SANTA CLARITA, CALIFORNIA: Imagine this. You are the senior pastor of a church. You notice your congregation has a new visitor. Upon introductions, you have been made aware that your visitor is internationally-known rap musician, Kanye West.
And he has some questions about God, so what do you do? Placerita Bible Church’s Senior Pastor Adam Tyson did what any good preacher would do – he made time to answer the questions.
According to Pastor Adam, “Kanye West is not a part of our congregation. He visited our church six to seven times over this past summer.”
He said, “I did not know he(Kanye West) was coming. He showed up one Sunday unannounced. I have never listened to his music and I did not even know who he was.”
“I met with him in my office for about three hours one night to answer questions he had about God and about his new faith,” Pastor Adam stated, “We discussed what it means to be born again through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. We then talked about the changes that need to be made in the life of a Christian who is serving God verses and unbeliever who is serving their flesh.”
He continued, “From what I can see Kanye is making changes in his life and he is confident that God radically-saved Him. We started a Bible Study together and have continued to encourage each other in the Lord.”
Pastor Adam added, “I have been with him in the studio helping make sure the lyrics to his new album ‘Jesus is King’ are biblical and theologically-sound.”
“Kanye calls me his ‘pastor.’ I think of myself more as a discipler and spiritual encourager since he now doesn’t attend our church regularly,” Pastor Adam said.
In addition to those moments, Pastor Adam has traveled with Kanye and participated in the entertainer’s ‘Sunday services’ – musical and worship events across the US., preaching ‘sermonettes.’ The most recent was in Salt Lake City, Utah, where Pastor Adam spoke on John 3:16.
Pastor Adam is a Georgia native. In fact, he graduated in 1994 from Bleckley County High School in Cochran, Georgia, and in 1996 from Middle Georgia College(Now Middle Georgia State University). He also received certification from the Medical College of Georgia, and later attended and graduated from The Master’s Seminary.
He didn’t start out to be a pastor. Pastor Adam worked in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery for four years. In an interview with The Murphy Gazette, he said, “God began to give me a greater desire to know Him, and to make Him known than to continue to work in medicine.”
Pastor Adam explained, “I loved working in medicine and would regularly share Christ and pray with patients when appropriate. I was teaching Sunday school, and then I started having more and more opportunities to peach at youth retreats and college retreats. After preaching at a few churches for their main Sunday services, I started having an overwhelming desire to be a pastor.”
“Growing up, I always wanted to serve God any way I could. I preached my first sermon in a cotton field one summer calling all of the cotton plants to repent and to believe in Jesus,” he said with a smile. “I was a cotton scout for many years in high school.”
“I believe that all Christians should serve God with all their hearts, I just decided that I wanted to do it through full time ministry.”
Pastor Adam reflected during the question and answer time with The Murphy Gazette, and added, “I heard a quote from Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones that really challenged me. He said, ‘I got tired of helping people live longer so that they could sin more. I wanted to help people live forever where they would never sin again.’ This resonated with me, and after praying about it and talking with my parents, my pastor and my closest friends, I decided to make a change.”
Pastor Adam said, “Our main thing is a biblical counseling ministry where people can come from all over the community to get help and hope from the word of God. We counsel anywhere from 20-30 cases a week. We have had various outreach events over the years.”
He stated, “All I have ever wanted to do is to honor my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Whether it be as a physician’s assistant, as a preacher, as a husband, as a father, or as a friend, I just want to be faithful and fruitful.”
“The message of the Gospel goes far and wide. God is holy, we are sinners, we deserve God’s judgment. God is loving and merciful so He sent His Son Jesus Christ do die in our place so we don’t have to,” Pastor Adam stated. “Jesus lived a perfect life, died on a cross, and was raised from the dead so that every repentant sinner could have new life. God transforms us from the inside out. He changes our direction. He changes our affections. He changes what we value.”
He added, “I value Him! I am a jar of clay. Jesus is the treasure!”
In answering the question of what his favorite Bible verse or passage is, Pastor Adam said “Galatians 2:20.” (‘I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.’)
His reason for this passage being a favorite? “I think this verse reminds me that it’s not about me, it’s about Jesus. Through repentance and faith in Christ, I am a new creation. It is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me.”
Pastor Adam said, “That is so encouraging and uplifting! It is life-changing. Everyday, we live by faith and we try to be faithful. Everyday, we preach the gospel to ourselves and are reminded that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life!”
“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done. Turn from your sins and turn to Christ. Repent and trust in the Lord,” he said. “As a Christian we are called to be salt and light. We are to be faithful in the little things and God may make you faithful over much.”
“The hope in God is certain and secure because God has promised to save all those who have their hope in them,” the father of five said.
Pastor Adam concluded, “The way up is still down. Stay humble. Stay pure. Stay ready to serve Jesus in every part of your life! In Christ, you are an overcomer. Give your life to Him today and than live for Him every day! True joy and contentment comes from loving God and living for Him!”
For more about Pastor Adam’s church, Placerita Bible Church, click here.