make people feel welcome, and realize that cultural stuff is man-made and negotiable. We really need to do whatever we can to connect people to Jesus.”
Elsewhere in the conversation, the pastor detailed how the rendition of Drake and Future’s “Big Rings” off the pair’s What A Time To Be Alive project came about.
“Honestly, our worship leader comes from a gang background and very honestly, he’s just a hip-hop fan. I think he just saw that it fit in the moment, I don’t think that was planned, he just saw that those same words could be a celebration of God. We’re all together on Sunday, that’s kind of where we come together kind of like at a football game and it was appropriate for the moment. What a time to be alive.
Pastor Will Gravely also spoke on what he’d hope Drake and Future’s reactions were to be if they saw the video.
“I just would hope they realize that there’s a place for them, that there’s not a separation, and that what they do is not too dirty for God.”
The Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church’s renditions of both “Hotline Bling” and “Big Rings” can be viewed below:
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