Feb. 23rd marked the end of a historic gathering at Asbury University. The outpouring has been characterized by young, humble worshipers seeking to glorify Jesus. There was no well-known speaker or worship leader drawing in crowds, yet over 50,000 people from around the world have journeyed to the little town of Wilmore, Kentucky to take part in the holy moment.
When we look at revival, we look for the fruit. Since Feb. 8 there have been countless testimonies pouring out of Hughes Auditorium on Asbury University’s campus. We sat down with a pastor from Waynesville, North Carolina to hear how this move of God is impacting every day churches across America.
“I felt like when the revival started at Asbury that I had to take some young people with me,” New Covenant Church Pastor Blake Stanbery says.
Stanbery’s church has been hungry for more of God. When they realized the revival they had been praying for was breaking out, they packed up a car and took off bringing five Gen Z students from the church. The group waited in line for four hours with 35 degree temperatures.
“Yes we were freezing but there was such joy on that campus that there was such a crowd of enthusiasm,” Stanbery says. Just waiting in line the group felt the impacts of the revival, meeting Christians who flew in from Brazil and New Zealand. Anticipation filled their spirit as they head the worship echoing across the campus lawn.
“This step for us was a ‘yes maybe it’s coming,'” Stanbery says.
Stanbery spoke to the paradoxes of the revival. Young people were leading the charge, yet they are the ones who have been rocked the most in our world today. “There was such peace on a generation that has been marked by such chaos,” he says.
Another surprising element for Stanbery was the need for cell phones. All of the young people who gathered at Asbury didn’t have any phones out, yet the photos and videos being taken in the auditorium came from adults. “That was a paradox for me. This is a generation that only knows digital, always have their phones out yet it hasn’t satisfied them Here they were leading crowds and nothing digital was distracting them,” he says.
The Gen Z group went back to New Covenant Church testifying to what they witnessed at Asbury University. It has loosed a hunger and thirst for all the congregants of their church. Following the event, Stanbery has emphasized the need to be unscripted on Sunday mornings.
“It’s about being unified, unscripted, not out of order, but just unscripted. Freedom for testimony. People were moved by repentance. If that’s happening unscripted in our churches, that’s a taste. The Lord wants to do an outpouring. Are we going to make room for Him or stay with our script,” he questions.
Tune in to the rest of the interview with Pastor Blake Stanbery to hear his thoughts on revival in America.
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Shelby Bowen is an assistant editor for Charisma Media.