Written By: LaLa G.
I heard about him before I ever laid eyes on him! Both of us attended World Changers Church in New York City but we did not travel in the same social circles. When someone finally pointed him out to me, I was in disbelief! “How can someone so young give so much to a community?” I thought. So the scientist in me observed him for a while.
Have you ever watched someone from a distance and wondered, “Are they too good to be true?” Recently, I was able to interview Shawn Blanchard and was intrigued by how he used the roughness of life’s situations to polish him into a man that many admire.
Shawn B.: Nine years
Lala G.: What prompted you to make the decision to give your life to Christ?
Shawn B.: I didn’t grow up in the church. I became curious about Christianity in college and I took a course called Conflicts in Religion. In this course I studied Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It just became apparent that Christianity was real. While in college I was involved in some illegal activities and ended up in a county jail cell.
In the cell there was a book with no cover on it! I began to read the book and it was a NIV translation of the Bible. I never read an NIV Bible, I had always read the King James version. I read the first five chapters and I recall praying to Jesus to get me out of this situation and to live my life for Him. He definitely showed His face and I never looked back!
Lala G.: That’s amazing! Now that you are a Christian, what major issues do you see not addressed in the body of Christ?
Shawn B.: Application. I feel as though people walk into church and they want to hear something good as if it were an inspirational speech, or they say the message made them “feel good”. It’s not about feeling good. The whole basis of Christianity is love and I don’t see people actually walking out the love – beyond the letter.
Lala G: I remember seeing you at the panel discussion for Together Apart called “What Men Want”. I remember the reception that you received from the ladies in the audience. Has that been a challenge for you?
Shawn B: It is a lifetime challenge. Our gifts can be our curses too. It’s all about perception and how you perceive things. God has blessed me to be attractive to women (chuckles). When you get in a situation where you have to choose flesh vs. spirit, you have to make the right choice when it comes down to it.
It is an issue if I allow it to become an issue. I’m a human being, so sometimes I do let small issues become larger ones. However, through my faith I seem to come out on top.
Lala G.: Ok…Let’s stay in this sticky place. What do you do to escape from these situations?
Shawn B.: I do a lot of reflecting. When you reflect, things become apparent. You know what you are doing before, during, and after. You get to the point where you understand what is going on and it (the temptation) is bigger than your flesh.
At that point you apply the word to your life! It enables you to understand….basically a check and balance. The power of God is much more than the temporary things in the world.
Shawn B.: Yeah! (laughs)
Lala G.: How many would you say it has been?
Shawn B.: I would say about five women. Somebody has to be lying… (laughing)
Lala G.: What was your reaction?
Shawn B.: My reaction was flattery and thank yous. At the end of the day if I haven’t gotten that message too, then it’s not real. As the Word says, “He who finds a wife, finds a good thing”. We are supposed to come together in agreement.
Lala G.: Many Christian women complain that Christian men do not approach them in church. Why do you think Christian men shy away from this practice?
Shawn B.: Well for one thing, in the realm in Christianity people always deal in the realm of what someone is (spiritually) giving off. I know for myself, I was always told while I’m in church, safeguard your image. You don’t want to give off the impression of a womanizer. I didn’t want to approach women because I didn’t want to give off the wrong impression.
Lala G: I hear that you are attending Wayne State University Law School, were chosen to be Essence Magazines Single Man of the Month, co-founded a mentorship group for at risk youth called the Men of Majesty, and are currently in a documentary?!
Shawn B.: The documentary is called “Dreamers.” There are seven Dreamers and I am one of them. The documentary follows people who have all realized their purpose and watches how they pursue their dreams. The documentary encourages people to pursue their passions. It documents my journey coming from the Westside of Detroit until now. It highlights my passion of helping others and coming back to my hometown to help out.
Lala G.: We all know that we are to model ourselves after Christ. Is there anyone in Christendom that you admire?
Shawn B.: I would say Pastor Creflo Dollar. He is well balanced. He’s real and shows his congregation how to work on themselves and achieve breakthroughs. Another Pastor I admire is Reginald Lane in Detroit. He has a thriving outreach ministry. This brother is so real and he is from the same place in Detroit that I am.
Toward the end of my interview with Shawn Blanchard, he informed me that he is in the final stages of signing a book deal. Although he was mum on the details, he did inform me that the book is about mentorship and the impact that it had, not only on him, but on the young men he mentors! I’m excited to see what God has in store! Follow him on Twitter @shawntb to stay in the know!
1 Corinthians 11:1: You should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.