'Almost' is a difficult word. Maybe you 'almost' won. Or, maybe you 'almost' did something. That would be difficult to experience. But we have all heard that close or 'almost' only counts in hand-grenades and horseshoes. One of the things that American Christian teenagers have 'almost' seen is revival. At least that is what they have heard about for years.

Over 30 years of ministry I have heard people talk about revival and renewal. The coming transformation of our nation, and, ultimately, the world. Ad Nauseum, we have preached, taught, prayed, and promoted the idea of revival. And, although I do not think that we are wrong to do this, we are still waiting for 'a breakthrough'.

Reading the stories of previous US Christian revivals, I have seen moments in the US that have approached viral proportions. Almost. It seems that there are greater movements globally - the epic growth of the underground church in Asia, the supernatural aspect of the South American revivals in Argentina and Brazil, and the legendary attendance of the African crusades. Each of these are drawing millions of believers and seeing reportedly tens of millions of converts and miracles and healing. But, what most American Christian teenagers have lacked is a true revival of undeniable affect.

History is clear that every renewal of significance in America was begun by young people. And the Spirit is no less powerful and real today. But, western Jesus-followers have yet to see an awakening of epic or viral or supernatural proportions as Asia, South America, or Africa. Whether that is because of materialism that causes a lack of dependence upon Almighty God, or, post-modernism that has given America a breadth of gods and religions to turn to, we haven't seen a significant revival in the lifetime of US teenagers.

One might argue that the following awakenings have shaped the US markedly:


Although significant in some manner, these have had a periodic affect. One that most teenagers today would not even know about. And maybe more regional than national. So, what are we asking for when we talk about revival? What is a significant affect? I am asking for 4 things to usher in and define the next US awakening:

A REPENTANCE IN THE CHURCH that brings about a leadership authority and integrity in culture
A SUPERNATURAL OUTPOURING of signs, wonders, and miracles that cannot be denied
A GOVERNMENT SHAKING impact upon the behavior of our leaders and resulting legislation
A NATIONAL MEDIA FILTER that returns our behavior and programming to conservative content
A RESULTING FRUIT OF MANY SOULS BORN AGAIN and added to the kingdom and church

Wow. I said it. These would be shifts of national proportion. Measurable assessments of revival. And, although these all need to be defined practically, I would define an awakening or revival with these kind of changes. The American Christian teenager will not see this kind of movement by mistake. It will take many things. Let me leave you with 2 for now:

1. We identified materialism earlier in this article. It will take humility and simplicity. I'm not sure we can see a move of God in our nation if we do not become desperate for Him. And for most of us stuff does not allow us to be desperate for God. Stuff has become our trust. And the materialism in America is only growing and shows no sign of relenting. It is one of the major causes of this lack of hunger for God in our lives.

Save it. The arguments about how the rich and wealthy can pursue God and be spiritually hungry. I know them. A few of them. But, how has that worked in America? Money (or stuff) is not evil. It is a love for money (or stuff) that is a great evil. And requires our attention and time. The same things God longs for. And it cripples more of us than you think or could argue.

2. The other cause identified earlier in this blog was post-modernity. It will take a focused pursuit of Christ. Of course post-modernism is broader than the religious argument, but, it has brought a tolerance that has moved the US further away from a spiritual absolute. A once Christian nation (arguably) has become so open-minded that our absolutes have fallen out. And post-modern thinking has leveled the ground so to say. All truth is subject to the culture and to norms.

Christianity has become an option. Not 'the way'. Simply 'one of the ways'. And most religions today are not transformation theology. But, a COEXIST mentality that has removed the impact of transformation and promoted a self-help theology. I'm ok. You're ok.

America almost has it. They know of the Father. They talk openly about Jesus the Son. But, if American does not find its relationship with the Spirit, we will not see revival. We cannot lose another generation of Christian young people. I believe that the Spirit's role in our lives is to bring us a greater dependence and a greater commitment to Christ.

Hope is a powerful place to live in. But, I want more than a hope. Let us not be a generation of teenagers who 'almost' see an awakening in America.


  1. I think you "almost" pinned this thing down. However, there are a few issues here...well, mostly just one. Of the 4 things (which you actually listed 5) you ask for in order to usher in a revival among teenagers and youth, 2 of those items involve our current political environment. And to a reader, those 2 things are tainted with a specific political agenda. I suppose this is to be expected. I think in your writings here, you have made it quite clear which political party you align yourself with (also, I think it would be fair of you to disclose that you have a family member that worked on the Romney's easily Googled).
    I would be interested in knowing specifically what kind of legislation you think would usher in a revival of the Holy Spirit.
    Also, exactly what kind of media filter would you like to see? Again, I think it would be in your best interest to disclose that your above mentioned family member has appeared on the primary conservative media outlet (Fox News) multiple times as a commentator.
    Jeff, your passion is genuine, but I feel that you have let a reader like me down with this entry, as it exposes a specific political agenda. In this entry, I feel that you are bordering on the idea that we should somehow impose a theocratic government. This is highly problematic, short-sighted, and even sounds self-serving. Please explain how legislation and media control strengthens the faith of a teenager. Faith isn't easy. It wasn't meant to be. Perhaps the revival we see in other countries is a result of the people trying to get out from underneath a government that controls what they see, do, hear, and worship. Can't you see that what you propose is exactly that?
    I think you should take it easy with the politicizing of Christianity. Our faith has survived many things...the Roman Empire, horrible wars (some of them ironically that have been waged in the name of Christ), the industrial revolution, and even MTV. Our faith will survive this post-modern mark in history and yes, it will even survive having a democrat in the West Wing.

  2. Hey CJ.

    Thanks for the thoughts. Here are some of mine:

    First, you stated, "I would be interested in knowing specifically what kind of legislation you think would usher in a revival of the Holy Spirit."

    This is not a political blog. Nor should I be required to assign myself a platform or party. As a matter of fact, if you think that you know what my affiliation is, I must have communicated somewhat clearly. I believe that legislative changes would be systemic of a true revival in America. It is a both/and cause and effect. I believe when righteousness prevails, that it will produce common good at the legislative level. Because of the type or kind of people that set legislation. I am not saying that you can legislate righteousness. Our society is too far from that happening.

    As you can see, I am not a culture before scripture person. To me, everything that has evolved away from the creation intent, and, ultimately, scripture, is subject to the absolutes of the bible. So, any argument of popularity or prevalence is mute to me and truth-less. In other words, just because nations, media trends, or culture set a moral code as prevalent, doesn't make it right. For example, 50 years ago, incest was an absolute transgression in America. Today, it is being supported and defended in some circles. How about beastiality? Is that next? In the name of prevalence or cultural shifts in morality.

    Second. A theocratic government is far down the road from my thinking. When righteousness prevails, I believe a theocratic culture will elect a way life they see right. For the common good.

    Third. The revivals that are going on in other countries (as I stated) has little to do with "government oppression". It has much more to do with the hunger of the people. People who are not distracted by materialism, or, fighting the kind of moral laws we see under siege today in the US. My proposition is not to get out from under government. I love our system. And gladly pay taxes and support our country. If I didn't, I wouldn't have spent the last 30 years building the church to have a voice again in the affairs of men.

    Fourth. You also stated, "I think you should take it easy with the politicizing of Christianity. Our faith has survived many things...the Roman Empire, horrible wars (some of them ironically that have been waged in the name of Christ), the industrial revolution, and even MTV."

    The scriptures are pretty clear about the relationship of Christianity and Government. One of honor and value. Both ways. I am not concerned or worried that our world is out of control and that God is shaking His head wondering what happened. I simply would like to see a revival of biblical truth in our society today. And believe that the role of government (although not primary) is certainly a supplemental avenue to morality. After all, every society in human history began with a set of laws. Understandings and codes that were either written or assumed to balance that culture. An ecosystem.

    And, to your statement about our faith surviving this post-modern era, a quick historical lesson would prove that our faith has not survived very well in the face of these things you suggest. Especially when we see the kind of generational loss of truth over the centuries.

    Of course, I am not asking us to put on sandals and ride camels. Nor am I looking for a futuristic panacea. It would be nice to simply see a renewal of righteousness in certain sectors. Beginning with the church.


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