Secular music at a Christian concert? 'Let's not act like people aren't listening to it,' says Misfit organiser Chris Durso
The "Misfit the Conference" annual event ran from August 7 to August 9, and hosted some of the most popular ministers and Christians musicians at the Salvation Army Centennial Memorial Hall in New York City.
In addition to ministering to the thousands in attendance through word and song, conference founder Pastor Chris Durso chose to incorporate secular tunes into the weekend's musical offerings.
Event DJs played instrumental, contemporary hip-hop songs, and clean, old-school hip-hop.
"It's really important that [Christians] can show that we're aware of culture," Durso told the Christian Post.
"The reason why [people in the crowd] knew those songs were secular is because they heard them [before]. Let's not act like people aren't hearing it and aren't listening to it.
"Do I agree with the messages? Absolutely not. But I will take something that was meant for bad and I will use it for good."
The conference also featured performances by Christian hip-hop artist and minister Andy Mineo.
Trinity Church Youth Pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr. explained the genre's influence on young people.
"Hip-hop is one of the greatest languages of our culture right now, and one of the coolest things about Misfit conference is how it incorporates so much hip-hop [into it]," he said.
"I don't think that's a strategy, I think it's organically who they are. I think hip-hop is a part of [Durso's] church, so they naturally use it. Misfit conference is something that embraces it and uses it to really spread the gospel."
Other conference speakers included Hillsong Church pastor Carl Lentz, City Church pastor Chad Veach, and The Potter's House of Denver pastor Chris Hill.
Wilkerson described what attracts thousands of people to the event – which is in its fourth year.
"Misfits is really cool because it's super diverse," he explained. "It's people from all over the place that the only thing they really have in common is Jesus.
"[The] Misfits [title] is all about being uncomfortable with the current standings and status quo and us making a change. I think Misfit conference is really a call to action. It really challenges [Christians] to live our faith boldly and unashamed."