Our founder and Editor-in-Chief Rachael Jackson got to talk with Lecrae earlier this year about his new book, “Unashamed.” Listen or read the transcript below (or both!). You’ll love what he has to say about “Unashamed” and the power of our stories.
Rachel: Okay. Hi, Lecrae, how are you?
Lecrae: I’m doing well. How are you doing?
Rachael: I’m doing good. My name is Rachael Jackson and I’m the founder of Shattered Media. We just believe in the power of our personal stories, our testimonies, to break down barriers to knowing God, so that’s why we were excited to receive your book, Unashamed, and we wanted to find out more about why you were sharing your story, and what you wanted to have happen because of it. I have about 7 questions in 10 minutes.
Lecrae: Sure, sounds good.
Rachael: Okay. Some of these questions might seem a little bit obvious an answer, but we really want to try to reach people and encourage them to share their stories, so I’m just going to ask you …
Rachael: Okay, so why are you being so open and honest about your story?
Lecrae: Well one, it’s a part of being unashamed. You can’t be ashamed of your past or your mistakes. They don’t define you. Two, I think leaders lead in vulnerability, so if you want to help people to be vulnerable and to wrestle through their issues, you’ve got to be vulnerable with yours, and hopefully it frees people. I just want people to be liberated.
Rachael: Great. Have you seen an impact on people from sharing your story, and if so, what impacts have you seen?
Lecrae: Yeah. I’ve never had my story broadcast across the world, obviously, but I’ve shared these details in small, intimate settings, and seen people just free from feeling condemned, free from feeling as if God was done with them, and that there was no hope for them. That’s the ambition and the hope. There’s a lot of people out there who are self-condemning or just frustrated with their lives, and I’ve seen this really open them up and give them some hope.
Rachael: Have you seen unbelievers reached because of your story?
Lecrae: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Time and time again. What I’ve found is that it’s not the rah-rah, gung-ho messages that have really connected with people outside the faith. It’s been the vulnerable ones, because I think the general perception from a non-Christian is that Christians are these people who have it all together, they’re self-righteous and they don’t make mistakes, so to see someone admitting their flaws … and not only admitting flaws before coming to faith, but admitting flaws after … it says, “Man, well, wait. Now this I can relate to. An imperfect person who needs a savior? I can relate to that.”
Rachael: That’s the entire premise of Shattered Magazine.
Would you encourage others to share their story? Why and how?
Lecrae: I definitely would. I’d say, obviously, start in small circles with people that you can trust, because there’s freedom in confession. There’s liberty in openness. At the very least, confess it to God and … be free from the things that have happened to you. You’re not what happened to you. You’re not your past, and you’ve got to find liberty in that regard, so I think that would help. It always helps when other people can hear your story and say, “Oh, wow, thank you.”
Rachael: Right. Do you think a person needs to be famous in order for their story to make an impact?
Lecrae: Absolutely not. Some of the most powerful stories that have affected me are stories that are untold, stories from people I’ve met in the Middle East, or in Nairobi, Kenya, or in a rehabilitation center. Those have been stories that have literally changed my life, and changed the trajectory of my life, and it’s not because they’re famous people, it’s just because they had the courage to share their stories. The un-famous peoples’ stories are sparking the change in people who will go on major platforms. Without those people telling me their stories, I wouldn’t have as much confidence as I have.
Rachael: What do you want people to know about God through your story?
Lecrae: That He’s the loving father that I have never known, and a loving father that many people are still trying to understand and know, but a loving, gracious father who is patient and willing. There’s nothing that you could possibly do … nothing you could do … to push him away from you.
Rachael: Have any lives been changed or people … well, I guess we kind of talked about that already. Have people told you about, maybe, their lives being changed, or them coming to faith in Christ, because of stories that you’ve shared?
Lecrae: You know, I hear it via social media and emails. For me, I never want to take any credit. If that’s happened, then I’m forever grateful, but end of the day, I just want to be faithful, to plant the seeds. I’m not responsible for them being grown. That’s God’s work. I just want to plant them wherever I can, wherever I go. I’ll just keep planting seeds and hopefully God will do the rest.
Rachael: Cool. This is the last question I have, really. What message do you have for the church, in light of the barriers that we are facing today? Some of the barriers I’m talking about are the perception of Christianity, maybe the racial tensions, or ideological barriers, or people leaving the faith.
Lecrae: Yeah, you named them all. I think the church definitely has to reevaluate its perspective in the culture. I think a re-visitation of grace, and what grace really is. If we’re defined by that … by grace and love … then that should be very evident in how we deal with people who are not like us, who don’t think like we think, who have done things that we haven’t done. End of the day, the only difference between the church and the world is grace, the grace of God. Without that grace, then there’s nothing, so we need to extend it to the rest of the world.
Rachael: How would you recommend the church go about changing that perspective in their culture?
Lecrae: If we’re going to be known by love, then I think that’s going to be the first step. Really just being selfless, being sacrificial, being empathetic, stepping into people’s problems, stepping into people’s situations and really caring, instead of being overly focused on how distinct and different we are from the world. I think there needs to be some time and effort given to saying, “Hey, I don’t understand, but I want to,” or, “I totally understand and I want to help,” just a different vantage point.
Rachael: Right. Well, that’s all I have, unless you have something else you’d like to say.
Lecrae: Hey, book, Unashamed, comes out May 3rd. Please go get it. Hopefully it will help. If it doesn’t help you, give it to somebody it will help.
Rachael: Thanks so much for your time, I appreciate it.
Lecrae: Yeah, no, thank you. Great questions.