December 1st, 2022

What’s the Big Deal About Kenny Sway?


If you’re following Team Jesus Mag on Facebook, you may have seen a video of inspirational singer and street evangelist, Kenny Sway, reppin’ Jesus on the street corners of D.C.’s Chinatown, with an iPhone and Mr. Microphone setup. Team Jesus Magazine publisher, Kim Bright, and I had the pleasure of witnessing Kenny in action while we were in D.C. for Together 2016.

Strolling down Chinatown after a debrief dinner, we heard someone singing.

“Who is that?” I asked no one in particular.

A local girl walking by heard me and responded, “He’s always here.”

Interest piqued, we continued walking toward the music. Kim and I joined a crowd of 20+ bystanders who had formed a semi-circle around Kenny. Although everyone was in transit, hastily making their way to somewhere, once they encountered Kenny in worship, their hustle and bustle slowed to a stop.

The crowd was a mix of men and women, young and old, all different races and nationalities. Some were locals and others were tourist like us.

The audience swayed back and forth, waving their hands, as Kenny began singing How Great is Our God by Chris Tomlin. Some had their hands clasped in front of their faces, eyes shut tight. Others were exalting God and wiping tears from their eyes.

We put our phones down long enough to give each other nods that said, “Yeah, this guy is awesome.”

What’s the Big Deal About Kenny Sway Singing Christian Songs on a Street Corner?

He’s who most Christians desire to be. He’s a doer (James 1:22).

And, the big deal is that it really shouldn’t be a big deal!

We’ve all been graced with spiritual gifts and natural talents (Romans 12:6-8). Seeing someone use their gift whenever, wherever should be a normal occurrence.

Sadly, it isn’t.

We’ve forgotten why God sent us here. We’ve put our #1 priority (Ephesians 2:10) on the back burner and covered it with fear and excuses of inadequacy:

Once I lose weight…

Once I have my degree…

When I have more free time…

When I have more money…

When I have more followers…

When I get a new computer, camera, website…

But, what if they don’t like me…?

But, what if I embarrass myself…?

God never put these restrictions on our gifts. He simply told us to go and tell the world about Him (Matthew 28:19)

What Do I Do to be a Better Doer?

So if you eat, or if you drink, or if you do anything, do it for the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31)

1.  Do what you know you should do (James 4:17).

We can be so focused on our future and our purpose that we twiddle our thumbs waiting for something to happen, and neglect the instructions we’ve already been given by God.

No matter who you are or what stage of life you’re in, you should be reading your Bible (Joshua 1:8), praying (Philippians 4:6-7), asking God for wisdom (James 1:5), uplifting others (1 Thessalonians 5:11), and the list goes on.

We don’t have to pray about these things. These are standards for Christian living.

2.  Do what you know you should do, quickly (Psalm 119:60).

When you hear from God via your Bible readings, a sermon, or a prompting from the Holy Spirit, act on it. It does us no good to only hear the Word. We must obey the Word to see its fruit.

Like Kenny, we must be doers.

I have not sat down with Kenny to know what prompted him to spend his Saturday night praising God on the streets of D.C., but one thing I know for sure – Kenny made no excuses for his calling.

He had a speaker, a microphone, and a cell phone with instrumental versions of Christian songs.

He was dressed in street clothes.

He wasn’t passing out business cards or promoting himself. In fact, I found someone who looked like he was an acquaintance of Kenny’s, and the young guy didn’t even know his first name.

You want to know something that made me chuckle a bit?

At one time, Kenny’s song skipped.

“Oh no,” I thought to myself.

He started the song over, began singing, and it skipped again.

I cringed.

If I were performing live and the song kept skipping, my thoughts would go something like this:

Oh my gosh. The song is skipping. Why me? Not now! People are going to walk away. I’m going to be standing here by myself. I look so foolish. What if it won’t work? Oh my gosh. What am I doing here?

But, Kenny wasn’t performing for man. He was using his gifts for God.

And, the crowd? They weren’t there for the vocal stylings of Kenny Sway.

They kept singing. And, some even shouted, “Do it without the music!”

What originally drew them there, kept them there even when the track skipped — it was the glory of God.

I chuckled because I love when God uses a random post-dinner stroll to reinforce something He’s been speaking even to my heart. Go!

What Do You Need to Do NOW?

The thing about procrastination is: We aren’t promised tomorrow (Psalm 102:11).

God has put an abundance of awesomeness (desires, ideas, personality traits, gifts, talents) in us. And, He expects us to use what He has given us to serve Him and others.

Putting it off until tomorrow does us and the people we’ve been called to serve a disservice. He didn’t tell us to go when the conditions were perfect. He just told us to go and to trust that He will equip us and never leave us. If we plant and water the seeds, He will cause them to grow.

So, what’s the play call?

While it is daytime, we must continue doing the work of the one who sent me. The night is coming, and no one can work at night. (John 9:4)

That God-sized dream that tugs on your heart, the one you’ve put at the bottom of your to-do list or have tried to erase altogether, begin walking towards it today.

The first step may be seeking more guidance from God, research on the Internet, or finding someone who is familiar with your desire. Your first step may be truthfully identifying where you are now so that you can assess your next step. Perhaps it’s time to pull out your study guides and prepare for an exam, or finally call to schedule the exam. Whatever it is, do it quickly. Don’t let anyone or anything convince you to procrastinate any longer. Do not strive for perfection, instead, get used to relying on God to lead you step-by-step. You simply need to be obedient.

Brandi Hawthorne
Brandi Hawthorne is a women's Christian Development & Lifestyle Coach. She blogs at Woman, Live! When she's not teaching women to love God & live their dreams, she's somewhere laughing loudly with friends & family.
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Share this post



More like this

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x