By Ray Cardello for February 25, 2023 Season 16 / Post 30
And this flame needs to be fanned. It needs to be encouraged and allowed to spread. We are not talking about a brush or forest fire. We are not talking about a chemical fire. We are talking about a spiritual resurgence driven by young college students, and it is taking on a life of its own. I touched on the revival at Asbury University in an earlier article, but it deserves a deeper dive into the movement spreading across the country. My writing today is not a story about civil disobedience that we have become used to expecting. This story is about singing, praying, and surrendering oneself to Christ in round-the-clock revivals. This is a truly amazing phenomenon.
The gathering at Asbury University is not the first in the institution’s history. On February 3, 1970, a religious service morphed into a revival that lasted 144 hours. The current revival had a simple beginning on February 8th. After a regularly scheduled service, a group of about twenty students lingered and continued to sing and pray for each other. As the hours passed, other students heard the music and payers coming from the hall, and they stopped and joined in. The crowd soon swelled and occupied every one of the 1,500 folding chairs, and people stood around the hall and filled the balconies. They were not just observers but became active worshipers. Over the next two weeks, over 50,000 people will have come to Asbury to be a part of a modern religious phenomenon.
Not to mimic Asbury, but occurring organically, there are similar services at many other colleges around the country, including Samford University, Lee University, and Cedarville University. The core of this movement, both its leadership and target audience, is the Gen Z students who have been present since the beginning. Unlike many of the Gen-Z generation who live on Instagram and TikTok, this group has been turning away the media and keeping the event low-key and low-tech. Tucker Carlson of FOXNews had requested to attend and was asked not to come to Asbury. This is not a political event, and they did not want to distort the serenity of the gathering with the presence of high-profile media personalities.
Professional revivalists and Christian celebrities have been welcomed but have not been given a platform. The student leaders have done nothing to disrupt or corrupt the event. This event has no props. There are no special lights, video presentations, or planned offerings. This is purely between the worshipers and Jesus.
Students who have been interviewed outside of the hall are overcome with emotions. They genuinely feel they have been changed by being a part of the service. It is hard to define a word to describe what is happening. It is not an event, service, revival, or any other term used to describe something planned. This has mushroomed from two dozen kids who went to a service and needed something more. They found it in Kentucky, and the world has taken notice. This Asbury Revival is a movement we can hope is not a one-and-done.