I want to tell you about a remarkable opportunity we learned about last week. Thad Nichols, son of former World Impact Director Dennis Nichols, introduced us to Streetlights Urban Audio Bible, a collaborative project spearheaded by two creative hop-hop artists, Esteban Shedd and Aaron Lopez. Thad, Esteban, and Aaron are all graduates of Moody Bible College, and members of GRIP Youth Outreach, a evangelical outreach based in Chicago. Recently, they came and shared here at TUMI National about their efforts to contextualize the Gospel among the urban poor, specifically the hip-hop culture. Esteban and Aaron recently joined GRIP as members of a hip-hop band and music ministry named ALERT. Through their ministry they share the Good News and help equip others by using creative forms through contemporary hip-hop concerts, outreaches, and training times in numerous venues. Their latest endeavor is the Streetlights project, an ambitious and refreshing move to compose the world's first urban audio Bible, combining the New Living Translation (with the endorsement of Tyndale House Publishers) with dynamic music scores influenced by inner city cultures.
As a part of the Humble Beest recording company, they are combining their skills with others artists through music production, professional videographers, and top recording artists to bring word-for-word Scripture to urban audiences. We shared with them their passion for ministry, and tasted several samples of their urban audio Bible project. They are true disciples of Christ with a heart to make the Word come alive through the production of street-credible hip-hop beats. Their primary target audience is illiterate and semi-literate urbanites, from 10-35. Their music is engaging, and the lyrics are word-for-word Scripture, so I believe this will be an unusual asset to the Body of Christ in the city.
These guys are simply amazing: Spirit-filled, warm, and open to ministry wherever God called. The first phase of their urban audio Bible is to be released sometime in October, with additional modules released consistently thereafter. We brainstormed many ways in which TUMI can and will partner with them in using their gifts to communicate the timeless message of the Gospel in the dynamic language of industry-standard hip-hop. What a powerful combination for urban ministry!
After helpful, strategic, and creative interactions with them, and having Esteban, Aaron, and Thad share with our larger World Impact staff, I have no doubt that God is going to bless and expand their efforts, and I wanted to write and connect you to them. The links below offer more information about their history, burden, passion, and especially their current exciting project, StreetlightsBible.
I thank God for GRIP Youth Outreach, ALERT, and the Streetlights urban audio Bible project. They are open to discussing with you in your city and ministry ways in which they can strengthen your evangelism and discipleship with urban youth, and travel to give concerts and training sessions on equipping urban disciples. If you know of youth groups, young adults, or any ministry target folk immersed in the urban hip-hop culture, please forward them the links above. These links provide the full argument and history of their ministry, and exciting prospects ahead.
I look forward to partnering with GRIP, ALERT, and Humble Beast for future TUMI initiatives as we seek to help urban churches retrieve the Great Tradition for their spiritual formation and missional vitality. They are remarkable musicians and true warriors of the Kingdom. Feel free to browse their site and contact them for more information on how you may connect with their great ministry.