It’s not everyday that you meet someone who says their passions fall somewhere in the intersection of students, the education system, and hiphop, but that’s exactly where Jahmaol Clark finds himself. “What I’ve had a vision for is to take hiphop, something many students have a passion for, and use that to disciple and educate kids.” Jahmaol got saved around 5 years ago, when a man named Marcus began discipling him even before Jahmaol knew Christ. After months of discipleship and growth, Jahmaol heard a song by Lecrae and finally surrendered it all to Jesus.
Hiphop has been part of Jahmaol’s life and faith from the very beginning. He listened to hiphop growing up and began to write his own during his junior year of high school.
In his senior year of high school he also got plugged into a hiphop discipleship program called HipHop Worship at Covenant Church, where he started developing the passion to rap. When he started, he just wanted to glorify himself. Through Journey to Dream, God started to break down that dream and call him specifically to reach students.
“I used to want to be the next Lecrae. In fact, people still tell me, ‘I can’t wait till you make it big, Jahmaol!’ And that’s what I used to want, but I don’t want that anymore. “If I’m able to perform in front of a crowd of 50, instead of 50,000, and walk faithfully with those people, God can use that too.” After his first semester of college at SFA, he had an opportunity to perform at his high school with Journey to Dream after a student got in a car wreck and was left paralyzed from the waist down. Later that day, there was a worship night where Jahmaol started to sense what his calling was. “I’ve never seen God move more than that night. It was through that when I felt called to both ministry and music.”
From there, things began moving quickly for Jahmaol. He transferred to DBU and started to get more involved with a non-profit for at-risk students called Journey to Dream. Journey to Dream provides support in the public school setting for the kids who were struggling. “School, at some level, should be enjoyable because learning should be enjoyable. The education system tends to ignore natural talent. They focus on grades and force kids to be the same. Hiphop can help bring joy into learning for kids. That’s when I thought to myself, what if I could teach kids lessons through teaching them to rap? I don’t want to be a rapper full time. I want to work with students full time and use hiphop to disciple them.”
So that’s what Jahmaol does. He performs at schools and, afterwards, talks with the students about their struggles and guides them through it to the best of his abilities in the interactions that he gets. “Hiphop has allowed me to get in front of students and then directly impact their life off the stage”
I asked Jahmaol what is most misunderstood about students in his experience in working with them. “Students are capable. We need to understand that our students are capable. They want to do things and they’re able to do them. Students are not the future of the Church. They’re the Church now. I’ve seen a lot of teens struggle with a lot things. Depression, image, suicide. But I’ve also seen God save. God can use students as much or more than anyone else. Almost every Church movement in history was started by young people. We need to utilize them. They’re capable.”
“To be a local missionary means to do the Great Commission. The Great Commission says to make disciples. It’s so simple. Whatever season you’re in, use that season to disciple others. Take what you know and tell someone else. It’s that simple.”
“I wouldn’t be a Christian without discipleship. I think we try to make discipleship something only the super-Christians do and it’s not that. It’s Christianity 101. Can’t find someone to disciple you? Go to an older person in your church and tell them to disciple you! Practically, I think that also means being a member of a local church. The church, in many ways, has become an event and not a group of people who are incarnationally living out the gospel in that community. We’re not reaching people if we’re just doing events. We as people have a need to belong. When your gifts and talents are being utilized to be the church in your community and make disciples, thats what it means to be a local missionary. They say millennials are leaving the church. We have talents and passions and gifts and we want to use them! But if you use your talents in a way that don’t directly help the church, then they say that they can’t use you. Don’t just invite people to the event. We need churches that are willing to disciple young men and women and challenge them to use their giftings to serve the body and reach those outside the church. He hopes millennials join a local church and seek to do life with people while being discipled and encouraged in their giftings. Invite people into your life.”
So that’s Jahmaol. A hiphop loving, student reaching, education reforming new college graduate. His passion for students, hiphop, and the Church is hard to find. You can hear his ministry firsthand considering he just dropped his first album, Absolutely Relative, available on iTunes and Spotify now. We at INITIATIVE would highly recommend it. It’s so good. When we think of millennials who are on mission in their gifting, we think of Jahmaol. We’ve always wanted to tell his story to you guys and we’re pumped that we finally get to. I hope this was as encouraging for you as his story has been to us.
If you want to buy his album, click here.
Here's his music video for his single, Pop Culture