One of the biggest markers of this outpouring is what’s not there. It lacks so many markers of the Americana church–celebrity, trendy songs that leverage emotion for a response, flawless production–even words on the screen.
Instead, it’s a stripped down gathering with five main components. Students leading worship from every genre, many 20+ year old worship songs and hymns. Students reading Scripture. (Followed by more worship). Students telling what Jesus is doing in their lives. (Followed by more worship). Prayer and confession for our broken lives and world. (Followed by more worship). An invitation to follow Jesus.
Then the pattern of worship, Scripture reading, testimony, prayer + confession, and invitation begins again.
What God has been doing at Asbury is already spreading to other campuses including Cedarville University, Lee University, and Samford University.
The first morning I sat in overflow for an hour before the chapel began. Those in the room were so spiritually hungry, and yet gratitude hung in the air like 10,000 delicate bubbles.
Strangers stood up and read Scripture. A song started from a lone voice. Soon everyone joined in. A person shared a piece of wisdom. Then another Scripture. Nothing was scripted, it just flowed as natural as a spring breeze.
For me, the Scripture that swirled in my mind was 1 Kings 19:18, that describes the “7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal.”
Sometimes, friends, it can feel like you’re the only one. That the world has gone sideways and the Americana version of church has lost its mind.
But God has 7000 others (a number symbolizing completion, wholeness), faithful believers who are famished for God–hungry for His kingdom, His righteousness, His Spirit, His holiness.
You are not alone.
I caught a glimpse of them this week.
May the call to worship, scripture, prayer and repentance, stories of Jesus working in our lives, and the invitation to follow Jesus spread across our nation and world in such a way that all we can say is, “Only God!”
I love you, and I pray for the Holy Spirit’s outpouring on you today, right where you are.
In humble prayer,
P.S. Lent begins tomorrow and normally I would have a reading plan or Bible study to invite you to. But this year, I feel like i’m supposed to sit in silence and simply pray for the next 40 days for more of the Holy Spirit’s presence, or rather more awareness in me of the Holy Spirit’s presence. I trust the Spirt’s leading in your life this year for Lent. Again, I love you!