Tue | Jun 22, 2021

Steve Lyston | Gangs and the power of music

Published:Monday | August 5, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Police searching a man at a checkpoint in Spanish Town, St Catherine, during a state of emergency.

Crime seems to be the order of the day, in particular, gang activity. We have seen over the years that we cannot truly deal with crime until we deal with the root cause. There are many experts on crime, but all they are doing is making noise.

Many of these gang leaders are true leaders. They have the gift of leadership. Where the problems lie, there lies the solution, also. Many of them have the solutions to the problems we see. Therefore, the focus should be to target gang leaders and utilise them and their skills in addressing the issues affecting the communities.

Story of Jephthah

In dealing with gang leaders, we should look at the story of Jephthah in Judges 11. He was forced to be a gang leader by others who see themselves as worthless/hopeless within the society. They were looking for love, acceptance, leadership and possible fathering/mentoring, so they drew to Jephthah who had suffered injustices, classism and rejection. He was thrown out of his inheritance because of how he was conceived; his mother was a prostitute. Many within society today would say ‘abort’ him. What we need to recognise is that the very thing we want to reject and to kill is often what God has sent to help us in the first place. Every soul has a purpose and an assignment.

Jephthah becoming a gang leader was the result of society’s treatment towards him. Understand, also, that like-minded people will come together just as the rich stick to those of their own income bracket; those with similar life experiences do that as well.

Jephthah’s assignment was to save the nation and to become the military and civil leader for the nation. He was able to solve a problem that the then leaders could not solve.

No politician or military personnel can change the nation. Only a new heart can bring change. That is why our prisons should be a place of genuine rehabilitation, not a place where people go in and come out worse than they went in. More funding needs to be directed towards rehabilitation programmes for prisoners. There is the great need for spirit-filled chaplains, not yoga practitioners in the process of rehabilitation. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the catalyst for real change. Furthermore, prison is the best place for intelligence gathering. You would be surprised what many gang leaders know.

In dealing with gangs, we cannot focus only on the men. We need to concentrate also on the women behind them. We need to target the market, the product and the funding behind it all. We must bind the strongman over each area they operate. There is always a strongman over an area and behind the problems.

We must also examine the various reasons people enter gangs, whether it is for profit, fame, employment, acceptance, love and power.

Politicians also need to be truthful because many of them use the gangs to maintain power, so they don’t want the gangs dismantled. It’s just a matter of time before the gangs and their leaders turn against such politicians in a way they will not expect.

Music is a critical tool to dismantle and change gang leaders. It can impact they’re brain and a person’s way of thinking.

Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including ‘End Time Finance’ and ‘The New Millionaire’.