“Oh yeah, that’s good.” We find our subject today hunched over a notepad in his kitchen, sitting at a counter that is just chock full of post-it notes. As we enter from the garage door, we hear him say again “Yeah, the kids are gonna love this.” What, exactly, is he talking about? Well, you see, Charlie Clark here is a youth pastor and part-time hip-hop-ologist who just listened to Kanye West’s new album, Jesus is King. Personally, we don’t think this needs further clarification, but we’ll proceed with the story anyway. After just one listen through, Charlie has had literally dozens of ideas for new sermon topics.
“I just never thought inspiration could come from someone like Kanye,” Charlie told us after finally noticing that we had entered his kitchen. “But I try to keep up with popular culture and the kids are always talking about ‘yeezus.’ I’m just hoping now they’ll be talking about Jesus.”
According to our research, this is not the first time that Charlie has gotten carried away with ideas for very specific themed sermon series where he tries to relate to the kids. 17 year old Chrissy Chapman told us, “One time, he did seven weeks of sermons about Jon Snow. Like, we get it, he’s a Christ-like figure in the books and show, but can we just talk about Paul’s letters to the Corinthians? I mean, that’s what I’m here for, not Ygritte/Jon fanfic hour.”
Another student told us “He tried to console me when XXXTentacion got shot. I told him, ‘Pastor Charlie, we don’t listen to him, he’s problematic as hell.’ But he still tried to give me a flyer for a counselor anyways. Sometimes I just want to escape from all that and hear about the trials of Job.”
We follow-up with Charlie about this to hear what he thought about his students’ feedback. “It’s disappointing, you know? I mean, I put so much time and effort into learning what these kids like, and all they want me to do is teach them directly from the Bible. How is that fun? I thought I was going to be coming up with creative ways to relate the Bible into a modern context, but these kids seem to understand life 2,000 years ago just fine on their own. I don’t know, maybe this isn’t for me.”
Hoping not to discourage him too much, we sat down and went through the dozen or so ideas that he had about Jesus is King to parse out the ones that truly had enough legs to make it worth it. At the end of our 4 hour talk, we ended up simply calling the church’s worship leader Chris to see if he could do an acoustic rendition of ‘Water,’ and that was that. So glad we could help Charlie with this.
This was written by Nathan Ellwood, who knows what you’re thinking and yes, he does like to walk through the forest from time to time. Sue me.