It’s been all over the news and social media. About what, you say? If you don’t know, then you must be hiding under a bushel barrel basket because revival is and has been popping up in universities and churches all over the country for almost two weeks. A large and growing revival is still occurring at a school in Kentucky. People all across the country (and, it seems, the world) are asking if this is the next great awakening in our land.
In full disclosure, I am not a theologian, have not studied at seminary, and do not have multiple degrees in religious studies. I am a believer and have studied under some pretty amazing Bible scholars. I am telling you this up front because there are a lot of opinions being bantered back and forth about what on earth (and heaven) is going on. I am giving you my opinions in this post.
There have been four great awakenings (revivals) in America. The last one was in the 1970’s … the Jesus Movement … during which I became a believer. Since the 1970’s, many have wondered and prayed for religious revival in our land. Now it seems we are on the cusp of perhaps another such period.
What began as a normal church service at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, the first of February has turned into an outpouring of the Holy Spirit which is growing and spreading. People from all over the country are heading to Kentucky. Reports of other spontaneous revivals at various locations across the nation are becoming more frequent.
Then there’s the “He Gets Us” $20,000,000 ad campaign that Hobby Lobby CEO, David Green, helped create. Two of this campaign’s ads appeared during last week’s Super Bowl. Even I, not usually a Super Bowl fanatic, watched with eager anticipation to see the ads. I found them intriguing and thought provoking … and, in my opinion, much preferred than the usual ads (however, I did miss the Clydesdales). These ads appeared to an estimated audience of 13,000,000. I expect the impact to be phenomenal. Unfortunately, people from all walks of life and various church denominations don’t agree.
Religion News Service recently stated, “while they (“He Gets Us” campaign) hope to help everyone encounter that Jesus, the target audience appears to be spiritually open skeptics, which are people who might be OK with religion but aren’t really excited about Christians.” That description of not “really excited about Christians” fits an increasingly large percentage of America’s population, as a study by Pew Research Group showed 92% of Americans attended church regularly in 1961. Today, that number is down to 56%.
While the “He Gets Us” campaign may target religious skeptics, it is often the skeptics who are already part of God’s kingdom that can be the greatest detractor to its advance. I hear this all the time from people who have been hurt by judgmental people in the Church. To be perfectly honest, I must confess that I’ve played my part in being judgmental.
Having taken a step back to look at what’s going on with how God appears to be moving, I truly believe He is using the “He Gets Us” ministry to remind me and others that we are not immune in putting God in a box. His ways are bigger than our ways. Do you feel that, too?
I say more power to stimulating, thought-provoking ways to start a conversation about Jesus Christ, a means that give people a desire to learn more about Him. The Holy Spirit can use anyone and anything to lead others into a saving relationship with Jesus. Theological questions that I consider essential to a right understanding of the Lord can easily be irrelevant to those who do not already have a relationship with him. It’s all about the relationship, not about “religion.”
I want people to identify with the living God who loves us so much that he left heaven to become one of us. When my holier than thou attitude gets the best of me, I have to remind myself to make sure my first response is to pray for each and every one rather than judge them.
God wants to send revival to all of us … through us. Lord, let it begin in me. Are you doing your part today?
Debby Efurd is co-founder of Cary John Efurd Ministries. Learn more about the ministry by liking our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/CJEMinistries) and downloading our FREE mobile app (get.theapp.co) from App Store or Google Play. Once downloaded, allow notifications to keep you up to date on what’s happening in Cary John Efurd Ministries. Debby can be contacted at email@example.com