My letter to Kanye West and to every new believer
It looks like you have become a follower of Jesus Christ. So, let me say to you, welcome to the family of God!
I think it’s amazing how you are using your considerable platform to talk about your newfound faith and the change it has made in your life.
You recently said in an interview:
“Now that I’m in service to Christ, my job is to spread the Gospel, to let people know what Jesus has done for me. I’ve spread a lot of things. There was a time I was letting you know what high fashion had done for me. I was letting you know what the Hennessy had done for me. I was letting you know all these things, but now I’m letting you know what Jesus has done for me. And in that, I’m no longer a slave. I’m a son now. Son of God. I’m free through Christ.”
I wish more believers would have the boldness to use their platforms to say what you are saying about what Jesus has done for you.
I love the zeal of a new believer, and I remember well how I wanted to tell people about what Jesus had done for me after Christ came into my life. But looking back at that moment 45 years later, I realize I still had a lot to learn in my walk with Christ.
So Kanye, though we have never met, let me share some things that you need to know as a young believer:
1. You need to read the Bible every day
After reading the lyrics of your new album Jesus Is King, it sounds like you are already doing this!
Reading the Bible is like waking up to a personal text from God in the morning. The Bible is God’s very word to us. It’s alive and powerful and will help you to grow in your new spiritual life.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (2 Tim. 3:16 NLT)
Even though the Bible, collectively, was written thousands of years ago, it still teaches us about how to live life today. More importantly, it teaches us about who God is and how we can know Him.
2. You need to Pray
Prayer is simply talking to God. The objective of prayer is not to move God my way, but to move me His way! So, when you have burdens, or concerns, or worries or needs, commit them to the Lord in prayer — and trust that He will listen to you.
The Bible tells us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7)
3. You need a home church
Kanye, I know you are doing your Sunday services all around the country right now, and they have created quite a stir. That is amazing!
I would encourage you to find a local church to attend because every believer needs a home church and they need a pastor. The Bible says, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Heb. 10:25 NLT)
The church is a place where you can grow spiritually, develop a consistent theology, find accountability and have a pastor to help you in life. It is also a place to discover and develop your spiritual gifts that God has given you.
4. You need to share your faith
You are already doing an amazing job on this one, Kanye! Jesus told all of us to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel.” (Matt. 16:15)
You have a very large platform to do that, and I thank you for using it for the glory of God. I cannot but agree wholeheartedly with my friend Roma Downey, who recently tweeted:
"Kanye West can help spread the word of Christ to those who need Him. Kanye has millions of people typing the words 'Jesus is King.' Think about that for a moment. MILLIONS of believers and unbelievers alike are typing 'Jesus is King,' that’s incredible and to God be the glory."
One last thing, Kanye.
You along with all believers will face opposition from both people and spiritual forces. So keep your spiritual guard up! Keep studying God’s Word and surround yourself with godly people who are stronger spiritually than you as you continue to grow in your faith.
Because you are a public figure, people will take shots at you. You already know this.
Some will be nonbelievers who will mock, dismiss or outright attack you. Sometimes it will be people who identify as Christians that will nit-pick and critique you instead of pray for you.
My advice is: ignore them. What matters is that, as Hebrews 12:1-2 says, you run with endurance the race God has set before you, keeping your eyes on Jesus, “the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”
We are glad that you are part of the family of God!
Pastor Greg Laurie
Greg Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, which has campuses in California and Hawaii. Greg is the featured teacher of A New Beginning radio, Harvest America, and Harvest Crusades. Over 500,000 people have made professions of faith through these outreaches. Greg has been married to Cathe Laurie for more than 40 years and they have two sons: Christopher and Jonathan. Greg and Cathe also have five grandchildren. To learn more about Greg, visit harvest.org