Backtalk with Kirk Franklin

Grammy Award-winning gospel artist talks about life lessons and his new book

other side of it and have the freedom of being able to be committed to one woman. People fail because there are not enough teachers able to take off their jacket or their robe and sit next to you in the classroom and say “me, too.”

So you are practicing what you preach, which is to take faith out of the pews and into people’s real lives?
It’s very important to me to take off the holier than thou stigma and for people to see that we Christians have a real honest type of lifestyle. A lot of people come to church with masks on because we can’t afford to allow others to see our real faces. So if the sermon is more like a pep rally with three points that help you get through your day, you get those points, clap, say amen, and then leave never having to take your mask off and never getting to the root of the problem in your life. The real work comes when we take off the mask, get uncomfortable, roll up our sleeves, and look deep into the mirror of what was really behind that.

Having been through that real, uncomfortable work yourself, how did you develop a blueprint to change your life?
The core of change is that defining moment of peace–peace that you begin to have deep inside of you that is not based on a new car, new purse, or a new boyfriend or girlfriend; but when you are alone and you are able to rest in being exactly where you are. I had to learn how to figure out the job of Christ inside me and allow Him to be the foundation that everything else would be built upon. Once He became that foundation, I was able to make room for my wife, Tammy; my career; children; and relatives. But when you don’t have that foundation built right, you’ll have the bathrooms on top of the roof and a toilet that is turned upside down.

Shenelle Wallace is a freelance contributor to Black

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