For me, ministry is much more than just preaching in a packed church. For some, that may be an excellent metric to use. However, the moment we as church leaders start to focus on those metrics is the moment we veer off. Ministry goes beyond the four walls of the physical church house. As a Flint, Michigan native, I’ve witnessed firsthand the importance of doing ministry in the communities that we serve.

Going To Where People Are

My ministry focuses on going into the heart of the community, where most individuals dare not go. It’s often easier to see the disparity in inner cities like Flint. We live and minister in a society desperate for a tangible kingdom. I find a passion for going where people are the most broken and sharing the love of God with them. When you look at how inner cities have been left behind, I can easily see the hand of God in my life to minister to them. 

Jesus met the people where they were.

Jesus met the people where they were. I want to meet the people where they are. Meeting people where they are in inner city contexts is a model that is working. As a Hip Hop artist, I leverage the arts to impact our community. Hip Hop is one of the oldest forms of art in the black community. To be able to launch a record label that gets the message of the gospel out has been an awarding journey. Every year, my team and I set schedules to hit different communities with art and music.

This approach has led to a fruitful means of ministry for those who will never walk through the doors of our church. I allow myself to become transparent to the people in the world and show them how God worked and still works in my life. 

If the people don’t come to JESUS, take JESUS to the people.

I love to be able to share and tell them how the Power of God changed me from the man I used to be into the man I am evolving into daily. Even though I come from a church background, the streets quickly swallowed me. I was giving way to a life of crime, and drugs almost destroyed my life. Today, I am blessed to be part of a street ministry, jail ministry, and hospital ministry; going to the shelters and handing out needed items to those in need is part of my heart’s mission to serve God’s people.

Taking the Church to Them

Many individuals feel the church house is not a place where they feel comfortable. So the vision God gave me is, “If the people don’t come to JESUS, take JESUS to the people.”

Seek God to find out how He is moving and join him with joy.

Taking Jesus to the people is an incarnational way of getting the gospel in front of downtrodden people living far from God. I’ve discovered that our most significant way to minister to people effectively is to “join God” in what He is already doing. One of the greatest principles I’m learning and relearning is that God is already at work. We don’t have to make plans that we ask God to bless. On the contrary, we seek God to find out how He is moving and join him with joy.

I stand firm on the biblical principle that tells us to GO OUT INTO THE WORLD AND SHARE THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST. I see myself as a servant of God and will continue to serve God’s people wholeheartedly.

At the heart of the gospel is our love for God and service to the world. If we keep those two focal points, the world will be won over to a loving King.

Joseph Brown is a writer, gospel rapper, singer, speaker, and president of TBAR, a Christian Hip Hop group and record label. He is also the lead pastor of Greater Mount Zion Church in Flint, Michigan. Joseph is married to Marilyn, and together they have eight kids.