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A Revival for Generation Z: Asbury OutpouringFebruary 27, 2023
Generation Z was born between 1995 and 2012 and are therefore 28 and younger. They are statistically among the most stressed out generations of any in American history. So, what most stresses out Gen Z? One report cited mass shootings as the biggest issue, followed by a rise in suicide rates, and deep concerns about climate issues.
Half or more of the Gen Z generation has grown up in a broken family. The parents of Gen Zs have a divorce rate of 50-60%. Over the last twenty-five years there have been around 18.4 million abortions. This means that around 30% of the Gen. Z were dead before they started. The spiritual impact of losing 30% of your generation is not to be underestimated. The generation of the Vietnam War knows all too well the spiritual impact of losing so many of their generation.
These statistics were all recorded before the covid lockdowns. During the lockdowns Gen. Z experienced social isolation which led to increased screen time. This affected their socialization skills negatively and added to their struggles with stress. It also increased their experiences of anxiety, depression, suicide, weakened academic performance, and decreased their ability to interact with people.
Last week I interpreted my experience at the Barbourville Revival as God reaching out to help those struggling with addiction issues. God is reaching out to a group of people who will be crushed by the coming hard times apart from faith in God. At the Asbury Outpouring I believe we are seeing another group that is in desperate need of a relationship with the living God. We read in Exodus 3:7, The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.” God has seen the misery of his children in America, He has heard them cry out in confusion and loss of hope, and He is concerned about their suffering.
The Asbury Outpouring began when 19 students stayed behind after chapel because they had a yearning for more of God. God answered their prayer with a resounding, “Yes!” Since February 8 there has been a lot of national attention on this event, and people have traveled to Wilmore, Ky from all over the country by the thousands. Young people are hungry for meaning in their lives that only God can provide.
I share some of my insights about what I think God is doing. First, the Asbury Outpouring is a revival for the Generation Zs. Many older adults reported it was beautiful worship, but they personally didn’t experience anything extraordinary. Their teens and young adults reported a much different experience. They experienced an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that moved them to repentance of their sins and a deep desire to live for Jesus. If they grow in their new-found faith experience, it will serve them well for hard times that are happening now and in the future.
Second, if you watch the live-stream of the worship services in Hughes Auditorium you will see intercessors in the front of the sanctuary always ready to pray with these young adults. The young adults come up as the Spirit moves them. Sometimes just a few are coming to pray through some private need, sometimes there are many. The greatest numbers come most often when there is a call to confess sins. This is a revival whose foundation is repentance, that is confessing your sins to Jesus to be set free. Freedom in Jesus is like no other feeling in the world. The world doesn’t change, but the way you see the world looks completely different when Jesus has set you free from sin.
Finally, what are we to take from these two revivals if we are not struggling with addiction or under 28 years old? First, take account of your idols. What are the things you value more than Jesus? Is it money, possessions, power, pleasure, family, comfort, sports, or TV? Second, what are the sins you struggle with the most? To help you with this carefully read Ephesians 4:25-32 and on each item listed reflect on whether you do the bad stuff and neglect to do the good stuff.
After doing these two things do what evangelist Gypsy Smith said to do. When asked, “What is the secret of revival,” he responded, “Go home. Take a piece of chalk. Draw a circle around yourself, then pray, ‘O Lord, revive everything in this circle.’” Prayer is central to revival. All revivals begin with, are powered by, and continue through the power of prayer. May you experience a personal revival of faith, and may God use you to help advance His Kingdom in this broken world. (To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles see, www.lagrangepres.org).