Turning the Church Up: An interview with Brittany Shontel

When you think about religion you usually don’t associate it with being "lit". Some people don’t think of it being fun at all. Brittany Shontel’s mission is to bring the fun to the word of God. A former club surfer, Doughboyz Cashout stan, and avid twerker have turned her energy into making her and others walk with Christ lit.

What is Pretty Lit Ministries?
A three-part ministry that includes tees, a podcast and outreach. It's for the people like myself, who love Kendrick, but can worship to Kirk. A ministry for those who know they need God, but don't know where to start, or they feel like they aren't in a place where God wants them the way they currently are. Pretty Lit Ministries is what I needed 5 years ago.

What were you doing before Pretty Lit?
I had a ministry called Pretty Girls Praise, from 2013-2016 - but I wanted to expand beyond women, so I changed it. Before that, I was living my life. I loved partying, going out, drinking, etc. I wasn't really involved in anything, I was just existing.

You are a huge fan of music, what artists inspire you?
Kendrick Lamar. He is my number on inspiration in music. I love how is unapologetic about who he is, and his relationship with God has always been mentioned in his music. I think that's why I love him so much. He's planting seeds in people's hearts without forcing the word on them. That matters - I pray I can get to that point, where I can truly be me while still shining God's light. I also love how private he is - sometimes I overshare, and it comes back to bite me, then I think like "dang I should've taken the Kdot approach on that and keep it to myself." Lastly, his growth was not overnight. I recently saw him at the palace, and all I was thinking was jeez - the last time I saw him was at Chene park & now He's in an arena like this. Perseverance.

I love PartyNextDoor - not only does he make amazing music for himself, but he's behind so many songs people love (Wild Thoughts, Work, Sex with Me) - and unless you look into it you would not know. You don't always have to be the face of something to shine. It motivates me to be okay with being behind the scenes.

I also love Lecrae, Cardi B, & Kirk Franklin.

How do you incorporate music with Pretty Lit?
Mostly on my podcast, Pretty Lit the Podcast. Every week we do a Righteous & Ratchet Song of the week. It's our way of introducing our listeners to new music. I believe in having a healthy balance -and I also believe God can speak in whatever way He best sees fit. The entire theme and vision for my last conference "Take Flight" was given to me while I was listening to Kanye's TLOP.

What inspired you to start a podcast?
My Executive Producer & Boss Friend, JG. He saw a need, and thought my ministry could fill it. I did not want to commit to a podcast and I told him no, several times. But eventually I saw what he saw so I said yes. I am so happy I did.

How do you hope to impact the world?
I've never thought about this. I pray my impact is positive - I want people to desire to shine brighter after meeting me. I hope to have my entire generation eager to pray, not only for themselves but for others. Most importantly, I hope my life impacts people to do what God has called them to do. I've done some things, seen somethings, & said some things - and NONE of my actions dimmed my light nor stop my purpose from being necessary for others. I want others to know - that is the same for them.

Do you receive criticism from other church people because of your high energy ministry?
Probably. Never to my face though...isn't that how it always is though? People hate that I say Righteous & Ratchet and use the word "Lit". I see the tweets and IG post. I don't care - I have to do what God tells me, and if I move in a way he hasn't instructed I have to deal with that from HIM. My ministry is for specific people, my mother has told me that since I decided to step into this - so I try to walk in that on a daily basis.

Where do you see yourself in a year?
Interesting... My first thought was engaged - but I am not ready for marriage just yet. I want to be in a position to give more - more love, more money, more of God, more experiences, etc. I see myself helping my Elise with her purpose, I see myself assisting my friend Sha'lyce in finding a building for her business idea. I see myself with the Dani, Breezy and the Peoples Choice interviewing Lecrae, and Sarah Jakes Roberts for Pretty Lit the Podcast. Prayerfully, I'll be less petty, a LITTLE less ratchet and a LOT more righteous.