Updated Wed., Dec. 10, 5:07 p.m. EST: The Rev. Westley West, pastor of Faith Empowered Ministries of Baltimore City, issued the following statement:
I personally believe that the “Nae Nae the Hell Out” sermon was taken out of its context. On August 24, 2014 it was our Youth and Young Adult Day: Back to School Jam and Giveaway for the youth in our church and community. The Nae Nae dance is a dance of victory, celebration and fun. In fact, Washington Wizard’s player John Wall broke into the Nae Nae dance after winning the NBA slam dunk contest on February 15, 2014. Preaching that sermon I only wanted the people that I came in contact with and my congregation to have victory over the hardship, opposition and hell that is in their lives. The message that was preached had substance, validity and facts. However, the dancing and the title was the only thing that critics focused on. My focus is to preach Jesus to all believers and non-believers all while being relatable. When it comes to youth and young adults in the black church today there is a drought. What worked back in the 1960’s don’t work for the 1990’s and it certainly don’t work for the 2000’s. My question is where is the support for the youth and young adults in a world where we are losing so many? For all fans and supporters you can support me and the youth and young adults by purchasing your very own “Nae Nae the Hell Out” T-shirt. To speak more on this feel free to contact me on Instagram: Pastor_West, Facebook Westley West or Twitter @Spreadin_Hope. Until next time may God bless all and may heaven smile upon.
Nowadays, a lot of ministers are trying to reach the younger members of their congregation to get them excited about church. Earlier this year, you had Jamal Bryant talking about how loyal hos aren’t. Not too many ministers evoke Chris Brown during their sermons. But one minister has decided to use a popular dance to get his congregation riled up, and he didn’t take a misogynistic route like Bryant.
A pastor in Maryland has gone viral after a video was released from a summer sermon. The Rev. Westley West of Faith Empowered Ministries in Baltimore used the popular Nae Nae dance to get his congregation going, including the kids.
“Stand up and begin to Nae Nae the hell out,” West shouted in his best church casual wear of jeans and a button-down.
I’m assuming he meant to dance the hell right out of their bodies. Well, at least I’m hoping that’s what he meant. But regardless of what West meant, I can’t say I’ve seen kids that excited to be in church.
As someone who’s not a churchgoer and hasn’t been since I was 13, I can’t say that I see anything wrong with mixing a little pop culture into a sermon, especially if it’s a way to reach the younger generation. Some may consider West’s approach a little unorthodox, but those kids probably enjoyed their service that day.