Apart from the negativity frequently associated with social media, it's not difficult to find moments of inspiration across each platform. These tidbits may come in the form of beautifully illustrated quotes, personal reflections, or videos from folks speaking on a specific topic to encourage the masses. If you're tapped into this community or follow someone that is, you have likely seen a post that has gone viral from Pastor Mike Jr.
Whether it is his graciousness articulated in an acceptance speech or a clip from one of his sermons at Rock City Church— where he is the Senior Pastor and Founder— you cannot help but to feel moved and called into action through his charismatic affirmation.
Dubbed the "King Of Urban Inspiration," Pastor Mike Jr. is dedicated to uplifting others through his ministry, his music and by example. He shares his means of motivation with us, along with how he stays humble and why our community is so attracted to his message of hope.
You recently won 8 Stellar Awards, including 'Artist of the Year' for the 3rd year in a row. How does this recognition feel and what do you say to yourself when you receive so many awards at once?
Pastor Mike Jr.: It's still humbling. I only wanted to be in the conversation when it comes to creating great music. I tell everybody that I think something that we have to stop doing, especially when we're Christians, is having false humility. When you put out a project, part of you wants to be Oprah-level iconic. I just always embrace the love, and I'm super excited about all that God is doing. I truly believe that it's bigger than me. So many artists tell me that being independent and not having a machine dictate my movements gives them hope to keep moving.
In addition to your work, have gained a massive following for your viral inspirational messages. How does it feel to know that you are a source of motivation or so many?
In today's world, people lack motivation and hope because you can only dream at the level you've been exposed to. So for me, every win is an opportunity to drop a word to encourage and inspire somebody to dream on a bigger level.
It's refreshing to know that so many out there can resonate with the work you put in. Folks often sleep on the people who don't come from much and who aren't connected to the "in-crowd" or clique. One of my mantras is being a "black sheep." I know that phrase carries a certain connotation, but, my goal is to change that definition as being different is the new normal. I can make a difference because I'm willing to be different, and I want others to be encouraged by that.
What was your goal when creating "Impossible" and what headspace were you in?
In my opinion, Impossible is the best album I've ever done in my life, and I've only got two out! (laughs) I love it. Throughout my life. I've seen God do the impossible. The title track is a song we have been singing in my church for about four or five years, and God pushed me to create this project as my testimony. There are so many songs that I think folks will be inspired by, including my personal favorite, which made the album. My mom almost lost her life, and all she ever wanted to do was record a song. So when God spared her life, I told her that she was going to be on my album. So, we sing a song called "Still Here" and I am so excited to share it.
Black spirituality is innately unique and can be found manifested across various facets of our culture. How do you center this at the core of your artistry and ministry?
God will always be at the forefront of all that I do. Gospel music is the only genre of music with an equation of a message plus the melody equals a miracle. For example, I love when Tasha Cobbs Leonard had Nicki Minaj on a great song but folks had an issue with it and I can tell you why: there's a difference between being a Christian and being religious. Just because [Nicki Minaj] does a certain type of music doesn't mean that spirituality isn't at the root of who she is. In my life, I'm trying to get to a place where I understand my assignment.
The reason why Black spirituality is integral to our culture is that it has been a source of oxygen that's needed to survive and breathe in this polluted world. A connection to faith and hope is seen across our culture as African Americans—you've got self-help coaches, Hebrew Israelites and Islam. Most of our successful African American Gen Z'ers and millennials now go to counter-cultural churches.