“The Beatles for the 21st Century.” That’s how the BBC describes seven-member South Korean Okay-pop group BTS, who’ve rocketed to world stardom since 2013. They’ve grow to be “a global sensation that generates mania and devotion in equal measure” (similar to Beatlemania), shattering information and breaking stereotypes of their ascent to grow to be “the world’s largest boyband.” A current efficiency on The Late Present With Stephen Colbert made the Beatlemania comparisons express. Watch under:
What ought to Christians know in regards to the BTS phenomenon, and why does it matter?
“How did [BTS] do the impossible, and crack the elusive and highly competitive American market?” Forbes requested. However they didn’t simply crack it. They “smashed it to the tune (no pun intended) of 1.6 million song downloads, over a billion online streams, and a veritable army . . . of screaming admirers at each and every appearance on their recent U.S. circuit.” The mania extends internationally.
Koreans all over the place are watching with curiosity. Some are a bit embarrassed, others are quietly proud, however for probably the most half, we are able to’t assist however be intrigued at our fellow Koreans’ achievements.
Whether or not you’re a BTS fan or not, it’s exhausting to disregard their spectacular headlines:
Maybe most astonishing in regards to the BTS phenomenon is that the band’s success has come with out them ever making an English-language track. But hundreds of teenage and grownup followers all over the world are having fun with, supporting, dancing, and singing together with BTS in transliterated Korean, which they might or might not perceive. And they’re loving it.
Just lately, a non-Korean pastor pal tweeted the next dinner dialog along with his teenage women:
Me: “Who’s BTS?”
Ladies frown and pull out their telephones.
Me: “So it’s a boy band?”
Ladies frown much more. Extra movies.
Me: “All I see are New Kids on the Block, with better complexion.”
Ladies: Who’re New Youngsters?
Two issues stood out to me from this tweet: (1) the Korean-speaking/singing BTS is certainly the new New Youngsters on the Block (or Backstreet Boys, or NSYNC, or One Route, relying in your technology), and (2) right this moment’s American youngsters obtain a minority cultural icon so naturally.
What Does BTS Must Do with the Church?
The Western church ought to be aware of the BTS phenomenon. There are a couple of classes it may educate us about our altering world.
1. The following-generation church is extra open to range and prepared to be influenced by various leaders and influencers.
If the BTS phenomenon reveals something, I can speculate with hope that the church of tomorrow will likely be extra open to range and extra prepared to be influenced by range. At this time’s technology of believers, in contrast to earlier generations, can have been extra uncovered to range and will likely be extra prepared to undergo various management. It is a good and hopeful factor.
At this time’s technology of believers, in contrast to earlier generations, can have been extra uncovered to range and will likely be extra prepared to undergo various management.
Based on Ephesians 4:11–13, God gave the church diversely gifted saints “for the building up of the body of Christ until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Think about the benefit of a range of males (and ladies) in native congregations. How way more will we expertise the fullness of Christ when various experiences, knowledge, viewpoints, and items are cultivated via covenanting collectively in native church buildings, by the frequent unity of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
2. The following-generation church must look extra various.
By displaying the best way pop music can transcend borders and cross cultures, the BTS phenomenon reminds Christians that the gospel of Jesus Christ has at all times been this manner. From the beginning it was cross-cultural, and right this moment it touches almost each tradition and other people group of the world. This is likely one of the most lovely and distinctive points of Christianity, and it’s why our church buildings ought to work exhausting to characterize the huge multi-ethnicity of God’s kingdom: for the sake of a devoted gospel witness. For our church buildings to stay typically segregated by shade, whereas persevering with to debate about racial reconciliation and social justice, can be to overlook the biblical imaginative and prescient of the everlasting congregation (Rev. 7:9–12). Our church buildings ought to endeavor to develop not in range for range’s sake, however in gospel-revealing range, modeling relationships that might not exist however for the reality and energy of the excellent news. In such congregations, unity is God’s purpose, range is God’s reward, and discipleship is God’s plan for church progress (Eph. 4:1–16).
Unity is God’s purpose. Range is God’s reward. Discipleship is God’s plan.
In Western evangelicalism right this moment, I’m burdened that there are so few wholesome multi-ethnic church buildings pastored by ethnic minorities. Why is it so tough for ethnic-minority church buildings to grow to be multi-ethnic church buildings? Wouldn’t it not glorify Christ if extra of these within the majority selected to put down sure privileges and undergo the godly management of minority pastors? In fact, the identical problem also needs to be thought-about by ethnic-immigrant church buildings and second-generation homogenous church buildings. The burden of our segregated church buildings right this moment ought to fall on each ethnic majority and minority church buildings.
3. The following Billy Graham might not be white.
On a current episode of the For the Church podcast, Jared Wilson requested Ed Stetzer who he thought the following Billy Graham can be. Stetzer responded, “The next Billy Graham is the Uber driver who tried to evangelize my wife and me.” Certainly, the BTS phenomenon means that the reply to Wilson’s query could also be fairly sudden.
May you think about the following Billy Graham being a no-name house-church pastor in China, faithfully preaching the fantastic gospel of Jesus below extreme authorities persecution?
May you think about the following Billy Graham being the daring gospel preacher in Kenya, mobilizing pastors and church buildings towards the epidemic tide of prosperity gospel?
May you think about the following Billy Graham being the ex-Muslim convert, pastoring alongside a 70-year-old missionary church planter in Iraq?
May you think about the following Billy Graham being the persevering Christian within the underground church, evangelizing tons of of hopeless struggling North Koreans?
Nobody stated he couldn’t be, however I confess I didn’t think about the following Billy Graham as an individual of shade—till BTS grew to become the brand new Beatles.
This could remind us that the intention and customary of Christianity isn’t one type of man—whether or not white, black, brown, or yellow—however the one God-man, Jesus Christ, who laid down his life as a ransom for a lot of. For in him, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).